VIDEO: Old Highway Thru Hell tow truck helps move 850-tonne ship at B.C. shipyard

An old Highway Thru Hell heavy wrecker tow truck helps to shift an 850-tonne Canadian Coast Guard ship into launching position at the Point Hope Maritime Shipyard Thursday afternoon. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)An old Highway Thru Hell heavy wrecker tow truck helps to shift an 850-tonne Canadian Coast Guard ship into launching position at the Point Hope Maritime Shipyard Thursday afternoon. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
An old Highway Thru Hell heavy wrecker tow truck helps to shift an 850-tonne Canadian Coast Guard ship into launching position at the Point Hope Maritime Shipyard Thursday afternoon. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)An old Highway Thru Hell heavy wrecker tow truck helps to shift an 850-tonne Canadian Coast Guard ship into launching position at the Point Hope Maritime Shipyard Thursday afternoon. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
An old Highway Thru Hell heavy wrecker tow truck helps to shift an 850-tonne Canadian Coast Guard ship into launching position at the Point Hope Maritime shipyard Thursday afternoon. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)An old Highway Thru Hell heavy wrecker tow truck helps to shift an 850-tonne Canadian Coast Guard ship into launching position at the Point Hope Maritime shipyard Thursday afternoon. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
An old Highway Thru Hell heavy wrecker tow truck helps to shift an 850-tonne Canadian Coast Guard ship into launching position at the Point Hope Maritime shipyard Thursday afternoon. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)An old Highway Thru Hell heavy wrecker tow truck helps to shift an 850-tonne Canadian Coast Guard ship into launching position at the Point Hope Maritime shipyard Thursday afternoon. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)

Known to Discovery Channel fans as HR126 or Pug, a retired Highway Thru Hell tow truck was on scene at a Victoria shipyard Thursday afternoon to take on one of its biggest jobs yet – shifting an 850-tonne Canadian Coast Guard ship.

The heavy wrecker tow truck was acquired by Peninsula Towing just two weeks ago and Thursday’s task was the first real test of the machine. Unfortunately, owner Don Affleck said, they had no idea until they got to the Point Hope Maritime Shipyard that one of the truck’s two winches wasn’t working.

“We had to work very creatively to complete that job,” he said. “That job required well over 35,000, probably 40,000 pounds worth of pull and we only had 25,000 to work with.”

The task was to shift the enormous vessel from the turn table, where it had been undergoing repairs to the launch carriage, to where it will be released from early Friday morning. Affleck said they had their second heavy wrecker tow truck on hand in case they needed it, but by using multiple vehicles were able to shift the ship without resorting to Plan B.

The towing company’s other heavy wrecker tow truck is also a Highway Thru Hell relic. A 1999 Kenworth W900, HR52 only appeared once in the very first episode of the reality TV show. Affleck said when he first bought it he had never even heard of the show.

When he bought HR126 though, Affleck knew exactly where it was coming from. Based out of Hope, B.C., Highway Thru Hell documents the harrowing experiences of Jamie Davis Motor Trucking as they rescue and recover vehicles along the Coquihalla and interior B.C. highways.

RELATED: New season of Highway Thru Hell kicks off with snowstorm on Coquihalla

Affleck said when they aren’t using their heavy wreckers at shipyards they’re out recovering heavy vehicles and towing semi-trailers. The snow in the last week has kept them especially busy.

“They’re mighty trucks and we certainly put them to use,” he said.

RELATED: Greater Victoria tow operators at a loss with abandoned vehicles


Do you have a story tip? Email: jane.skrypnek@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

Canadian Coast GuardVictoria

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Rebecca Heuser
COLUMN: How to help your young reluctant reader

Library has resources to help children

Seniors in the Interior Health region can book their COVID-19 vaccinations starting Monday, March 8, 2021 at 7 a.m. (File photo)
Seniors in Interior Heath region can book COVID-19 shots starting Monday

Starting March 8 the vaccination call centre will be open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily

C.E. “Ned” Bentley owned a garage on Shaughnessy Avenue, now Lakeshore Drive in Summerland. Bentley later went on to serve on Summerland’s council and was recognized with the Good Citizen Award in 1939. (Summerland Museum photo)
Former Summerland reeve once ran garage

C.E. “Ned” Bentley was a prominent figure in Summerland’s past.

Interior Health reported 33 new COVID-19 cases on March 5. (Black Press Files)
Interior Health reports 33 new COVID-19 cases on March 5

Over 300,000 vaccine doses have been administered provincewide.

The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen is offering home compost bins at reduced prices until March 25. (Contributed)
Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen offers compost bins at wholesale costs

Pricing offer at participating stores in place until March 25

The James C Richardson Pipe Band marches in a Remembrance Day parade on Nov. 11, 2019 in Chilliwack. Wednesday, March 10 is International Bagpipe Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of March 7 to 13

International Bagpipe Day, Wash Your Nose Day and Kidney Day are all coming up this week

Multiple people were injured at a Vernon home following an early-morning break-in Saturday, March 6, 2021. (Black Press file photo)
Multiple people left injured following break-and-enter in Vernon

Police believe the early-morning break-in was targeted and not a threat to the general public

Isaac Gilbert is running for council in the by-election for Jake Kimberley’s vacated seat. (Submitted)
First candidate for Penticton council by-election makes himself known

Isaac Gilbert is making a second run at council after receiving 19.63 per cent of the vote in 2018

Kelowna General Hospital (File photo)
Second COVID-19 outbreak declared at Kelowna General Hospital

One patient and one staff member on Unit have tested positive for the virus.

Victoria man Brett Andersen is asking for people’s help to secure him one of eight free tickets to the moon. (Screenshot/@brettandersen Instagram)
Victoria man wants your help securing a free ticket to the moon

Japanese billionaire offering eight people a trip to the moon

The Conservation Officers Service is warning aquarium users after invasive and potentially destructive mussels were found in moss balls from a pet store. (BC Conservation Officers Service/Facebook)
Aquarium users in B.C. warned after invasive mussels found at pet store

Conservation officers were told the mussels were found in a moss ball from a Terrace pet store.

A Coldstream resident who found an owl struggling on her property in March 2021 is now spreading awareness of about the knock-on effects of rodent poisoning. (Kathy Renaud photo)
Okanagan owl ‘fighting for her life’ after ingesting rat poison

Coldstream resident warns against the use of rodenticide due to risk of secondary poisoning in raptors

Hockey hall-of-fame legend Wayne Gretzky, right, watches the casket of his father, Walter Gretzky, as it is carried from the church during a funeral service in Brantford, Ont., Saturday, March 6, 2021. HE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky remembered as a man with a ‘heart of gold’ at funeral

The famous hockey father died Thursday at age 82 after battling Parkinson’s disease

Most Read