When it first debuted, the A&E series Shipping Wars seemed like a rather boring idea for a TV show. It features a bunch of independent shippers bidding on products they must then deliver to their final destination.
Starring Roy Garber and his show-stealing cat Muffy, Shipping Wars somehow managed to ride high on the personalities of its stars and ultimately aired for 100 episodes with an average viewership of one million fans per show. Along the way, there are many secrets that have made themselves known, both about the show itself and the various people who have regularly appeared on Shipping Wars.
From staged bidding to a “kidnapped” cat, wait until you discover these surprising facts from Shipping Wars.
Scripted Bidding Was A Reality
Dramatizing reality TV has become so common that it’s almost hard to call what we watch “reality.” Shipping Wars was no exception. Predetermined bid prices were already in place at the time of filming so the scramble to bid was nothing more than a staged bit of reality TV theater.
With that being said, the items being shipped were from real customers and the bid prices likely still fell in line with what the independent shippers on the show would have received in real life. Need more proof? Why was it only members of the show bidding on items from a publicly available shipping platform?
Our next Shipping Wars star is much smarter than his TV persona would have us believe.
Jarrett Joyce Played A Character On The Show
Jarrett Joyce expertly played the role of the show’s bumbling idiot. We say “played” because his seeming ineptitude appears to have been reserved solely for the TV series. Listen to Joyce in interviews and he’s a well-spoken gentleman.
In fact, Joyce’s own hometown newspaper in Virginia wanted to interview the TV star and he insisted on talking about politics and other current events. Of course, what reality TV show is complete without a bumbling idiot who can add comic effect while making us feel better about ourselves? Jarret even has a degree in agricultural business from NC State.
The show’s stars were also subject to cyberbullying as you’re about to learn.
Jennifer Brennan Was Viciously Attacked On Facebook
After Shipping Wars became popular, a Facebook group decided for some unknown reason that it would be fun to attack both the company uShip and the TV show’s stars. To accomplish this goal they doxxed Jennifer Brennan, releasing personal details about her life available online, including her phone number, home address, and other sensitive info.
Perhaps the scariest part about this particular doxxing attempt is that the group never revealed why they were attacking the show’s secondary star.
Apparently not every star on the show was good at their jobs.
Not That Great At Their Jobs?
When Shipping Wars first started there were eight trucking companies that represented the show’s 12 cast members. By the end of the series, there were only four left. Arbie’s Team Transport went out of business because of Roy Garber’s death but the rest is a mystery.
It’s very likely that some of the companies were brand new and created specifically for the TV series. However, why their owners wouldn’t keep the now popular names is beyond our understanding. Then again, shipping is a tough business to thrive in.
Producers also hacked the show’s timeline to make it more exciting, as you’re about to learn.
The Timeline Was Completed Reworked By Producers
Stretching mundane facts over multiple days doesn’t make for great TV. However, making every day seemed jam-packed with mistakes, changes of plans, and other interesting occurrences can keep viewers on their toes. To accomplish this goal, truckers had to dress in the exact same clothes for days at a time so producers could make several days of filming look like one jam-packed shoot.
Sounds stinky but Jarrett Joyce has since revealed that A&E’s producers would provide participants with several duplicate pairs of clothes so they always looked same-day fresh.
This wasn’t the only tomfoolery, find out next why the show’s production company was sued by a producer.
The Show Was Sued By Its Own Producer For Not Paying Overtime
One of the producers of Shipping Wars, Jocelyn Schutte, decided to sue the production company involved with the show for failing to pay her for overtime worked. In her complaint, Schutte noted that she regularly worked more than 40 hours per week and was never compensated accordingly.
Schutte didn’t sue A&E but rather focused on production companies Megalomedia Inc. and Mansfield Films LLC. Megalomedia had a history of this sort of behavior in the past, failing to pay overtime to workers on the short-lived series Texas Car Wars.
This wasn’t the only dishonest act from Shipping Wars’ producers…
Producers Allegedly Lied To Roswell War Veterans
One of the more popular episodes of Shipping Wars occurred in the Alien-friendly town of Roswell, New Mexico. However, the town’s war veterans were not happy after the show aired the episode. Apparently, the show only had permission to film in the town if it honored New Mexico’s war veterans, a promise that was made by the show’s team.
When the show aired it was full of mentions of aliens, Area 51, and various other events. The town’s veterans were upset and felt embarrassed after they told friends to watch the show and it featured nothing but talk of aliens and conspiracy theories.
Being a woman on the show also came with some disturbing requirements.
Women Were Told To Dress And Act Provocatively
There were some attractive women on the TV series Shipping Wars and that fact wasn’t lost on the show’s producers. In fact, the women were often given clothes that featured tiny tank tops and short shorts. In the event that they were wearing jeans, they were skin tight.
Robbie Welsh, Jennifer Brennan, Tamera Sturgis, and Jessica Samko gained a lot of fans thanks to their time on the show but their clothing choices didn’t really make sense for people who worked in shipping.
There may have even been a former adult actress on the show, find out what that’s all about on our next page.
A Former Adult Film Actress Was Allegedly Featured On The Show
Scott and Suzanne Bawcom only appeared on the TV series for a short period of time and their trucking company Dreamtime Transport has sinhce closed up shop. That didn’t stop some fans from pointing out that Suzanne’s former job may have been that of an adult film star.
It was revealed that actress Sammie Sparks is widely believed to be Suzanne Bawcom. And there’s more. Another fan pointed out that Scott looks a lot like one of the men that appeared in one of Suzanne’s films. He allegedly played a voyeur husband but he never actually took part in the action. The couple never confirmed or denied the rumors.
There were two lifestyle topics that stars were forbidden to talk about.
No Political Or Religious Talk Was Allowed
A&E allegedly wasn’t happy after Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson used his new stardom to blast members of the LGBT community by spewing hateful religious rhetoric. To avoid similar issues, Shipping Wars stars were told not to talk about politics or religion.
This policy spilled over not only to the show but also their own personal social media accounts and public appearances. After the show drew to a close, stars Chris Hanna and Robbie Welsh started talking regularly about first amendment rights, gun control, and U.S. elections.
Keeping reading to find out what happened after the show stopped airing.
Camaraderie? Not In Real Life
In any business, there is going to be some competitiveness but on Shipping Wars it sometimes seemed to lean into the realm of being outright mean. The show’s stars regularly made fun of their fellow competitors, taking shots at each other both during bidding and when bad things happened on the road.
However, during public meet-and-greets, and even when just hanging out together, the views of the truckers seemed to rapidly change. In fact, observers close to the truckers have confessed that they actually got along and even hung out together when not filming. It was later revealed that light-hearted teasing was cut together to look mean and generally exaggerated.
Nobody Seems To Know Why Chris and Robbie Left The Show
Shipping Wars couple Chris Hanna and Robbie Welsh shared a promo for season six of the popular TV series and they appeared ready to make a big return. But when the new season aired, they were absent from the series.
What is most shocking about their departure is that Robbie had become a star in her own right, modeling for various industry magazines and websites. When asked about the departure Robbie simply tweeted, “I know you want an explanation & I would love to give you one but I’m waiting on a few explanations myself so #bepatient.”
Coming up: a tragic fact about one of the show’s stars
uShip Hasn’t Had A Great Reputation
Let’s be honest for a moment. Shipping Wars was basically a giant billboard for the internet shipping company uShip. The online marketplace connects independent truckers to clients looking to ship a variety of items and based on the show’s premise, it’s a go-to marketplace.
However, uShip has been hit with dozens of Better Business Bureau complaints that note a lot of damaged items have been delivered and that uShip hasn’t done enough to vouch for the professionalism of its drivers. Out of more than 600 complaints on its website, uShip has only responded to a single complaint and wasn’t even able to resolve that customer’s issues.
Roy Garber Once Caught Alligators For A Living
Roy Garber appeared on Shipping Wars as the grizzled veteran of the shipping trade but it wasn’t the only job he held over the years. Many websites list Garber as having numerous jobs before his time on the show. Among those jobs was some time spent dealing with alligators.
Garber used to make his living by catching live gators. He also worked for a while as a TIG Welder. It’s no wonder the competitiveness of the shipping industry didn’t seem to phase the TV show’s star.
The Show Didn’t Make Any Of Its Stars Rich
Despite running for seven seasons and 100 episodes and finding a decent sized audience, A&E’s hit reality TV series didn’t help make its stars rich. Roy Garber is estimated to have earned around $800,000 from the series and other outside work, a number that has not been confirmed.
Other stars on the show are believed to have made far less money, barely reaching into the six-figure range. Of course, that money doesn’t include any of the actual cash they made from delivering goods while filming the show. Jennifer Brennan was believed to have been paid just $1,000 per episode.
Jarrett Joyce Mapped Out Routes To Play In PGA Events
Jarrett Joyce is an avid golfer and when taking on jobs he looks for routes that allow him to stop and play in PGA-qualifying tour events. His hope is that he will one day be able to give up his shipping business and other side jobs and become a professional golfer.
Perhaps this helps explain why Joyce seemed to always take on strange items such as a box of 40 kittens, a hot dog stand, a civil war cannon, and someone’s ashes. It was all for love of the game!
Jennifer Brennan Is A CPA?
As one of the most stunning women on the TV series, you might think that Brennan’s skillset stops at modeling, a career she has pursued in the past. In reality, she is a college graduate who pursued her degree to become a CPA (certified public accountant).
Brennan’s smarts only further prove that the TV show’s producers attempted to focus on the women’s looks on the TV series instead of showing off their brain power as well.
Jennifer Brennan Might Have More Experience Than Her Male Counterparts
Brennan grew up on a cattle ranch in Texas and that meant she spent her days dealing with cattle and other animals. She eventually went on to train and ride horses for competition purposes.
So, when Jennifer started appearing on the show, she already had experience hauling exotic horses and livestock around the country. Hauling a million-dollar Ferrari doesn’t seem so difficult when you’ve already been hauling live, unpredictable animals throughout the United States. Producers may have focused on her looks but she also had the experience to back up her work.
Roy Garber Died After Suffering More Than One Heart Attack
Shipping Wars relied on its biggest star, Roy Garber, and sadly, he died at the young age of 49. The show would continue on for two more seasons without its biggest star. Tragically, his death might have been avoidable if he made healthier lifestyle choices.
A longtime friend revealed after his death that Garber had suffered from another heart attack just a few years earlier. Garber’s doctor told him to lay off the greasy and salty foods he loved, a decision Garber ignored. Between a poor diet and hours sitting behind the wheel of his truck, the lifestyle was too much for his heart to handle.
After his death, Garber’s cat was taken without permission. That fact is up next.
Roy’s Cat Was Kidnapped After His Death
Following Roy Garber’s unfortunate death, his cat Muffy, as much of a TV star as her owner, was taken by an estranged family member — without permission! On the official Arbie’s Team Transport Facebook page, it was revealed that Muffy was essentially kidnapped by a family member who was supposed to be taking the cat to Garber’s mother.
“Unfortunately, Muffy was taken without permission by an estranged relative of Roy’s… and not returned to the family that she loves and trusts,” the post read. We have no idea if Muffy ever made it home since that was the last public update.