VIDEO: Old Highway Thru Hell tow truck helps move 850-tonne ship at Victoria 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

During a press event on March 6, Const. Alex Berube, media relations officer for the West Shore RCMP, addressed a deadly shooting that occurred in Metchosin the night before. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
VIDEO: One man shot dead in ‘targeted incident’ on Sooke Road

Highway 14 reopens following multi-hour closure for investigation

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

A decade into the 100-year blueprint for restoring the Bowker Creek watershed, Soren Henrich, director of the Friends of Bowker Creek Society, feels positive about the future of conservation and daylighting of the creek. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
Ten years in, Greater Victoria’s 100-year Bowker Creek blueprint gets a boost

Victoria council passes several restoration recommendations

A resurfacing of the tennis court in Metchosin is being eyed for the community. However, funding opportunities still need to be solidified for the project. (Michelle Cabana/Black Press Media)
Renewed surface eyed for Metchosin tennis court

Funding source must first be solidified in order for project to happen

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

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.

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

Donald Alan Sweet was once an all star CFL kicker who played for the Montreal Alouettes and Montreal Concordes over a 13-year career. Photo courtesy of Mission RCMP.
Ex-B.C. teacher who was CFL kicker charged with assault, sexual crimes against former students

Donald Sweet taught in Mission School District for 10 years, investigators seek further witnesses

(Black Press Media files)
Medicine gardens help Victoria’s Indigenous kids in care stay culturally connected

Traditional plants brought to the homes of Indigenous kids amid the COVID-19 pandemic

Personal protective equipment is seen in the COVID-19 intensive care unit at St. Paul’s hospital in downtown Vancouver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
$16.9 million invested to improve worker safety, strengthen B.C.’s food supply chain

Money to be used for social distancing, personal protective equipment, cleaning, and air circulation

More than ever before, as pandemic conditions persist, the threat of data breaches and cyberattacks continues to grow, according to SFU professor Michael Parent. (Pixabay photo)
SFU expert unveils 5 ways the COVID-19 pandemic has forever changed cybersecurity

Recognizing these changes is the first in a series of steps to mitigate them once the pandemic ends, and before the next: Michael Parent

Kevin Haughton is the founder/technologist of Courtenay-based Clearflo Solutions. Scott Stanfield photo
Islander aims Clearflo clean drinking water system at Canada’s remote communities

Entrepreneur $300,000 mobile system can produce 50,000 litres of water in a day, via solar energy

Most Read