Imagine riding a massive truck on a road that used to be water, that’s what ice road truckers do. It is a combination of long-haul trucking and ice road trucking that brave drivers choose to do.
Both long-haul and ice road trucking require dealing with long hours, bad weather, and a lot of solo time. However, for ice truckers, there is also a formidable risk. That’s why they receive in a few months what long-haul truckers do in a whole year.
The idea of driving a massive truck on a road that is essentially water seems too far-fetched to comprehend. Up next we’re going to tell you how people earn big with ice road trucking.
Overview: What They Do
A trucker who operates mainly during the winter months is called an ice road trucker. Ponds and lakes freeze during the winter and with that roads are built on the lakes for trucks to carry supplies to remote communities.
Many towns and cities would rush in supplies with a window lasting a few months when the weather is cold enough. This need brings in massive demand for experienced people, as well as a corresponding wage.
In the winter months, ice road truckers must transport goods and supplies to and from their destinations when lakes and roads freeze over. In Alaska and Canada, oil rigs and mine workers depend solely on ice truckers.
They supply fuel, food, equipment, and supplies through frozen waterways. During the winter months, ice truckers also distribute to grocery stores, restaurants, and other places that require fresh food.
Skills and Responsibilities
Ice road truckers need to be secure in their driving abilities, as well as truck repair experience. While trucking companies provide lodging and food, there are no stops along the way for trucks or repairs.
In severe temperatures that can literally freeze parts of the vehicle, Ice Road Truckers drive an average of 15 mph. Ice truck drivers need to be prepared for the unexpected, with very little light and no cell-phone reception.
Requirements and Qualifications
To become an ice road trucker, no more than a high school diploma is necessary. To acquire the requisite skills and learn interstate truck driving rules, most drivers attend a certified truck driving school.
For driving on snowy highways, trucking companies have specialist training. Long-haul truck drivers should have a commercial driver’s license (CDL) in addition to qualifications.
Although CDL specifications differ by state, it is essential to pass a driving test and a written test.
Adequate vision, hearing and physical fitness, hand-eye coordination, and a willingness to operate in harsh weather conditions are other primary requirements for ice truckers.
As of May 2017, the median wage is $42,480 for heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers. Although many truckers earn that salary in a year in just a few months, ice road truckers can make it.
The salary of the Ice Road Trucker was reported as high as $250,000. The sum charged by ice road truckers, as with all long-haul truckers, depends on the number of miles driven, freight type, the danger level of the route, and the employer.
Furthermore, the rate rise also entails an increased risk and a higher anticipated amount of truck fixing and repair experience. Nothing is more comfortable in this line of work than keeping a firm head on your shoulders.
As ice road trucking is a dangerous job, drivers should know about the workmen’s compensation they are entitled to before starting. A crack of the ice can have you sitting at home for months.
Where to Apply
Trucking companies hire ice truckers, either only during the winter months or on other roads full time. They are faced with harsh weather, such as temperatures below freezing, avalanches, whiteouts, and thin ice.
With their loads, ice truckers must be extremely vigilant, measuring turns at reasonable speeds and making adjustments for difficult patches of ice or terrain.
The drivers must also make deliveries on time while taking care not to damage their trucks or costly supplies. For ice truckers, spending months away from home, alone, can be challenging.
You can try sites like SimplyHired, Indeed, or ZipRecruiter.
Many companies that need ice road trips provide lodging and food at the mining camps for free. During a driver’s first season, trucking companies usually take care of all specialty training.
There are very few ice trucker positions open for those who want the job, making it a highly competitive industry. Despite this, there is a very high turnover, as drivers don’t know how dangerous it is until they get on the road.