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Ice Road Truckers' Alex Debogorski Has Unique Advice For Future Truckers

Fans of History Channel's "Ice Road Truckers" know that driving hundreds of tons of supplies across frozen lakes and rivers that could crack underneath you at any moment is not for the faint of heart. Nor is it a job that just anyone with any skillset can hop into. This is a job that requires serious experience.

That may seem obvious but it's worth mentioning because a number of folks believe that the manual labor of "blue collar" jobs doesn't require much in the way of skill or education, which simply isn't true. The requirements for trades such as an ironworker or electrician should dispel that myth but nonetheless, it does endure.

So, it's no surprise that Alex Debogorski –- who was the face of "Ice Road Truckers" for its 11 seasons -– thinks quite highly about the role that education and training can play for those looking to get into his line of work.

'We need more smart truck drivers'

During a 2019 interview with Lanefinder at the MATS2019 trucking show, Alex Debogorski was asked what advice he has for those looking to get into the trucking industry. He replied that it depends on their age but for younger folks, "I'll say 'go to school.' Go to tech school. Go to college. Go to university, get more education before you become a truck driver. We need more smart truck drivers."

Debogorski elaborated on his belief that truckers should be well-informed and engaged members of society, who know the ins and outs of their industry, as well as that of the world around them. He said that truckers need to be informed politically to know how laws and other political changes can affect them. He also said that the engaged trucker needs to know how to read and write well to be able to effect change and reach out to politicians to make things happen. 

He also noted that the industry needs more truckers who understand the massive technological changes – such as self-driving trucks — that are bearing down on it. "They're talking about AI [artificial intelligence], they're talking about electric trucks," he said. "Things are changing. Times are changing. So, we need some education," he continued. He summed up his thoughts with a belief he's always had, "For the uneducated, everything's a surprise." There are already enough surprises in the world of ice truck driving, so it sounds like Debogorski's advice is a way to cope with that.