Tuesday, August 31, 2010

'Ice Road' Racing

On the Dalton, racers never win.  Especially when one of those racers is a rookie who spent some serious time in a ditch just one episode ago and he's racing one of the biggest cowboys to ever drive the Dalton (at least out of those whom we've seen on IRT).  Ray was kinda doomed the moment Hugh passed him, but trying to reclaim his lead while driving in the southbound lane while climbing a steep hill sealed his fate.  Not to mention raised a red flag with the Carlile management back in Fairbanks.  I'm wondering if Hugh will get in trouble as well since he is already on a sort of probation.  While Ray and Hugh were raising up the Dalton, Jack was pushing a HUGE load up it with the return of my new favorite ice road tactic: Push-Trucking.

Anyone who has watched this show for the last couple of seasons knows that Jack Jessee may be the "Dalton Ace," but he isn't exactly the first one on the road in the morning.  He likes to take his time, enjoy a big breakfast, and check and recheck the security of his load before heading out.  This left heavy-haul driver Carey Hall waiting.... waiting.... and then waiting some more for his lead push-trucker.  After deciding to leave without him, he and his pilot car and other push-truck driver headed north.  Later, Jack caught up, but he was having a slight problem.  He wasn't in his own truck and was having difficulties shifting the one he was piloting.  Normally, this would be an annoyance, but with push-trucking, every shift matters when you're pressed up against the more than 100,000 lb. load in front of you.  So, the heavy load made it down the Rollercoaster slowly as planned, but things took a scary turn when it attempted to climb up the other side.  Jack locked on, but missed the gear and became separated from the load.  He fought his way back and locked onto Carey's rig again.  This time, he was able to stay connected for the duration of the climb.  They spent the night in Coldfoot and hit the road the next morning heading to Atigun.  After Jack caught up right before the dangerous Pass, the rest of the trip went smoothly.

Meanwhile, Greg was grounded in Fairbanks after mechanical issues weren't addressed over the weekend in the shop.  He finally got his truck back, but didn't make it very far up the road before he had to drop his load and head back to Fairbanks for more repairs.  Lisa had a load of pipe, but she wasn't taking the relatively easy load for granted.  She spent the night in Coldfoot so she could rest up before completing the trip to Prudhoe.  After she delivered her load of pipe, she scored a coveted backhaul.  Next week, it looks like the gang is going to have to work together in a huge convoy to a remote village. It should be interesting to see Hugh and Alex working together instead of trying to beat each other.

Ice Road Truckers airs Sunday nights on History. To catch up on this season, click on over to History.com where you'll also get more information, trucker bios, and an IRT app for your iPhone.

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