When a cable network was looking for contestants for a reality show, they found one here in East Tennessee.
It's a show called "World's Toughest Trucker."
"I drive a truck." Shane Smart said. "A lot of power plant equipment. I've done a lot of stuff for TVA: generators, boilers, turbines, pieces for those components mainly."
Shane Smart from Tazewell drives mostly in the United States and Canada. But he was recruited to travel to Australia to compete against seven others for the title of "World's Toughest Trucker."
"I'm not a tough guy. I don't run around to bars and cause problems and everything. I said I'm not who you're looking for and she said you may be exactly who we're looking for," he said.
He accepted the challenge after talking it over with his 11-year-old son.
"He spent a month without his daddy here so that was kind of tough on him," he said.
The competition was tough for Smart because it was way more than driving a truck.
"The trucking was the easy part in all this, it honestly was. The challenges were having the television cameras there and the other people there, some completely different characters than myself," he said.
He's back from the shoot and has gained some notoriety since the show started airing.
"Somebody came up to me the other day and said, 'Hey, have you seen that show on Discovery? There's a guy on there who looks like you.' I said, 'Yeah, that's probably because it's me', you know," he said with a laugh. "There's a lot of stereotypes out there about truckers. And when you watch the show you... I personally feel you can see some positive in it."
An example of something positive is shown early in the Discovery series.
"In the first episode there was an accident that we came up on immediately that we were able to help those people," he said.
The show reinforced his own values.
"I had to learn a lot about myself, you know, what I could and couldn't put up with, what I could and couldn't deal with. You know, I pretty well knew where my limits were or so I thought, and just about the time we reached them, it was just the beginning," he said.
"The worst part of the experience was leaving my son behind," he said. "That was the only bad in all of this. Everything else was wonderful."
Including, coming home.
"I really didn't know until I came home how great the people of Tennessee are. Honestly, the support and the love has been absolutely amazing," he said.
Smart didn't win the grand prize but he took home $10,000 and a lifetime of memories.
"It was an amazing journey. From beginning to end everyone has been extremely supportive and just made me feel like the luckiest person in the world," he said.
The show airs on Discovery. The next episode is tonight at 10:00.