Ice Road Truckers” – “IRT” – is a reality TV show that follows the lives of long-distance truck drivers who traverse dangerous ice roads, a name for routes made across frozen rivers and lakes, mainly in Alaska and Canada USA. History Channel aired 11 seasons of the show over 10 years, starting in 2007, and the initial interest was so high that the first episode attracted 3.4 million viewers, breaking its record for the most-watched original telecast.

Lisa Kelly stood out from the get-go as a female truck driver in a predominantly male profession. After taking a break during the sixth season, she returned for the seventh, which aired in 2013, then made many appearances until the last season. Lisa focused on her work off-camera afterwards, but briefly resurfaced when an online news publication, Overdrive Online, interviewed her for their YouTube channel in May 2021. That interview flew under most viewers’ radar, but Lisa thankfully has become much more active online in the last two years. Even more exciting, she’s still an ice road trucker in Alaska, although for a new company. Here’s more about her life after the show ended in November 2017.

She is more than a trucker now

When Lisa was interviewed by Overdrive Online, a newspaper and a website that has been the voice for American truckers for over six decades, she said that she’d consider returning as an “IRT” cast member. She revealed that she’d heard rumors that a renewal spin-off, similar to “IRT: Deadliest Roads,” which she graced with her presence in 2010, was in the making. However, nothing of the sort has happened to this day, and Original Productions, Prospero Media, and Shaw Media have refrained from commenting so far – Lisa assumed that the COVID-19 pandemic halted the potential production.

Thankfully, seeing people’s comments evidently sparked something in Lisa. She quickly began posting updates more frequently via Facebook and Instagram, then became much more active on TikTok and YouTube. Lisa’s social media posts and YouTube videos show that she still drives trucks professionally, primarily in Alaska. Moreover, she seemingly switched to traversing Alaska’s improved Dalton Highway, an ice road on solid snow-covered ground. Lisa also relocated to a different Alaskan city and spends more time with her husband of 15 years, Traves Kelly, and several animals at their farm, including cats, dogs and horses.

She was proud of her profession

Lisa was always interested in vehicles; her earliest jobs involved being a school bus driver and a motocross rider – she was a state freestyle motocross champion at one point. She also worked for a pizza business and at gas stations before she sought a stable career, and started her trucker training because it looked interesting.

Carlile Transportation hired Lisa, but she stated that it was difficult, as she had to ‘work twice as hard and pull her weight alongside everyone else’s while doing her job as quickly as the men, if not faster.’ Lisa was respected as a trucker by her colleagues and viewers at home, as she never used her gender as an excuse to do an inferior job.

Lisa was too tired during season six

Lisa would likely be in the show from the get-go if it were filmed in Sterling, Alaska, where she resided and worked. Instead, she joined in the third season, the first in Alaska, as the first two seasons followed Canadian truckers.

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With that said, Lisa was missing in season six because she was allegedly not paid fairly, and wanted to renegotiate her contract. Journalist Kaye O’Hara discovered that the production company offered her a contract, but that she declined it. In a 2013 interview with Hollywood Soapbox, when she returned in season seven, Lisa revealed that she was simply too tired and missed home the previous year.

John Soltes, the interviewer, concluded that she ‘was a solitary trucker, who wants to do her job, get home, sit on the couch, and watch TV like a normal person.’ Moreover, Lisa concurrently filmed her segments for the fifth season and the spin-off “IRT: Deadliest Roads.” Doing her job, filming in Alaska, and traveling to Bolivia, Peru, and India to traverse the dangerous conditions of those roads consumed nearly all her energy that year, and she understandably wanted a break.

She works for a different trucking company

After working for Carlile Transportation, Lisa was hired by Polar Industries Ltd., but The TransCold Group purchased the company in September 2015. Although Lisa liked the new management, spearheaded by owner John Coughlan, she eventually quit and was hired by her co-star, Darrell Ward, for his new transportation company. Unfortunately, Darrell passed away after season 10 wrapped up, leaving her in a precarious situation. Her social media updates after 2017 revealed that she still traversed Alaska’s Haul Road, but not whether she did so for Darrell’s company.

Lisa revealed that she’d been driving for the new logistics company during the May 2021 interview. Yet again, she didn’t indicate when she joined, or the company’s name. However, she explained that she’d been ‘driving between Kenai and Prudhoe Bay and blew up two trucks owned by the company at separate times during the route’s 32-hour journey.’

That revealed that she still worked in Alaska, and she said that the company gave her a Freightliner Coronado afterwards. It was a conventional truck first introduced in the US in 2001, later named 122SD, where “SD” means “Severe Duty,” making this Class 8 truck suitable for ice roads. She didn’t mention her truck’s specifications, but the highest for a factory-configured Freightliner Coronado is 600 horsepower, producing 2,050lbs-ft of torque.

She’s still in touch with former co-stars

During her interview, Lisa said that she occasionally sees the former “Ice Road Truckers” cast members on the road, meaning that most still do the job that made them famous; she mentioned specifically seeing Jack Jesse, Phil Kromm and Todd Dewey. Once Lisa became much more active on social media, she announced that she’d recorded a lengthy interview in late 2022 with Jack, and planned to release it in January 2023. However, Jack disliked how he sounded and what he said, so she postponed the release until they edited it or recorded a new one.

Lisa posts on Facebook, YouTube and TikTok

Lisa’s fans could contact her via her official website, www.thelisakelly.com, since at least 2012. Additionally, she sold her merchandise, posted the latest news, and discussed her life a little. However, the website is now inaccessible, and could have been offline since 2017 without anyone noticing. Her Instagram, @lisa_kellyirt, tells a similar story; her last post was in 2018, and she’s deactivated the profile. Her Twitter account, @LisaKellyIRT, was last active in October 2018, but is still online.

In contrast, Lisa has always been the most active on her official Facebook page, @lisakellyIRT, with over 900,000 followers as of July 2023. Moreover, her YouTube channel, @kx232, unexpectedly took off, and has over 42,000 subscribers. She posted her first video in late October 2022 entitled “1.WDHR: Letting people by.” The numbering suggested that she wanted to record more videos in the series, but the topic was filmed out of concern and love for her work.

Her video discussed the unspoken rules for behavior on the Dalton Highway in Alaska, and she filmed it because she’d noticed too many mass-hired truckers who risked their life, trucks, and cargo. She released 38 episodes of the WDHR series, although some are unavailable, either because they were deleted, set to private, or only accessible with a direct link. She’s posted about 140 YouTube videos so far.

She is expanding her reach online

Lisa also branched out to platforms such as TikTok and Patreon. On the former, under the handle lisamariekelly232, Lisa posts vlogs, jokes that she’s heard or comes up with, interesting stories from the road, and about the time she spends with her husband, Traves, whom she began dating in 2004, and married in 2008. They still have no children and haven’t indicated wanting to be parents.

On the latter platform, Lisa lets her fans support what she does with a monthly donation from $5, depending on the access level. She promises to share miscellaneous information, live-stream from the road when she has cellular service, recommend brands that work for her, and provide additional insight into working on the Dalton Highway. Non-truckers can make requests, ask questions, join Lisa’s private community, and appreciate her hobbies, one of which is drawing.

Lisa lives in Fairbanks

Lisa was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, on 8 December 1980, but moved to Sterling, Alaska, when she was six, alongside her parents and brother. As a young adult, she studied at Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids for a semester before returning to Alaska. After Lisa started dating Traves, a full Aleut Native Alaskan, the couple settled in Wasilla, Alaska. However, during the Overdrive Online interview, she revealed that she would move to Fairbanks, Alaska, by September 2021, to pursue other job opportunities.

Besides working for her new logistics company, Lisa’s Facebook posts revealed that she had partnered with the automobile industry brand Chevron. She promoted Chevron Delo, one of its lines of motor oils or lubricants, in 2022 and described when and how to use it. Moreover, Lisa starred in several video advertisements about the life of a trucker on their Facebook page. Shortly afterwards, she created a fan contest for people to make a logo for her new business. Although she didn’t reveal what it would be, her Facebook bio mentioned a management company named Lisa’s Truck Stop and a corresponding website, www.lisastruckstop.com. However, the website is offline as of July 2023.

She has several animals

Lisa raved about her love for animals in the show, and fans knew that she owned a cat, Tanzi, and a miniature horse, Rocky. However, after moving to Fairbanks, Lisa began spending more time on a farm, although she never clarified whether it was part of her home or nearby. Regardless, Lisa has posted many videos from the barn and the green field close by, consistently showcasing her other horsesMiss Maybe, Skye, Alaska and Perhaps, a horse she calls Perhappy or Happy.

Happy was the most prominent animal in 2023 because of several health problems after her 2 a.m. birth on 3 March 2023 initially needing a surgical operation, according to the veterinarian, but recovered quickly. Unfortunately, her state worsened by late April, and Lisa asked her followers for prayers, as she felt that Perhappy would die soon. Thankfully, her black-and-white filly survived, and Lisa informed everyone on 27 April that Happy was back in the barn and on the mend.

Lisa also revealed that she loves seeing dragonflies, and aids Alaskan pig rescue efforts. Finally, she appreciated seeing wild animals such as reindeer or caribou, and natural phenomena such as aurora borealis while driving her truck through the region.

Lisa made a few significant changes

Lisa’s life had changed compared to what she did in the show. The most significant shift was reducing her work hours, as she no longer had to be filmed while working. With that in mind, she evidently gave up on waiting for the “Ice Road Truckers” renewal; her social media career took off, and she hasn’t mentioned any related news. That isn’t the only thing that she gave up on; Lisa isn’t moto crossing anymore, although she still maintains her bike. Instead, she tried snow bikinghorse-ridingand shooting from horseback, and began camping more frequently this year.

Damage to Dalton Highway on mile 404 on 7 June 2023 prevented traffic and forced her to pause her work. However, it allowed her to spend more time at home, and not all of it was unproductive. Lisa revealed that she watched all three seasons of the historical drama about the life of Jesus Christ, “The Chosen.” Furthermore, she confessed to Overdrive Online that she became an advocate and a practitioner of minimalism after reading the quote that ‘people spent the first half of their life collecting things, and the second attempting to get rid of them.’ Thus, a work break provided enough time and energy for her to tidy things up.

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