Meet the Truckers

Ice Road Truckers Take on the Himalayas

Premieres 28th July, Thursdays, 10pm on HISTORY™

Seasoned drivers Lisa Kelly, Rick Yemm and Dave Redmon are headed from Alaska to the Himalayas and the ancient highways of India, where there is a casualty on the roads every 4.5 minutes. From the crowded streets of Delhi to treacherously steep, narrow and congested roads blasted into mountainsides, they’re about to embark on an exhilarating, exhausting and terrifying adventure.

India’s Himalayan roadways are among the oldest on the planet. Dating back to 206 B.C., the Himalayas were an integral part of the famous Silk Routes, connecting Central Asia with South Asia, and creating a bridge between the culturally and religiously diverse countries of India, China, Afghanistan, Nepal and Bhutan.

This season, the drivers will cover two main routes, each with its share of difficulties and dangers: the NH21 and NH22.

Starting out on NH22 in Shimla, the “highway” heads northeast through the town of Rampur, onto the villages of Tapri, Karcham, Kuppa, and Kalpa. Cut somewhat haphazardly out of mountain cliff-sides, parts of NH22 have earned fear-inducing nicknames like “Freefall Freeway,” “The Cutouts,” “Breakaway Bend,” “The Ledge” and “Angry Mountain.”

In many places along “the Cutouts,” only enough rock has been blasted out of the mountains to allow one vehicle to pass at a time. The drivers have to both be aware of the 1,000-foot cliff they’re driving along and scraping the top of their truck on the rock ceiling. “Breakaway Bend” challenges drivers to dangers of the unnatural kind–too much blasting has weakened the mountain from below, leading to not only potholes, but, in some places, total roadway failure. The road could give away from under the wheels of the truck at any moment.

On NH21, things only get worse. From Shimla, the drivers head north, straight into the heart of the Himalayas, toward Manali and onto Keylong. The real troubles aren’t in the towns though; it’s between them, as drivers are forced to cross the Rohtang Pass. Whether it’s dodging landslides, rain or heavy snow; all-day traffic jams and weeks-long road closures, sometimes getting anywhere at all is too much to ask

Meet the Truckers

Rick Yemm
A veteran of the Canadian ice roads, Rick isn’t short on confidence, and he’ll need it every minute of every day on the Indian roads. Sporting his bright blue mohawk, he’s not afraid to announce he’s out of his element, but that won’t stop him from saying or doing what he wants, all with the goal of becoming king of the road. Rick’s biggest problem is dealing with his spotter, Abdul, or as he’s more affectionately known, Boyo.

Lisa Kelly
Lisa’s got the tough job to prove that she, a woman, has what it takes to captain her truck in a country where women aren’t normally seen behind the wheel of any vehicle. Don’t let her pretty exterior fool you, though, she’s a tough tomboy through and through, with the tenacity and guile to champion any road in the world. Lisa’s spotter is Toshi, the most bilingual out of the group, and Lisa makes it her mission to learn as much as she can from him.

Dave Redmon
Dave’s a good ol’ boy from Alabama. He’ll have his no-nonsense, even-keeled temperament tested on the wild Himalayan roads, and hopefully his practical, rough-around-the-edges technique will prevail. Called in to replace Alex, he’s forced to learn fast and play catch-up with the others, but he’s got the skills to make it happen. With Alex gone, spotter Sanjeev jumps into the cab with Dave, and turns every drive into a jolly-good time.

Short Synopsis

Three of America and Canada’s toughest truck drivers are crossing borders and tackling some of the most extreme roads in one of the worlds most unforgiving environments: the Himalayas. Navigating the highways of India some of the deadliest on the planet – will test everything they’ve learned in more than 40 years of combined experience, and force them to adapt to road and driver conditions they’ve never encountered before. Whether its driving along 1,000 ft. high cliffs, dodging avalanches, failing to communicate in a different language, staying cool in temperatures over 115 degrees, staying warm in temperatures below freezing, or simply driving on the other side of the road, nerves will be tested and lives will be put on the line this season in IRT Deadliest Roads.


Episode 1: Freefall Freeway
Premieres 28th July, Thursday, 10pm
Encores: 29th July – Friday 12am, 30th July – Saturday 10pm, 1st August – Monday 8pm, 4th August – Thursday 9pm, 6th August – Saturday 9pm

Ice Road Truckers Alex Debogorski, Rick Yemm, and Lisa Kelly make a living driving the deadly ice roads of North America, but they’ve never seen anything like this. To prove they’re the best drivers in the world, the truckers head to India to take on the extreme mountain roads of the Himalayas. As Lisa battles the heat and struggles to make the transition from Alaska, Alex slams into not one, but two vehicles out on the crowded roadways. Rick risks a head-on collision with multiple buses that refuse to give up an inch of road as they fly toward him at top speed.

Episode 2: Pushed to the Ledge
Premieres 4th August, Thursday, 10pm
Encores: 5th August – Friday 12am, 6th August – Saturday 10pm, 11th August – Thursday 9pm, 13th August – Saturday 9pm

After surviving their first few days in India, the truckers face the most dangerous journey of their lives. Rick and Lisa go deeper into the Himalayas and up a new stretch of road called The Ledge–a one lane cliff-side path with a rock wall on one side and a sheer thousand-foot drop on the other. On the perilous journey up, Rick is bullied by local drivers, and Lisa panics while being forced to the edge of a cliff. Alabama highway trucker Dave Redmon joins the team and quickly has the most terrifying ride of his career. With one trucker already beaten by these roads, one of these three veterans may be the next to surrender.
Episode 3: Facing Fear
Premieres 11th August, Thursday, 10pm
Encores: 12th August – Friday 12am, 13th August – Saturday 10pm, 15th August – Monday 8pm, 18th August – Thursday 9pm, 21th August – Sunday 9pm

Alabama trucker Dave Redmon stares down the notorious Freefall Freeway in a truck that is in horrible need of repair. Roadside maintenance costs him valuable time and he must face driving the roads with terrifying drop-offs at night or risk being late with his very first load. Lisa heads back up to The Ledge, the narrow stretch of road that caused her to quit the last time she drove it. But this time, a flat tire leaves her teetering on the edge of the abyss. And the crowded roads finally bring Rick to the breaking point. The oncoming traffic sends him into an angry fit on the side of the road and when his greatest rival–the aggressive bus driver–attempts to pass him on a narrow stretch, Rick refuses to back down, even with oncoming traffic bearing down on them both.

Episode 4: Dead is a Blind Corner Away
Premieres 18th August, Thursday, 10pm
Encores: 19th August – Friday 12am, 20th August – Saturday 10pm, 22nd August – Monday 8pm, 25th August – Thursday 9pm, 27th August – Saturday 9pm

When the mountain begins to crumble underfoot, Lisa is in grave danger with an oversized nine-ton load in tow. The unstable road gives way and claims its first victims. Fearing the worst about Lisa, Rick gets news from home that forces him to make a decision that will determine his fate in the Himalayas. Dave’s close scrape with the side of an oncoming bus causes the angry occupants to surround his vehicle in a showdown on a narrow ledge, a thousand feet up.

Episode 5: Crumbling Roads
Premieres 25th August, Thursday, 10pm
Encores: 26th August – Friday 12am, 27th August – Saturday 10pm, 29th August – Monday 8pm, 1st September – Thursday 9pm, 3rd September – Saturday 9pm

After receiving more good news from home, Rick decides to stay. He and Lisa drive higher into the Himalayas than ever before with fragile statues of a Hindu goddess. Rockslides and tight roads force the drivers into dangerous situations, and risk breaking the sacred statue–making the whole trip worthless. Dave tackles the notorious “Ledge” for the first time, all while dealing with an oversized load and oncoming traffic.

Episode 6: Thin Air
Premieres 1st September, Thursday, 10pm
Encores: 2nd September – Friday 12am, 3rd September – Saturday 10pm, 5th September- Monday 8pm, 8th September – Thursday 9pm, 10th September – Saturday 9pm

After conquering the Freefall Freeway, the Cutouts, and the Ledge, all three drivers climb higher, to over 13,000 feet, as they tackle the Rohtang Pass for the first time. Rick delivers a sacred Buddha statue between monasteries. Lisa brings much needed supplies into Keylong–a city normally cut off by snowy winters. Now the snow’s melting, and roads are falling apart under rivers and gushing waterfalls.

Episode 7: Cut Off!
Premieres 8th September, Thursday, 10pm
Encores: 9th September – Friday 12am, 10th September – Saturday 10pm, 11thSeptember – Monday 8pm, 15th September – Thursday 9pm, 17th September – Saturday 9pm

After a severe storm strands Rick, Lisa, and Dave in Keylong, Rick leads the charge back over the Rohtang Pass, betting against Mother Nature and the dangerous road. Dave and Rick deal with an aggressive Indian driver, and after the drivers hit their boiling point, they all get caught in a landslide.

Episode 8: Overloaded!
Premieres 15th September, Thursday, 10pm
Encores: 16th September – Friday 12am, 17th September – Saturday 10pm, 19th September – Monday 8pm, 22nd September – Thursday 9pm, 24th September – Saturday 9pm

Tensions hit a high point between Lisa her spotter Tashi, forcing Lisa to think about saying goodbye to Tashi and forging ahead alone. Dave’s forced to stop in the middle of his run to deal with his overweight load. Rick battles through illness to make his trip on time, giving everything he can into delivering on time.

Episode 9: Pile of Corpses
Premieres 22nd September, Thursday, 10pm
Encores: 23nd September – Friday 12am, 24th September Saturday – 10pm, 26th September – Monday 8pm, 29thSeptember – Thursday 9pm, 1st October – Saturday 9pm

A snowstorm threatens to cut the drivers’ runs short atop the Rohtang pass. Rick’s spotter Boyo leaves Rick for a better job, forcing Rick to go it alone. Lisa and Dave drive as fast as they can to beat the storm, but are slowed by mobs of people on the pass. All three drivers get caught driving in darkness and Lisa battles fatigue–struggling to stay awake.

Episode 10: Explosive Cargo
Premieres 29thSeptember, Thursday, 10pm
Encores: 30th September – Friday 12am, 1st October – Saturday 10pm, 3rd October – Monday 8pm, 6th October – Thursday 9pm, 8th October – Saturday 9pm

As the season comes to a close, the drivers have one last assignment, and it’s their most dangerous and important: deliver barrels of aviation fuel for helicopter rescue missions. Rick and Lisa are going on alone, with no spotters to help on the snowy roads. Dave learns he’s not out of the woods yet and gets in yet another accident. And at the end, only one driver competes the final load.

The Spotters
Riding shotgun are the requisite Indian “spotters” who help navigate the bewildering roadways and, when necessary, help out in a tight spot. They speak very little English and are either devout Muslim or Hindu and yet they are the best at what they do — like sherpas on a mountaineering expedition. All Indian drivers in the Himalayas use spotters and our drivers are no different. Having a spotter is part of the experience. But they’re people, too. Expect them to react to imminent danger and hilarity equally as they bond with their U.S. and Canadian counterparts.

The Trucks

The hot, loud, rudimentary trucks are right-side drive and must stay on the OPPOSITE SIDE OF THE ROAD from what the drivers are used to. Decked out in individual designs, they challenge one another for dominance.

The trucks that Rick, Alex, Lisa and Dave will be driving are Tata model 1613s. Each truck is elaborately painted with vibrant colors and adorned with depictions of religious idols to protect the driver from the perils of the road. While they may look dependable from the outside, they offer little in the way of protection. The chassis is the only part of this truck that is made of steel, while the cab is constructed entirely of wood. The 150hp engines, right-side driver’s seat and crude engineering only add to the danger our truckers will experience on a daily basis. One false move could send the entire vehicle careening off a 1,200-foot cliff.

Quick Facts

History of the Himalayan Roadways

• India’s Himalayan roadways date back to 206 B.C.

• India’s Himalayan roadways date back nearly 3,000 years.

• The Himalayan roadways were part of the Silk Route, connecting South and Central Asia.

• Himlayan roadways began as crude trading routes, transporting exotic goods and allowing for the spread of ideas, culture and religion.

• The Silk Road was crucial to the growth of the great civilizations of China, India, Egypt, Persia, Arabia and Rome.

• Around 1800, construction started to turn the once narrow yak trails into a more modernized trade route.

Silk Route Travel Facts

• There is a casualty on the ancient Indian highways every 4.5 minutes.

• The Himalayan roads have sheer drop offs of 1,200 feet.

• The Himalayan roads lead up to altitudes as high as 13,000 feet.

• The Himalayan roads are prone to landslides, snow and rickety bridges worn by the weather.

• Unexpected storms hit the roads frequently, dropping visibility to zero.

• The 2600km Grand Trunk Road is the busiest road in India.

Himalayan Roadway specifics

• Along “the Cutouts,” there is only enough space for one vehicle to pass at a time. The drivers have to struggle between a 1,000-foot drop and scraping the top of their truck on the rock ceiling.

• The road under the “Breakaway Bend” is so unstable that it could give away at any moment.

• “The Ledge” is a new stretch of road, but it is just a one lane cliff-side path with a rock wall on one side and a sheer thousand-foot drop on the other.

• The pace of travel is extremely slow, i.e. 3 days for a 300km journey.

Driving the Himalayan Roadway

• All Indian truck drivers have “spotters” who help navigate and sometimes diffuse difficult situations.

• It is obligatory to wear seat belts on the Himalayan roadways.

• All Indian trucks are elaborately painted Tata model 1613s adorned with religous depictions of religious to protect the driver from the perils of the road.

• The truck chassis is the only part that is made of steel, while the cab is constructed entirely of wood.

Written by Budiey

Penggemar filem seram yang obses dengan gajet & teknologi terkini dan masih tegar menjadi pengendali portal hiburan & gaya hidup sejak tahun 2007. Kini aktif menjadi Youtuber & Podcaster yang menemubual selebriti dalam BORAK SINI HABIS SINI dan menerbitkan program BULETIN VIRAL di Budiey Channel.

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