What Do Ice Truckers Make?
Ice road truckers can make anywhere from $20,000 to $80,000 for the season. Remember the season is normally 2-3 months long, depending on the weather. This salary is for approximately 6 weeks of work. That is a large amount of money to earn, in such a short period of time. Sometimes the salary of a ice road truckers will depend on their driving experience, mechanical skill/knowledge, increased road dangers and the trucking company. Ice road truck drivers with a lot of experience and skill can earn upwards of $120,000 in the 6-8 weeks that they work. That is a full year salary for a regular OTR truck driver.
Ice road truck driving jobs are interesting, dangerous, stressful and very high paying. Most of these jobs are located in Canada and Alaska. Only a very limited number of truck drivers will ever get the chance to experience this type of truck driving. There are many hardships involved in being an ice road trucker. You are away from family for a few months and you put your life in danger every second that you are in that truck on the ice roads.
The roads that you will drive on are only viable for select months of the year, normally between January and March. Of course that also depends on the weather and mother nature. Rest assured that if you do choose this profession and you are one of the few who get hired, the roads are very well maintained and patrolled as best as they can be.
Most of these ice road trucking jobs are available because of the gold mines in the Northern Territories and parts of Alaska. They have to have a way to get fuel, supplies, food, parts and other necessities. Flying them in on an airplane is approximately 3 times the cost of using an ice road trucking company. Some of the parts and equipment that they need, is too large to have flown in and so they need the ice road truckers to survive and maintain their work.
The accommodations vary, depending on the trucking company. There are many out there and they strive to provide the best that they can for each of their drivers. They have food available and sleeping quarters for the few hours that the drivers are not on the road. Ice road truckers don’t need a lot of money, but they will definitely want to have snacks in the truck with them, in case of an emergency. The trucking companies also strive to have their drivers maximize their time on the road, due to the shortness of the season. They need to haul as many loads as possible. Specialty training is provided for those drivers who are new to the ice roads. There may also be full time positions available at the end of the season.
Canadian driving hours allow for 15 hours on the road, each day. 20 miles per hour is the maximum speed that you can travel on the ice roads. Also realize that with the earth’s rotation pattern, during peak season for the ice road truckers, you will be doing most of your driving at night. Rest breaks are of course allowed during that drive time; but beware that stopping spots are widely spread out as it is unsafe for too much weight to be on the ice, idle, at the same time.
Most of the ice road trucking companies in Canada, prefer to hire Canadian citizens, just because it is a much simpler process. But there are companies out there that will hire outside of Canada. It is a well known fact that it isn’t easy to land a job as an ice road trucker. They are a family and very tight knit; so unless you are “referred” by someone or you know someone personally in the business, you may not get the opportunity. But you never know, so please don’t be discouraged.
This career choice is a risky one, so here are just a few things you should know before you send off that application:
1. 70% turnover rate. Not everyone is equipped to take on this type of stressful challenge.
2. average daily temperature is -37 degrees
3. -50 to -70 degrees is common, especially when there are wind chills involved. When it is that cold outside, you are also at risk for multiple things to go wrong with your truck and you are at risk for hypothermia.
4. There are fractures in the ice, accidents that are unavoidable and white outs that will impact the number of trips that you can complete in the season.
There are over 15 ice road trucking companies in Canada (and Alaska) with potential openings for this seasonal position. Some of them ask that you have applications in by a deadline date, because they do offer some training before the season starts. Make sure you thoroughly read their requirements before filling out and submitting your application. Some of the drivers feel that the reward is worth the risk. A full years salary in 6 weeks time; is amazing. But the risks of driving on the icy roads, at night, are more prominent that the risks of an over the road trucker.
Below is a list of the major ice road trucking companies in Canada:
* Big Bear Trucking (CA) Hay River, NorthWT. Canada
* Heron’s Trucking (CA) Fort Smith, NWT 867-872-2582
* Grimshaw Trukcing (CA) Yellowknife, NorthWT. Canada. 867-873-4548
* Dickson’s Trucking (CA) Yellowknife, NorthWT. Canada 867-873-1754
* Island Valley Oil Ltd (CA) Norman Wells, NWT 867-587-2587
* Expedite North (CA) http://www.grimshaw-trucking.com
* Liard Valley Trucking (CA) Fort Liard, NWT Canada 867-770-4432
* K and D Contracting (CA) NWT Canada X0E 0A0 Phone# 867-978-2792
* Moore Trucking (CA)
* Robinson Enterprises Ltd http://www.westcanbulk.ca
* TLI CHO Landtran Transport Ltd http://www.landtran.com www.tlicholandtran.com
* Northwest Transport www.nwtl.com