This week on the History Channel's Ice Road Truckers, Austin had another chance to prove himself as a heavy hauler.
“This will be the biggest load I’ve ever pushed,” he said. “It’s gonna be awesome. I’ve never carried anything this big up the Dalton, or pushed anything up the Dalton this big.”
Austin’s driving has been pretty good this season, and the boss, Lane, has been happy, giving him larger and larger challenges. But between his baby-faced looks and near-constant whining, he’s been unable to gain the respect of other drivers. On this heavy haul—a 100-ton modular building that Carlile guaranteed to get to Prudhoe Bay in 72 hours—Austin was paired with heavy haulers Greg Vance and Carlile legend Carey Hall.
“This season I want to get the respect of other drivers, that’s my number one goal,” Austin explained. “The only way to do that is to be able to come up here and take over the Dalton Highway as a heavy haul driver.”
The trip had problems from the beginning. The load was so big, just getting it out of the parking lot was a challenge, and it ended up in the ditch. Luckily, the trailer wheels could be adjusted by remote control, and the problem was quickly solved, although the delivery deadline made every delay a major one.
A “test push” on the way got the threesome working together, but not far into the haul, Greg Vance’s push truck started having brake issues. Carey had to call for help on the repair.
“We were doing pretty good until this brake can came up, but we need Greg,” Austin observed. “It’s really hard to say what time we get to Coldfoot, depends, but I’m guessing probably late tonight. And, I’m not really happy about it.”
Oh? The other guys seemed ecstatic.
Carey Hall: A True Professional
In contrast to Austin’s whining, Carey assessed the problem like the experienced heavy hauler he is: “Hopefully it won’t be too long. Can’t really afford it, but it is what it is. Things happen. Things go wrong, they break, you know.”
The brake issue was fixed, and the team was back on the road. But, on down the road, in the darkness, “The engine is not running smoothly like it should,” Carey observed. And, Austin’s own observation was telling: “I’ve already lost a lot of hours on this haul due to broken-down trucks.”
Me, me, me, I, I, I.
Austin, of course, was offended when Carey shot down his offer to take lead on the haul.
“I feel like they should let me pull this load. I know I could do it. Yeah, I don’t have a lot of experience in it, but I still know I could do it. Just my age and inexperience. But, gotta give people a chance to do that kind of stuff to prove to the bosses that you can do it.”
True enough, but that would be a call for the bosses to make—no way Carey should have put himself out on a limb like that.
Perhaps it’s just the way he expresses himself; maybe he doesn’t mean to whine; but while the other guys just kind of roll with the punches, Austin always seems to find a way to make it all about him and his desire to hurry up and get finished. Maybe at this early stage of his career, he does not have the patience to be a heavy hauler.
But, again, that is a call for the bosses to make.
Ice Road Truckers airs on the History Channel on Sunday nights at 9/8c.
Image: Wikimedia Commons