What the heck, Carlisle? A slide into a ditch and that’s it for Lisa?
As fans of the History Channel’s popular Ice Road Truckers learned on Sunday night, after almost making her dream of heavy haul a reality, fan-favorite trucker Lisa was tossed to the side by Carlisle transportation manager Lane Keator, who dismissed her heavy haul career with, “Heavy haul is not for everybody.”
Really? A slide into a ditch and one’s entire long-term career potential is blown?
Even more inexplicable—especially with drivers like Maya squirming along the Dalton—is Keator’s decision to “take Lisa back down a little bit” with a slap-in-the-face load, consisting of a van. And, when she picked it up, the dispatcher commented, “I guess you can give that a try,” as if she were now the most incompetent driver on the Carlisle roster.
Is all of this humiliation necessary over a slide into a ditch?
Keator pointed out that, when it comes to heavy haul, every accident, however minor, is a potential disaster. That’s fair—really, Lisa fans, it is. However, it seems unlikely that no one in the heavy haul group has ever taken a slide into a ditch. With that as the standard, it seems likely that no one would be hauling the heaviest loads, except maybe the drivers who haven't been there long enough to take that first roadside slide.
More important—and more valid, it seems—for Keator’s decision to waive Lisa from heavy haul is her ongoing lack of patience. It was, ultimately, her lack of patience that put her into that ditch, after all. Tony lollygagged around on the morning of the haul, true, and, yes, they ultimately left later than planned. So what? Lisa handled the situation by sitting in her truck, pouting, fuming and building herself into a storm cloud of frustration before they even left the yard. Why didn’t she just get out of the truck, go inside, and have some morning chit-chat with Tony and the other drivers, instead of staring darts at him through the glass? Had she taken a more sensible course of action from the beginning, she likely would not have found herself in a ditch, as her focus would have been on her job instead of how mad she was at Tony for their leaving later than planned. So, it’s probably true: Because of her lack of patience in doing her job, she probably is not ready for heavy haul.
However, Keator appeared to dismiss her aspirations completely, with his comment, “Heavy haul is not for everybody.”
The underlying question that has to be asked is, of course, “Is this because Lisa is a woman?”
Answer? Yes, because it makes great television.
Carlisle has, of course, sold its trucking soul to the History Channel and Ice Road Truckers. Sure, the company, one would assume, still does plenty of “real” trucking, but they are obviously focusing a lot of energy on making sure they have enough drama to keep their TV show interesting to viewers, to keep them coming back. Dave is an annoying whiner, but it is unlikely that all of his complaints are not legitimate, particularly some of his equipment issues, and broken seatbelts and mysteriously undone gas caps make good television. And, whether one likes her or not, Maya is not portrayed as a competent trucker. Whether she actually is a competent trucker or not is another question entirely, and does not really matter in this context, because a fully competent Maya does not generate the controversy or the fan response that an inept Maya does—and that’s a fact of which Carlisle is fully aware. And, just as the others, Lisa is simply a tool in the History Channel trucking show, and having her graduate quickly and easily to heavy haul, thus realizing her dream, just isn’t good for maximum ratings in the long run. Carlisle understands that—remember, like the truckers themselves, they are not doing this for free, either—and plays along. Thus, boss Keator appears to nervously ban Lisa from heavy haul forever—likely an overreaction, probably not “reality,” but great television, nevertheless. And, if you doubt that?
Well, we’re all talking—and reading—about it the next day, aren’t we?
Read more about the History Channel's Ice Road Truckers on Huliq:
Ice Road Truckers: Is Maya qualified to drive the Dalton?
Ice Road Truckers: Girl gone wild in the hot springs?
Ice Road Truckers: Is Carey Hall Lisa's new cheerleader on the Dalton?
Ice Road Truckers introduces new cast, splits time between Alaska and Canada
Image: Wikimedia Commons