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Alex Debogorski Faced A Tricky Family Challenge During Ice Road Truckers

The History reality series "Ice Road Truckers" introduced viewers to the dangerous yet captivating world of long-haul truck drivers in the Arctic regions of Alaska and Canada. The show, which premiered in 2007, proved to be a huge hit, keeping fans on the edges of their seats for 11 seasons. It even helped Liam Neeson better prepare for his role in Netflix's action movie "The Ice Road," as the actor watched episodes of "Ice Road Truckers" for research. 

Part of the show's appeal lies in the brutal conditions the titular truckers have to drive in. Driving trucks on regular highways is considered a very stressful job, one that requires constant vehicle maintenance and forgoing sleep in order to meet tight deadlines (via USA Today). Add in slick roads and ice storms that you can't see through, and you get a mix of problems that few souls would dare to endure. Simply put, ice road trucking isn't an easy job. 

However, beside the dangerous weather and difficult routes, "Ice Road Truckers" cast member Alex Debogorski says there's another obstacle that many don't initially consider, and it's one that ends up being just as draining as any physical challenge the truckers face.

Debogorski says the family dynamic changes when truckers are away on the road

Debogorski was on "Ice Road Truckers" up until the series' end in 2017. Given his experience driving on icy roads, it's easy to see why he was featured so prominently on the show. Per History, the trucker has multiple decades' worth of experience steering a big-rig down icy roads. This means that Debogorski has a wealth of knowledge about how his job affects various areas of a person's life. For instance, during a 2009 interview with Trucker News, Debogorski highlighted how his job changed his family dynamic.

"When you leave home for any amount of time, a couple of months at a time, the pecking order gets reorganized," Debogorski said. Debogorski further elaborated that, as the patriarch, when he comes back home, he doesn't feel like he's in charge anymore — the rest of his large family, which includes 11 kids and nine grandkids, manages to do fine without him. A lot of that is out of necessity, as Debogorski notes that his family members look after each other while he's out doing his job. Still, it's never easy for a family to survive when a member's absent due to their career, and readjusting after returning from a long stint away has to be stressful for any parent.

Debogorski claims that patience is key in his career

As tough as ice road trucking is, the job pays decent money and is a solid way to care for a family. Per U.S. Workforce, the most the drivers can potentially make in a year is approximately $100,000. However, keep in mind that the risks increase along with the pay. In addition to taking drivers away from their families, the job comes with many other challenges, and most people would probably be better off undertaking regular truck driving instead. For those who have their hearts set on braving the icy roads and skillfully transporting huge freight through hazardous conditions, however, Debogorski believes that one quality is key to making it all work.

During a 2019 interview with Lanefinder, Debogorski noted that education and a strong sense of situational awareness are essential for truckers, but with everything from the weather to dispatchers causing stress, a lack of patience means that you probably won't drive too far. "I mean, you need the patience of Job if you're gonna be a good truck driver," Debogorski said. "Otherwise, you're gonna drive yourself nuts because everything is affecting you."