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Hugh Rowland Explains The Competitive Nature Of Ice Road Truckers

History's "Ice Road Truckers" is a series that focuses on the absurdly dangerous careers of the titular ice road truckers in the Arctic north — who drive across large stretches of frozen water in order to complete their shipping routes each year. These grueling journeys across the continuously cracking ice are usually complemented by horrific storms and blizzards, making the life of an ice road trucker one of constant danger on all sides.

On top of battling the intense and chaotic conditions out on these deadly ice roads, the show also emphasizes the overtly competitive nature of this profession — to the point where there have even been a few key instances of fights breaking out when rival truck drivers think that their opponents could be stealing their business. Indeed, longtime fans of the series will know that the competition between truckers is something that is emphasized throughout each season — though surprisingly, "Ice Road Truckers" cast member Hugh Rowland asserts that this aspect of the series was mostly invented for television.

Hugh Rowland says the truckers don't actually compete with each other, despite what the show says

During an interview for Fox Car Report, "Ice Road Truckers" star Hugh Rowland (who was a major focal point of the series throughout its first eight seasons until a gruesome injury forced his exit from the show back in 2014) explained that he doesn't really buy into the "competitive nature" of the show. "Yeah, the show's not really a competition; it's just business," Rowland said. "24 hours a day, seven days a week. You get all them loads in, as many loads as you can get ... the show tries to make a competition out of it, but yeah, I usually pull her off pretty good."

Anybody familiar with the conventions of reality television ought not to be too surprised by Rowland's surprisingly candid admission about the show's competitive nature, as much and more of reality television is simply fabricated for the sake of entertainment. Indeed, although the show likes to pit the success of certain truck drivers against their struggling counterparts, Rowland asserted that at the end of the day, each trucker is just trying to make it to the end of their route — not worrying about how much they deliver in relation to their series co-stars.

Although it may disappoint some fans to learn that the show's "competitive nature" is falsified for the sake of drama, it's still somewhat reassuring to know that the truckers don't have to deal with the added pressure of competition on top of all the dangers they face on the ice roads themselves.