• Maya Sieber is a former model and truck driver who shot to fame after appearing in season five of the hit reality series “Ice Road Truckers”
• “Ice Road Truckers” is a History Channel reality series that premiered in June 2007, and featured truck drivers working seasonal routes in remote locations
• Tim Zickuhr and Arthur Burke have both been involved in major scandals
• Thom Beers and Hugh Rowland have both been involved in lawsuits
• Most of the cast members returned to their everyday lives after IRT ended, although some retired from trucking or experimented with a career change
Who is Maya Sieber?
Born on 8th December 1980, in Manhattan, New York City, USA, Maya “Short Stack” Sieber is a former model, and a truck driver who shot to fame after appearing in season five of the hit reality series “Ice Road Truckers”.
The beautiful brunette, who enjoyed a tranquil upbringing in a small New Jersey farming town, has previously confessed to knowing that she wanted to be a truck driver since the tender age of five. Fulfilling her life goal in 2007 after trying her hand at modelling, Maya drove an eighteen-wheeler truck in NYC for three years, before being contacted by producers of “Ice Road Truckers” and launching her brief but unforgettable TV career.
As for her parents, although the Siebers shy away from the spotlight, internet sleuths discovered that Maya’s mother is an artist and author, while her father is a tradesman of German descent.
Her great-grandfather, Knox Martin Sr., served as an instructor and pilot during World War I, and is remembered for being the first man to fly over the Andes mountains, whereas her grandfather Knox Martin is a well-known New York artist.
What is “Ice Road Truckers”?
“Ice Road Truckers” (IRT) is a History Channel reality series that premiered in June 2007, and showed the daily comings and goings of truck drivers working seasonal routes in remote locations such as Alaska and Canada. The newest seasons were mainly filmed in Manitoba, while seasons three to six featured Alaska’s dangerous Dalton Highway.
The premise for the show dates back to the year 2000, when the History Channel aired an episode entitled “Ice Road Truckers” as part of the “Suicide Missions” series. The episode itself, which was based on the Edith Iglauer book “Denison’s Ice Road”, showed viewers the perils of driving trucks over frozen lakes in the Northwest Territories of Canada. Six years later, Thom Beers was hired by the History Channel to create a series based on the book.
IRT proved to be a major success, and subsequently aired in Italy, the UK, Australia, New Zealand, the Netherlands, and various African countries. Season one’s premiere garnered over three million viewers in the US, becoming the History Channel’s most-watched original telecast at the time, and was branded “astonishing” by critics – in fact, such was the show’s success, that in 2008, 20th Century Fox acquired rights from the History Channel to create a theatrical action film based on the series; however, the project stalled in the developmental stages and was never made.
The 11th and final season of IRT finished airing in November 2017, following a brilliant decade-long run, with episodes still available for online viewing.
Alex Debogorski, Hugh Rowland, Rick Yemm, Drew Sherwood, Jay Westgard, and T.J Tilcox were the main cast of season one, and instantly caught the interest of viewers thanks to their no-nonsense attitudes and work ethic.
Having been in every season, Alex was undoubtedly the star of the show; Hugh’s last appearance was in season eight, while others didn’t make it past season one.
Over the years, the cast of IRT has seen many a new face such as fan favorites Lisa Kelly and Darrell Ward. Typically, most of the newer additions to the show only lasted a couple of seasons before bowing out, although Lisa was present in seasons three to five and seven to 11.
Right after the season four finale of IRT, a spinoff series named “IRT: Deadliest Roads” premiered in October 2010. During the first season, fans were thrilled to see Rick, Alex and Lisa travel to India and put their skills to the test on the mountain roads between Delhi and Shimla, with their destination being the Karchan and Kuppa hydroelectric dam construction sites in the Himalayas.
Alex unexpectedly, quit in the first episode and was replaced by Dave Redmon, an Alabama trucker who also appeared in season five of IRT. The Indian-based drivers were later dispatched to carry supplies to Keylong, a small town which had been cut off for months as a consequence of bad weather, while the season finale saw the truckers deliver jet fuels to helicopter crews on a rescue mission in the mountains.
Dismayed by the hazardous conditions, Rick and Dave dropped out and went back home, leaving Lisa to deliver the entire shipment by herself, and become the only trucker to complete the season. Other perils that the cast members faced during filming included dealing with altitude hypoxia while delivering scriptures and an image of Buddha to a monastery in the mountains, and episode five saw Lisa and Rick drive along potentially deadly mountain roads to deliver two images of the goddess Kali.
Season two of “Deadliest Roads” premiered in September 2011, and saw Hugh, Rick, Lisa, Dave, and the newcomers Timothy R. Zickuhr and Augustin Rodriguez head to Bolivia, to haul cargo along the notoriously dangerous Yungas Road. The drivers worked in pairs, but when Dave and Rick quit in the second episode, Hugh continued driving alone, and the Texan trucker G.W Boles arrived to ride with Lisa.
There was certainly never a dull moment on “Deadliest Roads”, as in episode six, Lisa and G.W transported 32 breeding llamas across the world’s biggest salt flat, the Salar de Uyuni. On the way, the truck’s radiator began to leak, and the pair were forced to empty all their drinking water into the radiator after repairing it. Later on, their magnetic compasses began reading incorrectly and their GPS system malfunctioned, but somehow, the hardworking truckers got the job done.
In the eighth episode, the truckers relocated to Peru, and began transporting loads to sites in the Andes mountain range. Despite positive feedback and high viewing figures, “Deadliest Roads” wasn’t renewed for a third season.
Although IRT is fondly remembered by many, the show has suffered its fair share of controversy over the years. In February 2015, Tim pleaded guilty to extortion and kidnapping after an unsavory incident with a prostitute, Lisa Cadeau, and was sentenced to 15 years in prison. The shocking news first hit headlines in April 2014, with sordid details immediately emerging of how Tim tied Lisa up, locked her inside a closet, and demanded she give him the number of someone who could bring him $1,000.
Lisa’s quick thinking saved her life, as she gave him the number of a Las Vegas police officer, who promptly arrived on the scene with another cop after hearing Tim’s threats over the phone.
At that point, Tim forced Lisa to jump out of the second-story window of his apartment and was consequently arrested and taken into custody. Understandably, the History Channel and Tim’s former colleagues all refused to comment on the case, but he wasn’t seen again in the series.
In November 2018, former cast member Arthur Burke caused a major explosion at his apartment while trying to make “shatter”, a concentrated cannabis substance made with butane. CBC and other outlets reported that the explosion sent Arthur to the hospital for nearly two weeks, and caused over $60,000 in damages, so it’s unsurprising that in October 2020, the disgraced trucker was sentenced to 18 months of house arrest after pleading guilty to one charge of arson by negligence.
Arthur, who appeared in five seasons of the show, and was known for his dark humor and aggressive nature, was allowed to continue working and serve his house arrest sentence from the cab of his truck, but has yet to speak about the incident.
Despite the other controversies linked to IRT being relatively light-hearted compared to arson and kidnapping, they’ve led to the show’s authenticity being called into question. One example is David Redmon’s interview with the trucking magazine Overdrive, in which he stated that the producers “went out of their way” to make him a villain.
With quotes such as: “They really spent a lot of effort making me look terrible in Alaska” and “They had me scripted as the bad guy, and to get fired”, David’s interview shocked fans and casual viewers alike. He also claimed that the producers of “IRT: Deadliest Roads” were trying to get somebody killed by having them drive unsafe vehicles in such extreme conditions.
Overall, David only appeared in 15 episodes of IRT, and has expressed no desire to return to TV. Most of his colleagues kept quiet about his statements, although Rick later said in an interview with Huliq magazine: “We get slated these character roles. There’s nothing we can do about it.”
The lawsuit between Hugh and one of the show’s producers, Will Morrison, also made the news for all the wrong reasons.
While driving a pickup truck with Hugh in the passenger seat, Will lost control of the vehicle and ran off the road, leading to both men being badly injured. Claiming that his permanent injuries prevented him from continuing to work in his trucking company, Hugh sued Will – and his wife also sought damages due to the injuries impacting their marital relations, and negatively affecting their marriage.
Thom’s policy of significantly underpaying his cast members has been criticized by many, with a New York Times article confirming that the creator of IRT made participants sign multi-year contracts to control salary demands, which made it impossible for the truckers to ask for more money, and banned them from accepting lucrative endorsement deals. Apparently, Thom wanted his cast members to be authentic and relatable to the working-class public, but the low salaries could explain why many truckers bowed out after a couple of seasons.
Last but not least, the death of Darrell, who appeared in a total of 49 episodes, was a particularly tragic event in the show’s history. In August 2016, the handsome trucker was involved in a plane crash outside Missoula, Montana. While piloting a Cessna 182 and approaching Rock Creek Airport, a technical malfunction led to the plane crashing into the shoulder of the interstate and catching fire.
Darrell and his co-pilot both died in the crash, and in what has been described as a “bizarre coincidence”, the Montana native was on his way to film the first episode of a new series, actually focusing on the recovery efforts following plane crashes.
Where Are They Now?
With a no-nonsense attitude and quotes such as: “I love the challenge of driving a truck. It’s something I always wanted to do, to take control of something so big and powerful”, Maya Sieber won over thousands of viewers during season five.
Proving herself to be a real trucking afficionado, the New York native even had the Kenworth truck company logo tattooed on the back of her neck – which made her sudden departure from the show all the more surprising.
Despite the unfounded rumors and speculations floating around on the internet, it would appear that Maya left the show to focus on motherhood, to bring up her young son. Given her lack of social media presence, it’s unclear if she’s still in the trucking industry.
What about the other cast members of IRT? Alex, the only trucker to have appeared in all eleven seasons, is reportedly worth $500,000, after publishing a book with tales of his ice trucking days, and appearing in other TV shows. When not ice trucking, the family man has his hands full spending time with his 11 children, 13 grandchildren, and wife of 40 years.
After filing a lawsuit against Will and the show’s executive producers, Hugh was promptly fired from the network.
Unable to work as a trucker due to his injuries, the savvy businessman set up his own construction company, and is now said to be worth well over seven figures. It’s believed that the History Channel and Hugh reached a settlement out of court, as there are few details of the lawsuit online.
Lisa, who was named the “sexiest trucker alive” by Esquire Magazine, and appeared on the David Letterman Late Show, is still trucking and has almost two decades of experience under her belt. Having been praised and revered for inspiring other women to work in male-dominated industries, Lisa’s six-figure net worth is largely thanks to her popularity, and a variety of endorsement deals. It’s unlikely we’ll see her on TV anytime soon, however, as she previously complained that she needed a break from being followed around by a camera, and having her privacy invaded.
As for the rest of the cast members, the majority returned to their everyday lives after IRT ended, although some retired from trucking or experimented with a career change.