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'Ice Road Truckers' Darrell: Is he thinking about heading to VP Express?

She may not always look like a hard-core trucker, but she has proven herself to be the real thing!
Photo by Rick Gershon

This season on “Ice Road Truckers” is absolutely covered in snow. Okay, yeah, it’s always covered in snow, but that so-called “polar vortex” is really showing its stuff so far. This week, white-out conditions were taking drivers down, and only the best were able to take to the roads and make it--and among those struggling was Art.

Somebody needs to just take Art aside and let him know that driving the ice roads is not for him. In fact, if he was not a cast member of a hit reality TV series, it seems unlikely that anyone would trust him with their trucks and loads. Art makes his own problems--just waiting for him to make his next wrong turn--but he seems to have more equipment problems than any of the other drivers. Perhaps he just does not do the proper checks--like make sure his chains are in good shape so they don’t snap on a nasty, snow-covered ice road--but he does seem to be plagued with such woes more than others.

Of course, the show would not be fun to watch if everything was fine and well-maintained. And, the focus is on the problems, not the smooth trips from Point A to Point B. So, perhaps Art is not as incompetent as the cameras make him seem. But, regardless, I have to admit: He’s fun to watch, wondering what he’ll screw up next, and that is the point of his particular character. So, in fact, Art is doing a great job, I guess--although, once again, he ended up stuck and waiting for help before it was all over.

Lisa is cruising along this season. She has definitely earned her stripes! However, this week she pulled an Art: With all of the snow, no mile-markers, no GPS, and a map that looked like it was drawn on a coffee-shop napkin, she missed the turn to her destination. And, what happens when you miss your turn? You have to take a 48-foot trailer and turn it around on a road barely big enough for two trucks to pass each other. And then? You get stuck in the snow in a place where no one has any intention of driving by, because (A) they are doing the smart thing and waiting out the storm and (B) they are going to make their turn and never get as far as where you sit with your truck. But, being the pro she is, she was able to get her truck unstuck--those chains work wonders--and head on toward her destination. Unfortunately, her luck did not hold, and she found herself stuck on the side of the road on the way back, just like Art. Hmmmmmm. Maybe Art doesn't do such a bad job after all.

Lisa made her delivery, as did Art, but it was not necessarily a great week for everyone at Polar. “Polar’s trucks are junk,” Darrell said this week when his truck would not start. Not only that, Polar Industries was dealing with the possible repo of a trailer that they allegedly had not paid for, fueling the war between Polar and the hired “repo company,” VP Express. Fan-favorite Alex was on his way to repo the trailer when Mark got the word of the repo, and the Polar boss certainly was not in the mood to deal with a complaining Darrell (when is Darrell NOT complaining, tho’). Darrell said he was starting to see why the others had jumped ship to start their own company; could Darrell be looking in the direction of VP, now? But, perhaps he should think twice before jumping ship: Mark was able to make a call and have VP Express banned from the town where the repo trailer sat and have Alex escorted out of town; hot-headed Darrell may not want to take that on this winter.

“Ice Road Truckers” airs on History Channel on Monday nights at 10/9c.

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