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'Top Gear' (USA) Recap And Review: 'Off Road Big Rigs' - Logging Disasters

Brittany S Frederick Brittany S Frederick
July 2nd, 2014 9:01am EDT

Top Gear

When somebody gave the British Top Gear hosts big rigs, they just crashed through a bunch of stuff and hurt themselves. Is the American version going to be any different? Erm...who are we kidding?

Adam, Tanner and Rutledge have decided to join the timber hauling industry, with the first one of the trio to reach their final destination to be declared the winner (of what, who knows - possibly some therapy). As Adam points out, the last time these guys went trucking, it went badly. There's plenty of room for improvement.

Once the obligatory race is out of the way (complete with Tanner gloating over his victory), we meet the contenders: Tanner's Peterbilt, Adam's Kenworth, and Rutledge's other Kenworth - the Longnose. Their first test is to figure out which of three differently-sized gates they can fit their truck through and try to get by as cleanly as possible.

Adam, who appears to be concerned for his well-being, hits the pole at the top of his chosen gate and fails. Rutledge chooses correctly, but is driving slower than the minimum speed requirement. Tanner's scheming is counteracted by Adam's scheming, and he crashes in spectacular fashion after trying to insist there are some places he's actually too tall for.

Tanner: There are some vehicles and some doorways--
Adam: --Like on a gingerbread house?

It doesn't take Tanner long to figure out that he's been messed with, and he demolishes the gate out of revenge. Challenge number two is a braking test, to see who has the shortest stopping distance coming down from 40 miles an hour. Caution tape is helpfully placed to keep the guys from driving into an adjacent swamp - and for Adam to drive straight into it. Fun and games aside, nobody is looking forward to getting up early and doing the actual hauling, and we can't say that we blame them.

From the moment the guys get on the road, they're already starting to panic. Adam declares that his ADD is raging, while Tanner and Rutledge are cringing at passing cars. Tanner shocks his colleagues by admitting he thinks that the truck is harder to drive than a race car, then adds, "I'm also not capable of being married, so I could be missing a lot of skill sets." Touche, Mr. Foust.

The guys all take pause when they're forced to drive over a bridge apparently held up by hope and a collection of moss. When they're actually trying to help each other, you know this is serious stuff. Obviously, no one dies, but this might be classified as a near-death experience. Then there's backing up into a lumber yard. And that's just to pick up their haul for the journey ahead; they're not even really started yet!

Tanner: We're screwed. There's no backing it up, there's no stopping it...we're screwed.

With their cargo on board, it's time for the guys to make their run to the mill, some 40 miles east. Their stress levels are through the roof, and it only gets worse once it starts to rain (this is Washington state, after all). Tanner finds it increasingly difficult to keep the Peterbilt on its side of the road, and comes close to colliding with a passing SUV. This scares him enough to force him off the highway and onto surface streets, which isn't necessarily a good idea either.

While getting lost in the suburbs, Rutledge unknowingly collides with someone's boat and trailer. Being the nice guy that he is, he stops to take care of the situation, leaving Adam and Tanner to make the remainder of the delivery without any further property damage. Rut finally rolls in a few minutes later, sheepishly admitting that he might not be as good a trucker as he thinks. And after all that, nobody actually wins anything, unless you count surviving.

Top Gear continues next Tuesday at 9 PM ET/PT on History.

Photo Credits: History