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Ice Road Truckers' Hugh Rowland Started Being A Truck Driver When He Was Just A Teenager

If there's anything "Ice Road Truckers" has taught us, it's that hauling tons of supplies across the frozen tundra of the far north isn't just a job, it's a calling. The rewards can be great, but so can the danger. It's no wonder that some of the characters that fans grew to love and root for on the History Channel reality series became truckers when they were still relatively young.

One of these was Hugh Rowland. The fan favorite known as "Polar Bear" told Hollywood Soapbox in 2012 that he had been hauling supplies for the gold and diamond mines across the ice roads since he was a teenager. "One day they had a load going up to one of the goldmines and they said, 'Do you want to go?' And, of course, that was big money back then," Rowland recalled. "You'd take a couple days off work and go make $500-$600 in one trip. I said, 'Yeah, I'll go.'"

Ice road truckers can be paid extremely well

Hugh Rowland continued his career in ice road trucking because the pay was so good. As more and more diamond and gold mines began opening, there was more work, and, according to Rowland, it started getting so busy that he ended up purchasing his own trucks. By the time "Ice Road Truckers" came knocking, he was already one of the most successful in the business.

Naturally, the high pay for ice road truckers is intended to compensate for how extremely dangerous the occupation can be. One report on AltDriver.com noted that truck drivers have the potential to earn a year's salary in just a few months. In some instances, experienced ice road truckers have claimed to have earned more than $100,000 in a single season, making the profession tempting.

That kind of money will sound good to almost anyone. Whether it's worth the risk of the job is down to the individual, though. Rowland himself has commented on how unnerving it can be to hear the ice crack under your truck, and that some first-time truckers will even quit before their first run is up.