Ice Road Truckers: Ace Jack Jessee walks as Austin scores heavy-haul prize

Did Ice Road Truckers haul-road ace Jack Jessee really walk away from Carlisle for good after Austin was given the biggest heavy-haul of the season?

Did Jack Jessee really leave Ice Road Truckers?

Last night, Austin got a heavy haul—a real top-dollar heavy haul. On Carlisle boss Lane Keator’s orders, Austin got a cabin. Meanwhile, Jack got a water truck. And, when he saw that Austin got the cabin, well, he was less than pleased. But, of course, Austin was thrilled.

Dispatcher Mark Bertelson gave Austin the good news—no problem. But, he also had to give Jack the bad news.

“Austin with a cabin? Why’s he doing it?” Jack asked when he saw the orders.

“That’s bosses orders. Lane told me to give Austin the cabin,” Mark said to the haul-road ace. “Don’t be pissed at me; I’m just the messenger.” But, after Jack walked out, Mark was blunt with the camera.

“Jack’s a little bit pissed off. He seen that Austin got an oversized load, and he probably feels a little bit threatened. We’re way too busy to be always catering to one driver or another.”

Fair enough. But things might be getting personal between Lane and Jack, after Jack expressed his concerns about Austin trying to take on too much too fast. Lane responded by letting Jack know who was in charge: “Maybe you better go out and take your load, and I’ll worry about getting Austin up the road.”


Next thing you know, Austin has a cabin and the haul-road ace has a water truck—that he almost dumped on the Dalton, by the way. And, Austin did get his cabin to its destination as well, one might guess, as Jack Jessee could have done it.

Huliq readers are firmly behind driver Jack Jessee at this point, and are raising an interesting question:

  • B&J: The question isn't arrogance on Jack Jesse's part, but where is the loyalty from Carlisle Trucking & manager Layne to such a talented veteran of 15-20 yrs? Jack's concerns regarding Austin are warranted, but Layne appears not to heed such concerns. Jack has given his all to Carlisle for many years & all of a sudden takes a back seat to a cocky, arrogant 23 year old young man who thinks he knows it all. Yes Austin has talent as a trucker, but he certainly doesn't deserve such prime hauls over Jack by a long shot. Another question might be who is Austin related to or the son of a good friend at Carlisle??
  • Rick T: I too believe Austin is related to Layne or somebody in Carlisle.
  • Kat: I too believe that Austin is related to Layne, or a friend. I was glad to see someone else write what i was feeling but did not know quite how to put. and this is what the show coming to i think it will be the end of the show.

Interesting idea: Could it be that Austin is related to someone at Carlisle, and Lane is taking his cue from them? Or, then again, could it simply be that, after all, Lane is part of the show like everyone else, and this latest conflict is just part of the ongoing storyline? Or, perhaps, he really does see potential in Austin, and wanted to give the young driver a test?

But, wow, what a test--a completely put-together cabin. Still, it has to be conceded: It was a test that Austin did pass with flying colors.

Jack Jessee did leave the show once before, so if he chooses to leave again, it will not be an unprecedented decision by the haul-road ace. And, although it is fair enough to say that Carlisle cannot always be catering to certain drivers, and Austin does need to be tested if he is ever going to grow as a driver, it is equally fair for Jack to expect some loyalty from the company, and for his opinion to at least be considered, not just rejected—disrespectfully and rudely, in fact—out-of-hand.

Will Jack be back next week? And, if not, will viewers be ready to walk, as well, after losing yet another of their favorite drivers to the reality show machine?

Stay tuned.

Ice Road Truckers airs on the History Channel on Sunday nights at 9/8c.

UPDATE: Tonight's season finale of IRT sees a friendship teetering on the edge

Want to read more about Ice Road Truckers? Search "Ice Road Truckers" right here on Huliq!

Image: Wikimedia Commons


Submitted by Jb (not verified) on
Jack is facing what everyone is. You hit yours 40s or 50s - worked hard for a company ,gave a lot and are disrespected and cast aside. I feel for him- but it's pretty much the same all over. No respect. If he leaves the show, I won't watch again.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
He needs to head to Lynden Trans. They are the biggest hauler in Alaska, not the biggest heavy hauler, and I'm sure they would treat him better.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
If Carlisle is trying to force out the loyal employees for younger ones who will work for less, it doesn't say much for them. Austin is an arrogant brat who doesn't know what he wants. In one episode he was whining because he wanted to go on his own and not run with Jack, then whined because Jack was letting him learn by doing it on his own when loading a truck. He can't have it both ways. Is this what Carlisle is going to rely on? If Jack Jesse is gone, so is this viewer.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
Absolutely right. He behaves his age, that's certain.

Submitted by Rivetjoint (not verified) on
Just to put things in perspective, I heard the destination of 'North Pole' mentioned upon the delivery of the cabin. North Pole is a town near Eielson Air Force Base, about 30 miles outside of Fairbanks. In other words, Austin's run was pretty short. He surely didn't run it up to Prudhoe as was implied. Jack probably earned far more on his run up to Prudhoe than Austin did for what was a local run.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
In the opening episode, Jack said that Lane asked him to keep his eye on Austin. When he reports back to Lane, Jack gets blindsided. Yes, Austin is good and needs to be able to prove himself, but not at the expense of Jack and other veteran employees. It was not Austin that was asked to pull the double trailer over the ice. Lane forgets whom Carlile relies on. I think much of this drama is the show's scripting, but it did not make Carlile or Lane look good. I will be gone with Jack if he really has left.

Submitted by Karma (not verified) on
I see it as part of the story line, tension between Jack and Austin. I am actually watching the epi right now, dvr'd it. Layne is as much a part of the story telling as anyone.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
"We’re way too busy to be always catering to one driver or another." Really? I guess they were so busy that there were no loads assigned to Jack when he returned to the yard. Sure, Jack had a close call with the water truck, but he didn't damage his load like Austin did. Also, someone has to pay for the damaged sign. In the past episodes, I felt that Lane was a bit too defensive too fast when Jack raised concerns about Austin being a loose cannon. Jack didn't tell Lane that he should pull Austin off the road; he just told him that Austin needed to cool it a little for everyone's safety. It was Austin's cocky "superhero" attitude that got him stuck in the drift, which delayed all of the other drivers until he was pulled out. Had that been in a more remote area, that could have been a deadly mistake. If Lane asked Jack to watch over Austin, then he should be prepared to hear what the man has to say, or he needs to pry himself out of his desk chair and ride along with Austin and do it himself. He had the time to personally go watch Austin drop off the cabin....

Submitted by Zach (not verified) on
The show is completely scripted. The producers want tension between the drivers.

Submitted by Carole (not verified) on
I don't see how hitting an overhead sign and delivering the cabin damaged could be considered passing the "test" with flying colors.

Well, if you're just looking at it in purely black-and-white terms, as in, absolutely nothing going wrong whatsoever/period, I can see your point. However, in my opinion, as it was his first attempt at such a haul; he got the thing there with only a bump to a sign and no real damage to the cabin (I mean, really, the downspout was just separated--pop it back together, you're good to go. Perhaps a little scrape to the paint, but, really, no real "damage" was done); his boss was happy; and, most of all, the owner of the cabin was happy, overall, he did a really good job. So, yes, taking everything into consideration, I think he passed his first test with flying colors.

Submitted by red pepper (not verified) on
Is it only me or are the drivers whinning more this year than ever? Austin needs his rear end kicked.ccesswi

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
What is funny to me is the comparison between Darrell Ward and Austin. Both arrogant, both Haul Road rookies, both hauling heavy loads, both want to go fast. The comparison stops there. When Darrell was convoying with Porkchop, he slowed down to allow the suddenly cautious fellow-rookie to keep pace. When Austin convoyed with Jack, he left Jack in the dust miles behind. At one point, they even lost radio contact. Austin is low on my list of favorite IRT drivers, and Jack should not be thrown under the bus for a rookie. Austin is a decent driver, but he definitely needs to learn some things from veterans like Jack. I won't stop watching, though, until Alex leaves.

Submitted by Karma (not verified) on
Actually Darrell left Porkchop behind. He was awaiting n Coldfoot at least 2hrs for Porkchop (according to the narrator) and then he left him again the next day on the pass but waited in the chain off area.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
Yes, he did get far ahead, but he stopped. What I am saying is that Carlile, at least the way the show portrays it, tells its operators to keep together somewhat. Darrell walked the edge, and Austin went over.

Submitted by Plunkett (not verified) on
why is it that your article writer and Lane and even the shows narrator keep saying austyn passed his test with flying colors??? am I the only one that saw that he damaged government property (the overhead signage) and damaged the drain spout on the cabin? that's not passing with flying colors!! it could have been worse, yes, but It he did hit the sign!!!

Submitted by TRINI FROEDE (not verified) on

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
I started watching Ice Road Truckers because of Jack Jesse. I will not watch if he is not on it. I think Lane was totally rude to him and I was shocked by how that went down. Austin is full of himself and he just might get him or someone else killed with his arrogance. Jack is always safe no matter what, and he is smart. I love Jack Jesse

Submitted by Jb (not verified) on
It's the new American way. Doesn't matter if you are a dedicated hard working skilled individual working in a place for 25 years and proving yourself every day. New employees on their first day will be given what took you years to be given.. And you are viewed as someone to get rid of because they want to have the new younger ones looking up to them. It's the same thing as trophy wives in a way. Not Austin's fault- he is just trying to do his job. Although he does whine and throw a fit if anyone with experience tells him anything he should be doing. .