Ice Road Truckers: Lisa's heavy-haul dream smashed, but why?

Mechele R. Dillard's picture

Lisa Kelly appeared to have her dream of heavy haul taken away on Sunday night by Carlisle boss Lane Keator--but is it because she is a "girl trucker," or is it just a reality of driving for a TV show?

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?

Stay tuned.

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


Submitted by Geezzee (not verified) on
I don't think heavey haul is out of the picture for Lisa. She made a mistake that could have been costly not only to her but others as well. I bet in little or no time she'll be back on heavey haul

Submitted by TBDM (not verified) on
What about Hugh and Rick being told they suck? There they were complaining about how shoddy the equipment was and it turns out 3 other drivers took the same stuff up there and came back fine. Just from watching the clips of them driving I could tell they were going way too fast.

I agree, Geezzee; I think Lisa will be back on heavy haul, but not until the time is right for the History Channel. The Hugh/Rick thing was hilarious, I thought, TBDM ... they were *flying* down those roads ... I mean, okay, maybe you have some problems on roads like that, but, come on ... it appeared, at least, that they practically destroyed those trailers ... LOL ... Hugh has demonstrated, since has been on IRT, that he is careless and reckless when it comes to the ice road and his various loads ... he's got a huge "It's-everyone-else's-problem" chip on his shoulder, too ... I don't know how much of that was "real" and how much was for TV, but, at the rate he's going, he's not going to be on IRT much longer, b/c no one is going to want to let him drive for them ... LOL ... Rick has certainly picked the wrong mentor, at any rate ....

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
i think lisa is one of the best ice road truckers there is and she is a role model to all the girls who don't do things that would be considered a guy's job. she is the best girl driver and should have another chance at it i hope she didn't get it because of her being a girl that wouldn't really be right.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
Dont get it, Lisa is a good trucker. One mistake and she is out?.....what about the others when they make mistakes? Hope she is back soon, she is the best.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
I believe Lisa was a very good driver and she did very well.I think maybe they were jealous of her and the good job she did beside the fact she was a woman and could do as good a job as any man.She did as good a job as any of the men they had and she sure did a good job when she went to India. A lot of those men couldn't do that job.You go Lisa,Good job girl.You could get a job any where,you are that good.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
i could see a few things she could practice on but she never did wreck any thing and got the job done. i started driving big rigs at 18 years old in 1971 so i know. i'm not so shure that this carlisle ot fit is run so well----they gave lisa a trailer to pull that was a steerable trailer and apparrently with the wheels in the fixed or transport position they wern't lined up good and it tracked off to one side bad enough to be putting a lot of wear on the trailer tires. why did'nt these "pros" at carlisle take a little time and show her how to work with that trailer? there is no good reason not to brief her on it. any good run company would have, and the best outfits would have gotten the driver informed without making a big deal out of like sending the driver to a "class" for a day or two. at least she stopped to look and she saw that the tires were wearing too much. they should have never sent her with that trailer untill they spent a little while talking to her about it.

Submitted by Don Anonymous (not verified) on
They replaced Lisa with a 23 yr. old pretty boy ice road truckers as turned gay

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