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“My fascination with the North is huge. I go up every year and it’s always so cool.


I think it’s the remoteness that attracts me.” – Mark


Mark Kohaykewych president and CEO of Polar Industries Ltd.


for the First Nation communities that are only accessible by ice roads in the winter months, especially when a lot of what Polar is bringing is too heavy or large to be transported by plane. “Our main transport items are still construction supplies;


this was just a natural transition because of my background. We do transport household goods, some heated and refrig- erated items but the bulk of our freight, at least 75 per cent, is specialized,” says Mark. Typically each load Polar hauls is 35 to 45 thousand tons, or 39.5 metric Tonnes (39,500 kilograms) to maximize each trip. Last season they moved their largest item yet, an over- sized crane weighing 130,000 pounds (59 kilograms). It was a pretty cool episode to watch. Tey had to pour extra water over the ice and contact the community with the pilot ve- hicle to let them know the ice road over the lake was closed at both ends until this monster load got across. “Ice is just so unpredictable. It was cracking something


30 • Winter 2015


The ice roads are unpredictable trails that are carved out of the wild northern forests and across frozen rivers and lakes.


fierce as they were driving across. It was like being in the loudest thunderstorm. Todd, the driver, was hanging out the door the whole time and was not comfortable with a cam- eraman being in the truck. He made it and it was fine, but it was one of the more stressful moves we’ve done,” Mark says of the endeavour. Tis is typical Mark and typical for Polar. Pushing the


envelope, doing whatever they can to assist the First Nation communities and their loyal clients, is all in a day’s work. And, while Mark is pleased with the incredible growth his company has been blessed with, he will continue pushing and growing his business, showcasing the First Nation communities that make his work so satisfying on an inter- national stage.


What it takes Drivers need to be mentally strong. Te ability to han-


dle the isolation is what really makes an ice road trucker stand out from his peers. Tey also have to be able to think


The Hub


Photo courtesy of Polar Industries.


Photo courtesy of Polar Industries.


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