Lisa Kelly stood out when she appeared in the third season of “Ice Road Truckers”, as the only woman in a traditionally male profession. She exceeded all expectations by becoming a “top dog” rather than a “maggot,” the latter of which is a nickname for newbie truckers, but that was unsurprising for anyone who knew her. After all, Lisa grew up on a farm in Alaska, and had worked as a school bus and van driver. Moreover, she rode motorcycles, and was even a state freestyle motocross champion.
When asked about her experience, Lisa stated that she had to ‘work twice as hard, pull her and everybody else’s weight, and get the job done as fast or faster than men.’ However, like the other cast members, she disappeared from TV after the show ended in November 2017, which makes her fans wonder where Lisa Kelly is, and what she is doing – we have answers.
Lisa is still driving trucks
Although Lisa no longer appears in the TV show, she never lost her passion for trucking, and is still traversing the dangerous highways of Alaska. Additionally, after a media break that lasted until 2021, she gave an interview to Overdrive Online. This media company has given a voice to American truckers for decades and gave her a platform to explain what unfolded during the four-year break.
Lisa also became active on social media after that, worked with Chevron, and relocated to another town in Alaska to spend time in her barn when she wasn’t working. Furthermore, she began creating content for her YouTube and TikTok, giving her followers a glimpse into her life on the road. Finally, she’s interested in returning if the revival season of “Ice Road Truckers” ever airs, but may decline if the circumstances prevent her.
She would have joined sooner
Long before her show’s appearance, Lisa was interested in truck driving, and proving that she shouldn’t be treated differently because of her gender; that made her fans wonder what stopped her from joining from the get-go. However, they must remember that the first two seasons were filmed in Canada, while Lisa resided and worked in Alaska’s town of Sterling. She proved her commitment by staying throughout the fourth and fifth, then the seventh to the 11th seasons, which was also the last one.
She took a break, then returned
People speculated that the production team wanted to stir the pot by not offering Lisa a contract for the sixth season. However, the truth is mundane – Lisa chose to take a break. In the preceding episodes, Lisa complained that she only saw her husband for a few days out of the six months that she was driving her truck. Additionally, a Soapbox interview from 2013 described her as ‘a solitary trucker, who wants to drive, do her job, go home, sit on the couch, and watch TV like a normal person.’ Finally, many viewers don’t realize that Lisa simultaneously filmed her segments for “IRT: Deadliest Roads” and the fifth season. In that series, Lisa trucked in the Himalayas, snd in Peru and Bolivia, which drained her energy, took her time, and constantly kept her on high alert because of those perilous roads.
Lisa Kelly still works and lives in Alaska
Fans already knew that on 1 September 2015, John Coughlan took over Polar Industries Ltd., the company under TransCold Group that Lisa and the other truckers worked for in the show. Since the show was on air for over two years afterwards, it was evident the other workers fit in well with the new management. Regardless, around the peaceful takeover, Lisa started working for a new company spearheaded by Darrell Ward, and stayed there until he passed away after the show’s 10th season. Lisa continued driving on Alaska’s Haul Road after the show ended, but not for Carlile Transportations, another one of her previous companies. Instead, she worked for ‘a different logistics company,’ according to an interview with Overdrive Online in May 2021, but never revealed the name.
She also noted that she managed to ‘blow up two trucks while driving between the cities of Kenai and Prudhoe Bay.’ Thus, the company hired her to drive the Freightliner Coronado, a Class 8 conventional truck introduced in 2001 but renamed 122SD, with “SD” standing for “Severe Duty.” Although she didn’t clarify the specifications, the highest option is 600 horsepower and 2,050lbs-ft of torque, which is enough for the 32-hour journey over 1,500 miles or 2415 kilometers that she mentioned. She concluded the interview by revealing that she stays in touch with some cast members, such as Todd Dewey, and has seen Jack Jesse and Phil Kromm on the road.
Throughout her time in the show, Lisa or someone in her stead maintained her official website, www.thelisakelly.com. However, the website is defunct nowadays. Similarly, she frequently posted on her Instagram, @lisa_kellyirt, but disabled it at some point, and stopped posting on her Twitter account, @lisakellyirt, in October 2018.
Lisa is active on YouTube, TikTok, and Facebook
Lisa keeps her Facebook page, @lisakellyIRT active, which has over 900,000 followers, and permits people to book her for appearances through her management company, LisasTruckStop.com.
Still sitting in the truck waiting to leave anchorage pic.twitter.com/0s6f4GTQ
— Lisa Kelly (@LisaKellyIRT) January 9, 2013
Lisa also unintentionally started her career on YouTube under the username @kx232, and posted her first video, “1.WDHR: Letting people by,” on 29 October 2022. In it, Lisa defined the dos and don’ts of driving the Dalton Highway in Alaska and disclosed some unspoken rules for the new truck drivers that she noticed. However, people loved how much wisdom she crammed into only two minutes, and asked for more tips and vlogs.
Lisa has since amassed over 42,000 subscribers and posted roughly one video per week, reaching the 30th episode in her WDHR series in May 2023. Furthermore, she recorded her favorite jokes, gave truck maintenance and fixing instructions, and read highly requested stories. Lisa also recorded an interview with a fellow cast member, Jack Jesse, which she planned to post in January 2023, but he disliked how it went, hence she delayed the release.
Moreover, she started a TikTok account, @lisamariekelly232, in October 2022 and focused its content on jokes, stories from the road, and her time with her husband, providing an insight into her intimate life. Lisa also created a Patreon account, allowing fans to pay a monthly subscription to see more content, or get in touch. One of the things that fans could see is her attempts at drawing.
She is a wife, an animal lover, and business owner
She married Traves Kelly in 2008, following four years of dating, and settled in Wasilla, Alaska. However, she briefly mentioned that she relocated to Fairbanks for a job opportunity in September 2021. Her fans later discovered that she collaborated with Chevron Delo, an engine oil and lubricant manufacturer that she praised in the show, and used from the day she started driving. She recorded many videos about her line of work, including its good and bad sides, cooking on the road, and tips on the product’s proper use. Lisa also teased about starting a business, and asked her followers to create a logo.
While the couple still has no children, likely because of how busy their lives are, the 2021 interview revealed great news. Lisa said that she loves playing with her horses and other animals. Fans know that she had a dog, three cats, and three horses in 2013 and has loved horse-riding since childhood.
One of her dogs and many horses appeared in the Facebook images that she posted throughout 2022 and 2023. She began recording videos in her barn in February 2023, and mentioned having horses named Rocky, Alaska, Miss Maybe and Skye. Her newest horse, officially named Perhaps but whom she calls Happy and jokingly Perhappy, was born at 2 a.m. on 3 May 2023 with health problems that initially required an operation. Although the veterinarian later informed her that the operation was unnecessary, Lisa said that Happy was in poor shape and dying in late April. Luckily, she briefed her followers on 26 April that the situation improved, and that Happy felt better once she brought her home the next day. Lisa is passionate about pig rescue efforts in Alaska, and enamored by dragonflies, too.
She could return but has other priorities
Lisa divulged during her Overdrive Online interview that she heard some talk of the show’s revival, however, according to her, nothing happened on that front due to COVID-19. She also praised the government’s recent investment in infrastructure, such as tarmac and paving, to make trucking safer. Lisa continues to be impressed by the things she sees on the road, such as the beautiful sky, tundra, meteors, the Moon, and wild animal, such as caribou and reindeer, suggesting that she still wants to drive trucks for a living. With that in mind, it’s unsurprising that she keeps track of the newest photos captured by the James Webb telescope.
Moreover, Lisa mentioned that her desire for moto crossing remained, but that she only occasionally takes her bike out of storage for maintenance; however, she tried snow biking in March 2023 as a substitute.
On keeping stuff in storage, she mentioned that she became a proponent of minimalism in recent years. She explained that was because she related to the quote, ‘We spend the first half of our lives collecting things and the second half trying to get rid of things!’