The first show Dave Redmon was a part of for The History Channel was IRT: Deadliest Roads, in the Himalayas. Dave was called onto the front lines to replace Alex Debogorski, hitting the roads of India with Rick Yemm and Lisa Kelly. He was described as having a “no-nonsense, even-keeled temperament” by The History Channel biography, having “practical, rough-around-the-edges technique.” The biography praises Dave, stating, “Called in to replace Alex, he's forced to learn fast and play catch-up with the others, but he's got the skills to make it happen.” And, as bad as the roads appeared, he said he much preferred the roads in India to the roads in Bolivia in Season Two.
“That road, when we were in India, those trucks were made of wood,” he explained, “but we’re driving on a road that’s been there since the 17th Century. It’s made of granite. So, unless you get run off the road or drive off the cliff, you’re safe. You know,” he joked, “I felt safer there than I would in downtown Jersey City. Now, Bolivia, that’s a whole different ballgame.
“Those roads were dirt on the edge of a cliff,” he continued. “So, when you see a little, really washed-out, skinny part like you see on the show, there’s no driving over it real slow. Because, if it collapses under you, you’re going down. You’ve got to get a run at it, so that if it goes out from under you, maybe you’d go to the other side. That’s the spooky part. That’s why you’ll see me on the show, I’m riding with my door open under my arm, and a stick in the lock, so the door wouldn’t relock, just in case, so if the truck started to go, I can get out.”
Dave’s next experience with a History Channel reality show was the popular Ice Road Truckers in Alaska. Again, Dave, now deemed the “Angry Alabama Wild Card” by The History Channel—he had been the “good ol’ boy from Alabama” on IRT: Deadliest Roads in the Himalayas—was brought in to stir the pot, i.e. to play the villain in a group of drivers that included Lisa Kelly, Hugh Rowland, Alex Debogorski, Rick Yemm, Maya Sieber and Tony Molesky. “Will this veteran be able to handle the challenge of being an ice-road rookie?” The History Channel asked in his online bio, adding, “How will the other local and more even-tempered drivers receive this son of the South?” And, when he wasn’t making enough waves on his own, Dave alleges, producers had no problem tweaking the tapes just enough to send the tempers of fans spinning out of control.
Fans of Ice Road Truckers will no doubt remember, for example, the scene where Dave yells into his radio for trainer Phil on the other end to “Shut up!” just before he slams it down, cutting off all communication. This, however, was not at all what it seemed, Dave alleges.
“Never happened,” Dave claims, shaking his head, “at the time that they used it.”
Dave explains that he was trying to talk with production, “and we had a guy with us that was like a mile away from us. He’s one of theses guys that gets on one of these storytelling routines. He keys up that mic for 15 minutes at a time, and I’m trying to talk to production, and he’s on our radio frequency. And, I finally just said, ‘Oh, shut up!’ They cut that clip out, and they put it in there with me and Phil in the truck. And, I’m driving down the road, and Phil’s like, ‘Dave, Dave, can you hear me? Dave?’ ‘Oh, shut up!’ Never happened,” he claims again.
Another unforgettable scene showed Dave speeding away from a Carlisle-mandated convoy, leaving a frustrated Tony and Maya in the dust. But, Dave alleges that producers took liberties with that situation, as well, and turned it into something it simply was not for the sake of good television.
To start with, the supposed Carlisle-mandated caravan was actually a creation of the IRT production crew, he claims, not the trucking company. Then, Dave was depicted as passing on a “blind curve,” giving Carlisle reason to fire him. However, he disputes the accusation. “If you’ve ever seen those roads up there, there’s no such thing as a ‘blind curve,’” he explains. “You can literally see for 10 miles up the hill, so, I mean, you can see a guy coming 30 minutes before you ever pass them, because it’s just so barren out there.”
Additionally, the producers, Dave explained, had the truckers tape lines that they could simply drop into the episode as needed. Producers would have them repeat lines like, “I hate this place” in various tones, he alleges, so they could just drop them into the storyline and increase tension.
In Part Three of this exclusive six-part series, Dave discusses viewers’ belief in reality television, and something in the show that was completely real: His dislike for Tony. Part Three will be published on Huliq tomorrow, Jan. 26.
Image provided by David C. Redmon