While it might have left the airwaves some time ago, Shipping Wars hasn’t been forgotten by its loyal fans. The popular A&E reality show, which aired its final eighth season in 2015 before rebooting again in 2022, was loved for its fast-paced antics and unique cast, who battled to transport novel items that other carriers couldn’t muster.
In between the loveable Jarrett Joyce and fiery Jessica Samko, one castmate emerged as the true star. Roy Garber, who appeared in the first five seasons, won fans over with his jack-of-all-trades mastery and quick wit. Known for single-handedly raising his son, Travis, and lovingly dubbed “The Handyman,” Garber was noticeably absent from the cast of Shipping Wars’ final three seasons.
What happened to Roy?
Garber’s longtime girlfriend confirmed to TMZ in Jan. 2014 that the Shipping Wars star sadly passed away, just two days after filming had wrapped on the show’s fifth season. Garber reportedly suffered a heart attack and was rushed to hospital in Texas, before passing away shortly afterwards. The staple trucker, who was only 49, was said to have been suffering from heart conditions for some time before his death.
At the time, the Shipping Wars production team responded to Garber’s death with a statement to TMZ, saying the series was “deeply saddened” by the loss. A&E described Garber as a “member of [their] family,” and the official biography on their website goes into detail about his history and interests.
According to the biography, Garber was an avid fisherman and diver, who often ventured into deep waters in pursuit of sharks. Before his shipping efforts, Garber operated a construction and remodelling company to support his son, before pivoting to his passion for transportation. Garber started Arbie’s Team Transport and went on to become one of the top-earning transporters in the country.
While it has been around a decade since his passing, Shipping Wars reruns on A&E have continually introduced legions of fans to Garber and the cast of rag-tag transporters. Tributes have consistently rolled in for Garber on his online obituary, with some posted as recently as Dec. 2023.
One fan remembered Garber for “setting the standard” for Shipping Wars, while others said his legacy will live on through the show. As for the future of Shipping Wars itself, there’ has as yet been’d no news about whether the series will return for a tenth season following the 2022 reboot. Fingers crossed.