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

Pink Shirt Day’s anti-bullying messaging on Feb. 24 should be understood every day of the year. (Contributed)
COLUMN: Millennial’s guide to online trolls, bullies

Messages of Pink Shirt Day should be front of mind all year long, especially online

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry wears shoes designed in her honour, as she views her image at the Murals of Gratitude exhibition in Vancouver, on July 3, 2020. (Darryl Dyck - The Canadian Press)
Celebrating Vernon women in leadership this International Women’s Day

Pandemic highlights women excelling in critical response roles

Mya Kondor, owner and trainer of Canines and Co. in Kelowna. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
VIDEO: Kelowna dog school offers puppy socialization classes amid COVID-19

Canines and Co. has adapted to the pandemic to provide training essential to puppies’ development

Providing seniors with tablets in order to stay connected is just one of the services offered by the Lake Country Health Planning Society. (Literacy Alliance of the Shuswap Society photo)
Support helps Lake Country society reduce COVID impacts on mental health

District grants funding to Health Planning Society

Elementary students from Vernon Christian School are looking to spread some cheer through their Carnation for Seniors campaign. (VCS - Contributed)
Vernon students spread cheer through carnations

Vernon Christian School hosting carnation campaign to bring joy to seniors in town

Abbotsford’s Kris Collins turned to TikTok out of boredom when the provincial COVID-19 lockdown began in March 2020. She now has over 23 million followers on the video app. Photo: Submitted
Internet famous: Abbotsford’s Kris Collins is a TikTok comedy queen

Collins has found surprise stardom alone with a phone

A Vancouver restaurant owner was found guilty of violating B.C.’s Human Rights Code by discriminating against customers on the basis of their race. (Pixabay)
Vancouver restaurant owner ordered to pay $4,000 to customers after racist remark

Referring to patrons as ‘you Arabs’ constitutes discrimination under B.C.’s Human Rights Code, ruling deems

Approximate location of the vehicle incident. (Google Maps)
Vehicle incident blocking Coquihalla traffic in both directions

Both directions of traffic stopped due to vehicle incident

(HelloKelowna - Twitter)
West Kelowna billboard bearing anti-vaccine messaging deemed misleading

Ad Standards investigated the billboard, noting a lack of evidence to support the messaging

Baldy Mountain Resort is temporarily closed following the death of a resort family member. Pictured above is a sunrise at the resort, Feb. 19, 2021. (Baldy Mountain Resort/Facebook)
Baldy Mountain ski hill closed following death of resort family member

Authorities currently investigating, resort set to reopen Sunday, Feb. 27

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
Chase RCMP arrest intoxicated man running into highway traffic

The man was wanted on several warrents in Alberta; was held overnight but released

Nanaimo children’s author and illustrator Lindsay Ford’s latest book is ‘Science Girl.’ (Photo courtesy Lindsay Ford)
B.C. children’s writer encourages girls to pursue the sciences in new book

Lindsay Ford is holding a virtual launch for latest book, ‘Science Girl’

Pig races at the 145th annual Chilliwack Fair on Aug. 12, 2017. Monday, March 1, 2021 is Pig Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Feb. 28 to March 6

Pig Day, Canadian Bacon Day and Grammar Day are all coming up this week

Staff from the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, passersby, RCMP and Nanaimo Fire Rescue carried a sick 300-kilogram steller sea lion up the steep bluff at Invermere Beach in north Nanaimo in an attempt to save the animal’s life Thursday. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Rescue Centre)
300-kilogram sea lion muscled up from B.C. beach in rescue attempt

Animal dies despite efforts of Nanaimo marine mammal rescue team, emergency personnel and bystanders

Most Read