ICE ROAD TRUCKERS Steph Custace talks Season 11, shares behind-the-scenes stories in fan Q&A

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Steph Custace, the breakout star of Ice Road Truckers last season, was a bright spot in what turned out to be a shocking and depressing year. Steph’s easygoing attitude (and active sailor mouth, to use her own phrase) drew praise from fans still reeling from the death of IRT star Darrell Ward in a freak plane crash, one that’s still under investigation.

It probably comes as no surprise that Steph’s social media presence has ballooned: she’s got over 50,000 followers on Facebook alone as Ice Road Truckers Season 11 gets underway. And Steph keeps her fans updated on the regular–not just with what she’s up to, but with what to expect from the show (and, occasionally, with tales from behind the scenes). So, we thought we’d present a breakdown of one of Steph’s recent fan Q&A sessions, complete with highlights and some newly uploaded pics!

For starters, here’s the Q&A itself, with an edited transcript to follow. A couple of caveats before you watch: yes, the original video is sideways; don’t adjust your screens 😉 Steph corrects the camera angle at around the 6:40 mark. She also apologizes for the poor quality–”I’m in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by trees,” she explains. Finally, there are some audio problems for about a minute at around the 10:20 mark.

Steph begins by talking about how she spent her summer vacation. She spent the time between seasons visiting with her son (filming Season 10 was the longest she’d ever spent away from him), as well as landing a new trucking gig, and doing a lot of traveling, hiking, and fishing. A quick glance at her shared photos from this past summer definitely confirms it–every single Steph Custace bikini pic also has a fish in it 🙂

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And here’s our transcript of some of the high points from the Q&A, with fan questions offset in bold:

How long have you been a trucker?
“I think attitude-wise, I’ve always been a trucker. I’ve always had a sailor mouth, rough-and-tumble…I thought about switching jobs about a year ago, but the thought of not being in one wasn’t right.” (You can read more about Steph’s trucking background and general bio in our feature article here.)

What would you be doing if you weren’t a trucker?”
“I think I would be in farming. I used to be a pork production technician for Blue Line Swine. They were cute [the pigs], they were a lot of fun….I like to work hard; I like to work money. So I think that’s what I would be doing.”

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What’s the most dangerous thing that’s happened to you on the road?
“I think the most dangerous thing that ever happened to me in trucking was when I was coming home from Ontario in winter…I think it was about three degrees out, end of season, and…I came around this corner and I lost control, with…ice roads on one side, and cliff on the other. And then it was like Jurassic Park, I just started sliding down this hill and there was nothing I could do.” Steph said she slid down the hill, got the truck in park, and “cried” from fear and tension, then managed to get the truck into a parking lot and sleep for the night. By the time she woke up, the parking lot was completely full with stranded truckers.

How do you stay focused while driving and being away from home for so long?
“I’m out there doing what I love, I’ve got a wicked opportunity and I’ve got constant reminders every day. My son, too–he’ll come into the cab with me. I’m a single mom, and I don’t think I would change anything about my career or anything that’s been going on.”

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What do you remember most about Darrell Ward?
“Darrell Ward was a very straightforward, very hard-working, very energetic man. The first time I was on the road with him, what I’ll always remember is…it was our last run; think it was Round Lake when we all went up in the convoy. And when we went out there I got a big rock stuck in my tire; it was really rocky and muddy, and there was no real snow left for us. After we got up this big hill, Darrell laughed and kinda made fun of me. But in the same breath he went and he got what we needed with this hammer and this little strap…and we put the strap around the axle and we got the rock out. Unfortunately there’s a lot of [footage of Steph and Darrell] you didn’t get to see, but hopefully you’ll see more” [in the future].

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Finally, we thought we’d add one more Q&A, which comes from a completely different interaction on Steph’s official Facebook page. In response to the question “Why do you guys always run barefoot?”–meaning why don’t the truckers use snow chains–Steph gave this explanation:

Good question friend 🙂 The reason we generally don’t like using chains (unless we have to) is because they’re so hard on the roads and can prevent further travel. If possible to go without chains (safely) we usually do. This helps the overall condition of the road as long as possible. Some roads if traveled warn a 10,000$ fine per axle if chains are used.

So–now you know!

You can catch Steph and the rest of the Ice Road Truckers cast in action when Season 11 airs Thursday nights at 10 on History.

(Photo credits: Steph Custace bikini via Facebook)

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