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Hugh Rowland Says Ice Road Truckers Makes Them Look Like Cowboys

"Ice Road Truckers" is a History Channel series that ran from 2007 to 2017. The series explores the dangerous world of drivers crossing frozen bodies of water and other rugged, icy terrains to deliver supplies to remote locations in Alaska and portions of Canada. Driving large semi-trucks and other carrier vehicles is already a dangerous profession, but seeing them on the road is so normalized most people might not think anything of them.

"Ice Road Truckers" is in a similar vein to shows like "Deadliest Catch" and "Gold Rush." Designed to follow real-life professionals doing their day-to-day job, each series focuses on ordinary people who take on dangerous jobs every day. These jobs are not traditionally considered overtly hazardous, but when getting into the nitty gritty, they can be a matter of life or death.

Hugh Rowland, who is one of two truckers who has been in over 100 episodes of "Ice Road Truckers," initially didn't think the show would ever take off because he thought nobody would be interested in watching. During a 2016 interview, Rowland talked about how he raised his family to do the job, how dangerous it is, and how the show the show didn't always capture said danger. 

"Some parts of that show make us look like we're a bunch of cowboys," Rowland said, "and we're really not. It's a very serious job. You gotta respect the ice, or somebody's gonna die."

Ice Road Truckers glorified some of the danger

Later on in the 2016 interview, Rowland commented on how he and the other Truckers were portrayed as cowboys. When the interviewer mentioned the appeal of the show is the danger, Rowland responded that "the show don't quite cut it."

As the interviewer pointed out, the dangerous aspect of the job is probably what drew in most of the "Ice Road Truckers" audience. Rowland agreed that it was why fans liked it so much. 

The reality of the job is filled with hazards. Not taking the dangerous journeys across the ice seriously or making one honest mistake could result in disaster. While it's a macabre realization, people tend to be entertained by that sort of risk. 

"I guess that's the dangerous part [and] why everybody likes the show so much," Rowland said, "because they do thrive on that."

Rowland has been on the ice since he was a kid. While he admitted the money's good, he also said he sticks with the job because it's in his blood; however, his relationship with the ice is complicated. The risk of the job mixed with being away from his family and friends makes it a difficult position to be in. 

"I've been doing it for so long," Rowland said. "It just gets in your blood, and I just can't wait to go up there every year. I'm glad when it's over so I can get home, but I can't wait to go up every year either."