Ryan Hastie is “large and in charge” on Discovery Channel's "Loaded"


Ryan Hastie, a Trochu based trucker and co-owner/operator of Hastie Hauling Inc., signed on with Cineflix Productions last winter to be filmed for a reality television show that premiered March 25, 2013 on a U.S.A. weather channel. The six, 30 minute episodes entitled "Loaded", originally commissioned for Weather, was picked up by Discovery Channel, which is now airing two back-to-back episodes each Tuesday evening at 8:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. (MST). Canadian viewers can now watch Ryan, the lone Canadian of three truckers being filmed independently as they go about their business. The drama is found mostly in the extreme elements and road hazards, complicated further by the type of cargo and tight deadlines. "I am the only Canadian on it and nobody got to watch it here.", said Ryan, "It aired in the U.S.A. in March and I had to get the videos and invite friends over." Two episodes aired on Discovery August 13, and two for August 20, 2013, while the other two will air August 27. Discovery hasn't scheduled repeats yet as they are still confirming their fall schedule.
Ryan bought his truck, a 2007, 379 long-nose Peterbilt, second hand. "I got my class one when I was 18 because I could, and having grown up on the farm I needed it.", said Ryan, "This September ninth, I will have been driving truck 12 years.", Ryan adds, "We have two equipment trailers with detachable double drop, a cattle liner and grain trailer."
Ryan was 'discovered' through his Facebook page, when he 'liked' a couple of different trucking pages. He, and probably many others, were asked to apply. There was some correspondence, a video submission, with just his iPhone, and questionnaire about what he liked and didn't like about trucking. That all happened in 2011 and it wasn't until the summer of 2012 that he was notified of being selected for the tv show. With such a big gap in communication, Ryan continued thinking it might be just a prank until he received a phone call telling him his film crew would be landing in Alberta within the week, arriving Sunday, October 21, 2012. "I knew it was the real deal about that time. I was nervous about having my own personal film crew following me around for my usual day-to-day hauls. I was very nervous about talking into a camera and I worried that the crew would hold me up on my hauls. I soon learned that the show's main focus was less about a competition and more on how truckers deal with adverse road conditions."
He added, "They probably filmed about 40 hours of footage a week of me driving and then would cull the best seven minutes or so for each episode. Doing this for three drivers would fill their approximate 30 minute show, minus commercial time. For the show's purposes I took loads to B.C., as well as in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Another contestant, Joe, was trucking the western states, Texas to California and Montana, while Brenda did the eastern seaboard. They are both used to sleeping in their truck. I usually drive more local and I might sleep one night a month in my truck. At first the production crew wanted me doing more long hauls until they learned that it is a lot of hours of just driving, while my shorter hauls, that involved three or four times to unload in a day, got them more actual useable footage." In the earliest episode, Ryan's father, and business partner, took over the wheel for Ryan while he was seeing to the comfort of his wife Danielle, pregnant at the time with twins, and experiencing medical complications. "We didn't want to hold the production crew up and so Dad is a large part of the first episode. It is fantastic that he got to be in this too.", said Ryan.
The Pilot Episode is "First Winter Storm", which was Alberta's first winter storm for Ryan, October 23, and it was a doozy. "It was darn cold and the crew wanted some 'stills' of me without my furry hat, but my ears were getting frost bit." The following episode, "Hurricane Sandy-Here I Come" has Brenda braving the hurricane on her way to Atlantic City. In "Hammer Down", Ryan joins a convoy into white-out conditions, while Joe battles fog and treacherous inclines, and Brenda moves a light load in wind and rain. In "Long Hauls" Ryan travels through canyons with an oversize combine. It's in "Turkey Truckin'" that Joe hauls temperature sensitive bees and runs low on fuel in the middle of the desert, while Ryan is wrestling an ultra-wide load in white-out conditions once again. In the final episode "Deep Freeze", Brenda is targeted by gas tank thieves in Cleveland, Ryan contends with a bulldozer frozen to the ground, and Joe deals with a spidered windshield during a storm in the the Cascade Mountains.
Some of the more memorial episodes for Ryan include a very small snippet in one of the episodes in which, during a blizzard and freezing rain, Ryan was returning from Manitoba and came across a 'Lazy-boy Furniture' trucker in Saskatchewan, whose truck was frozen to the ground. "I pour some washer fluid down and with that little trick, from my oil patch days, he got his truck a rockin' and soon he was on the move again." Ryan adds, "One of the cooler moments was being filmed really close up from a helicopter. They rented a helicopter for aerial shots taken in Banff and Drumheller. It was about 50' out and 10' off the ground, tracking me. There was once I thought I was going to hit them."
Although it is all an experience Ryan won't soon forget and has absolutely no regrets at all, the film crew will probably most remember how fastidious Ryan is about the cleanliness of the interior of his truck. "They told me to just be natural but I am used to driving alone with the radio cranked up high and I usually like to sing along. Now I couldn't because of the recording equipment. I also keep my truck very clean inside. Truckers call me 'shoeless Ryan' because I often leave my dirty shoes on the outside step as I slip into my clean wool slippers for inside the truck. Numerous times I drive away, forgetting my shoes out there. It is not natural having three other guys in my truck and coping with so many shoes and snow and salt, even with drip trays."
"When it first aired in the states", said Ryan, "I thought it must have been doing okay if I was being asked to do interviews, for the channel and also for Sirius Radio. Having it picked up by Discovery Channel, now, makes me wonder if the ratings are good enough to increase the potential for further episodes. It was a very cool experience. I never thought trucking would lead to this! My two-year old girl is seeing the commercials but all she really sees is her Daddy. It hasn't quite hit home for me either. Here I am, an owner/operator of a trucking company that hauls agricultural equipment and cattle, and I was that kid in school who was always in trouble. Now I get, "Hey are you that guy from that trucking show", and my friends just mock me about one of my on-air quotes when asked how I feel about trucking, which was 'large and in charge'."