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

A dose of COVID-19 vaccine is prepared at a vaccination clinic in Montreal’s Olympic Stadium on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
39 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health region

The total number of cases in the region since the pandemic began is now at 7,334

Members of the Nelson Nordic Ski Club show off their new snowcat. Photo: Submitted
Nelson Nordic Club celebrates new snowcat

A community fundraising effort led to the purchase

Kootenay-Columbia MP Rob Morrison speaks during Question Period in the House of Commons. File photo.
Kootenay-Columbia MP supports motion condemning Uighur genocide

Rob Morrison says labelling Uighur persecution as a genocide sends a message to Chinese government

The Skinny Genes Foundation is raising awareness and funds for a rare genetic disorder that claimed both his father and uncle.
NHL players, local businesses help Kootenay man raise funds and awareness for rare genetic disease

Signed NHL jerseys and local business donations up for auction in Skinny Genes Foundation fundraiser

An architectural design proposal from June, 2020, illustrates what a re-developed Hall Street Pier might look like. Illustration: City of Nelson
Nelson receives $1M grant for Hall St. Pier project

The design and extent of the project will be decided in the next few weeks

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

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

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

Doctors and counsellors warn of an increase in panic attacks, anxiety, depression and suicide ideas between ages 10 to 14, in Campbell River. ( Black Press file photo)
Extended pandemic feeding the anxieties of B.C.’s youth

Parents not sure what to do, urged to reach out for help

Kara Sorensen, diagnosed with lung cancer in July, says it’s important for people to view her as healthy and vibrant, rather than sick. (Photo courtesy of Karen Sorensen)
B.C. woman must seek treatment overseas for inoperable lung cancer

Fundraising page launched on Karen Sorensen’s behalf, with a goal of $250,000

Gina Adams as she works on her latest piece titled ‘Undying Love’. (Submitted photo)
‘Toothless’ the kitty inspires B.C. wood carver to break out the chainsaw

Inspired by plight of a toothless cat, Gina Adams offers proceeds from her artwork to help animals

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson presents bill to delay B.C.’s budget as late as April 30, and allow further spending before that, B.C. legislature, Dec. 8, 2020. (Hansard TV)
How big is B.C.’s COVID-19 deficit? We’ll find out April 20

More borrowing expected as pandemic enters second year

The first of 11 Dash 8 Q400 aircraft's have arrived in Abbotsford. Conair Group Inc. will soon transform them into firefighting airtankers. (Submitted)
Abbotsford’s Conair begins airtanker transformation

Aerial firefighting company creating Q400AT airtanker in advance of local forest fire season

Arrow Lakes Caribou Society said the new caribou pen near the Nakusp Hotsprings is close to completion. (Submitted)
Maternity caribou pen near Nakusp inches closer to fruition

While Nakusp recently approved the project’s lease, caribou captures are delayed due to COVID-19

Most Read