The concept of watching truckers drive through the snow on ice roads might not sound all that exciting on the surface, but when Ice Road Truckers debuted in 2007, millions of people were instantly hooked. Drivers navigating through dangerous conditions, a colorful and diverse cast of truckers, stunning frigid scenery, and a classic dose of reality drama kept viewers coming back week after week.

It’s one of the most suspenseful reality shows on TV, and viewers are often on the edge of their seats with the constant reminders that the cast is constantly in real danger because of the treacherous elements. But there’s also plenty of real drama surrounding the show that the producers would rather keep out of the spotlight.

Here are a few secrets the Ice Road Truckers producers try to keep hidden from viewers, along with a few they'd happily tell you about.

25 Don't tell us: Embellishment and Exaggeration are Everywhere

Like any compelling TV show, Ice Road Truckers is full of crazy moments that make viewers wonder whether or not the cast will survive the run in one piece. Sliding on ice, close calls, and a constant race against the clock might make you think the drivers are constantly in peril. But is it really as dangerous as it appears?

In an interview with Huliq, Driver Rick Yemm says it's not nearly as risky as the producers would have you think. "We don't take risks for anybody's safety. We know when it's clear to do stupid stuff, like drift around a corner. All that stuff that we do, it's all done safely. But they never put it in the show that way," he said.

24 Don't tell us: Polar Bear's Nickname Was Nothing New

It’d be pretty easy to imagine that Hugh Rowland earned the Polar Bear nickname in some exciting encounter on the road. Unfortunately, the story behind the name isn’t so dramatic. The name dates back to the ’80s, Rowland’s friends saw “Polar Bear” printed on the side of a truck and thought the name fit their friend perfectly.

While Hugh has said he’d like to think the name refers to his bear-like stamina and attitude, it seems like we’ll never exactly what his friends were thinking when they dubbed him with the title.

23 Don't tell us: A Fan Passed Away in Pursuit of an Ice Road Trucker Career

TV can be a great place to learn something new and to find inspiration for your own life. Many people find themselves inspired to take up a new hobby or even make a career change after falling in love with it on a TV show. And several fans felt that way about Ice Road Truckers, finding the motivation to take on the job themselves after watching the daring adventures their favorite drivers went on.

But the career change led to real tragedy for Brett Colley. Colley was inspired to become a driver after watching the show and even applied to be on it. The show rejected his application, so Colley went on to drive a food-delivery truck on Canada's Alaska Highway. While on a run, his truck slid off the road and into an embankment. Tragically, he didn't survive the accident.

22 Don't tell us: Hugh Rowland Sued a Producer

Hugh Rowland quickly became a fan favorite among viewers, so many people were concerned when he was involved in a serious accident several years ago. But the crash didn't involve a big rig and Rowland wasn't even driving. Rowland was a passenger in the pickup truck of producer Will Morrison. When Morrison lost control of his pickup, Rowland sustained some serious injuries.

Some of Rowland's injuries were permanent and prevented him from returning to work at his own trucking company. Rowland also claimed damages for his wife, stating that the injuries had taken a toll on their marriage.

21 Don't tell us: Dave Redmon's Attitude Got Him Fired

David Redmon was only on Ice Road Truckers for fifteen episodes, but he made quite the impression on viewers as he quickly became the token "bad guy." It didn't take long for that attitude to get him fired from the show. But was everything as simple as it seemed?

Redmon has publicly spoken about the events leading up to his firing and claims that the show's producers set him up for failure from the start. In an interview with Overdrive, he said, "They had scripted me to be the bad guy on the show, and it just scripted me to get fired."

Timothy Zickuhr was a driver on the second season of Deadliest Roads, the international companion series to Ice Road Truckers. But due to his off-screen activities, his run on the show wasn’t long-lived.

On a trip to Las Vegas, Zickuhr hired someone who went by the name Snow White. Zickuhr eventually provided her with his debit card, telling her to withdraw the cost of her services from the ATM. But when he realized that Snow White may have taken more money than they had initially agreed upon, he got into some trouble. Long story short, after being charged with two felonies, he was sentenced to five to fifteen years in prison.

19 Don't tell us: Rick Yemm Wasn't the Biggest Fan of His Co-Workers

It wouldn't be reality TV without a bit of drama, and Rick Yemm was a great source of it. Like many other reality series, Ice Road Truckers has seen its fair share of drama both onscreen and backstage. Yemm was known for having strong opinions - and he wasn't afraid to voice them, which could stir up trouble at times.

Yemm referred to himself as a seasoned driver whos success in the industry had absolutely nothing to do with the show's production. But he didn't hold the same opinions of co-stars G.W. Boles and Lisa Kelly. He even insulted Kelly's driving skills in an interview with Huliq, saying, "she wasn't driving 90% of the time... every time it got dangerous, she wouldn't drive."

18 Don't tell us: The Crew Risks Their Lives to Get Cool Shots

While truckers say that the job itself isn't as risky as the show makes it out to be, the Ice Road Truckers crew takes many risks to make the footage look as cool as it is. Driving on ice in massive trucks is bound to lead to some accidents as it is, trying to make it more dramatic for television will only increase that risk.

Drivers are usually traveling at 40 mph when filming, and they're driving in close proximity to a second truck which carries the film crew. Plus, some of the cameramen have been known to take unnecessary risks, like hanging out of the vehicle without a harness, just to get even more dramatic footage. A couple of crew members even had to be hospitalized after crashing their truck during a blizzard.

17 Don't tell us: Lisa Kelly Couldn't Handle the Loss of Privacy

Lisa Kelly quickly became a fan favorite after appearing on the show. With so many burly men featured, fans of Ice Road Truckers appreciated the female presence - plus, her driving skills matched those of her male costars. But once Kelly’s popularity started to rise, so did the amount of screen time the producers wanted to give her.

Kelly eventually ended up taking a year off from the show, telling Uproxx that she needed time away from the show to get grounded again. She valued her privacy and needed a break from having cameras following her around at all times. She also stated that the slow pace of the filming made it difficult to do her job as she normally would, and she found that frustrating.

16 Don't tell us: The Opening Montage Footage Is Just Hollywood Magic

The opening footage of Ice Road Truckers does a fantastic job of making the show appear suspenseful and full of potentially dangerous moments with some memorable and dramatic footage. But is it a little too perfect to be real?

It’s been reported that the truck that was filmed crashing through the ice for the opening footage was actually a mini model filmed in a studio at an angle that made it look like a full-sized truck.

Some of the drivers seem to think it’s a bit too good to be true as well - The New York Post reported that a few drivers were overheard complaining about how the opening footage had been enhanced while filming the second season.

Steph Custance Had Less Than One Year of Experience

15 Don't tell us: The Cast has Claimed the Show is Scripted

Part of the appeal of Ice Road Truckers is the colorful bunch of drivers who have big and distinct personalities. Sometimes they seem like the best of friends while they come across as bitter enemies at other times.

In his interview with Huliq, Rick Yemm says that the way the cast is portrayed isn't always accurate. "We get slated in these character roles. There's nothing we can do about it" he said, implying that no matter who they really are and what they try to do, the producers will make them appear the way they want.

David Redmon shares Yemm's perspective, telling Overdrive that, "they had scripted me to be the bad guy on the show."

14 Don't tell us: There's Still No Sign of a Movie Version

The massive popularity of Ice Road Truckers generated interest from movie studios looking to capitalize on it. With millions of regular viewers every week, there was no doubt that a big-screen counterpart would have massive success. So 20th Century Fox jumped on the opportunity to purchase the rights.

The studio was reportedly planning an action film centered around the duties of ice road truck driving. They were even planning on turning it into a series with the potential for several sequels. Despite hiring John Moore to direct, the movie was never made and there's no sign of it coming anytime soon.

13 Don't tell us: It's Low Paying Reality TV

You might think that becoming a TV star means getting a big paycheck every season. And you wouldn't be wrong, some reality TV personalities make millions of dollars every season. But that's not the case for the drivers who appear on Ice Road Truckers, who reportedly have some of the lowest salaries of any reality stars.

That's because Thom Beers, the show's producer and narrator, doesn't want the blue-collar workers to become rich and unrelatable to the audience. He strives to keep the shows authentic and doesn't feel as though it would remain that way if the stars were suddenly bringing home huge paychecks. By signing the drivers to multi-year contracts, he doesn't have to increase the pay when the show becomes popular.

12 Don't tell us: Real Truckers Do Not Approve

The majority of viewers who catch Ice Road Truckers on a regular basis don't have any experience doing the job themselves. Having the chance to see real people doing an unusual and skilled job that comes with a lot of danger is one of the show's biggest draws after all. But those who have done the job themselves aren't as easily impressed, and say that Ice Road Truckers isn't entirely honest with its portrayal.

One anonymous trucker told TheTrucker that a realistic version of Ice Road Truckers, "wouldn't be interesting enough to keep an average person entertained for an hour." And he wasn't alone in his opinion. Others who have done the job themselves told the website that the show is extremely embellished and tends to play up the typical truck driver stereotypes.

11 Don't tell us: The Drivers' Contracts Are Overly Controlling

Being a reality TV star can come with a lot of perks. Personalities often have endorsements, appear in commercials, and become social media influencers to capitalize on their success. But the drivers on Ice Road Truckers don't get the same luxury.

The contracts that the drivers on the show sign forbid them from taking any endorsement deals of any kind. So they aren't able to appear in any ads or even lend their voice to games or other programs. While they do make more money than most truck drivers, they don't get to sweeten the deal from any other sources.

10 Don't tell us: It Got Its Start as an Episode of Another Series

The producers of Ice Road Truckers probably don't want everyone to know that their hit show didn't get its start as their own original idea. The show actually got its start as an episode of the History Channel series Suicide Missions. The 46-minute episode aired in 1999 and was later shown in reruns as part of the Modern Marvels series.

In reruns, the episode received great ratings and quickly became a fan favorite. Executives at the station recognized its potential as a stand-alone series and got Thom Beers on board to produce the show and craft it into the hit series it is today.

9 Don't tell us: On Thin Ice with the Locals

While fans and critics enjoy the Ice Road Truckers, the locals didn't share the favorable opinion. The Tibbett to Contwoyto Road was built by mining companies in the region to allow for easier transportation around the Northwest Territories. The producers thought that it made for an ideal place to film, but the mining companies disagreed.

A rule was made stating that commercial filming couldn't take place on the road in the future, forcing producers to find new locations to film. The mining companies believed that the filming was a distraction to other drivers and portrayed drivers in a reckless and untrue way.

8 Happily share: It Became the History Channel's Most Watched Original Show

While there are plenty of things the producers of Ice Road Truckers would rather keep quiet, they'd be happy to tell you that it became The History Channel's most-watched original show. That's quite an honor when you think about how many popular series have called the channel home.

The debut episode had an overall household rating of 2.6 and the Sunday night premiere had 3.4 million overall viewers. Nancy Dubuc, The History Channel's general manager, said, "This is a great start to a series that showcases why history is so fascinating."

7 Happily share: Unlike Other Reality TV Shows, It's Loved by Critics

You'll be hard pressed to find many reality TV shows that can be considered a favorite of critics. And it isn't hard to understand why - many reality series are full of cheap drama and only follow the lives of the rich and famous. But Ice Road Truckers has a focus on real people doing real work - a fact that critics really appreciate.

Virginia Heffernan of The New York Times wrote, "Watching these guys ... make their runs, it’s hard not to share in their cold, fatigue, and horrible highway hypnosis, that existential recognition behind the wheel late at night that the pull of sleep and the pull of death are one and the same." Clearly, the show resonated with critics as much as it did with fans.

6 Happily share: The Stars Have Big Hearts

The show might be focused on dramatic footage and dangerous close-calls on the road. And while that makes for excellent TV, don't let it fool you into thinking that that's all the drivers care about. They're giving people who use their driving skills to help others when they can.

One example of this is when Alex Debogorski stepped up to deliver six pallets of emergency food supplies to people in St. Theresa Point in northern Manitoba. Debogorski saw posts on the Ice Road Truckers Facebook page asking for help to get food to the families. Clarina Taylor, who started the food drive, told CBC that, "I was beaming from ear to ear, it was the best news ever."