A new television program that highlights the colourful lives of Interior logging truck drivers is proving successful.
Mud Mountain Haulers is nearing the end of its first season and is already reaching 500,000 Canadian viewers per episode, according to series producer Mark Miller.
Moreover, Miller and his team at Vancouver-based Thunderbird Entertainment have recently struck a deal with The Weather Channel in the U.S. that will see the series air for American audiences as well.
“The show is killing it,” said Miller. “It’s been awesome.”
The eight-episode, one-hour docuseries follows two real-life crews, led by brothers Craig and Brent Lebeau, as they work the Cariboo Mountains.
The family are third generation loggers in the area, and Mark and Brent are skilled at navigating the hair-raising logging roads found in the area.
“Getting these trucks up and down the mountain is very, very challenging, and these guys are probably the most skilled of anybody in the trucking industry,” said Miller.
Think steep roads, tight turns and driving through huge 100-foot mud puddles. Miller said the loggers rely on specialized trucks that deliver power to all 12 wheels, allowing them to navigate roads he wouldn’t be comfortable tackling in an all terrain vehicle.
Miller also works on and was one of the founders of the popular Discovery Channel series Highway Thru Hell, which highlights brave tow truck drivers who work the Coquihalla Highway.
Miller said the idea for Mud Mountain Hunters came out of his work on Highway Thru Hell.
He got to know logging truck drivers during the filming of the show and was impressed by what they do.
Miller said he thinks the success of shows like Mud Mountain Haulers and Highway Thru Hell partly owes to societal trends.
With more people living in urban centres and working in offices, they are impressed by and admire the self-reliance. And that’s something shown in spades in Mud Mountain Haulers.
“I think that lots of people want to get out of the office, and sort of have that sense of freedom, of being in the forest or being a highway driver,” said Miller. “There’s always been a romance with, being on the road and being self sufficient.”
Ultimately, Miller said he hopes the show helps shed light on the hard working men and women who work in B.C.’s forestry industry.
“We wanted to leave viewers with an understanding of what it takes to get that roll of toilet paper to your bathroom or what it took to get that [notebook] to your kids or the wood that was used to build your house,” said Miller. “This sort of explains that.”
The last episode of the eight-part series will air Monday, March 22 at 7 p.m. and 10 p.m on the Discovery Channel.
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