Have you watched Highway Thru Hell?
The Canadian documentary is focused on uncertain weather, rescue operations, life-threatening situations, grim reality, and fierce competition.
Highway thru hell is a Canadian television reality show which features tow driver Jamie Davis, his rescuing team, along with his competitors in the business. Jamie Davis owns a towing company named Jamie Davis Motor Truck & Auto. His competitors in the business are Quiring Towing, Mission Towing, Aggressive Towing, and Reliable Towing. The show revolves around Jamie Davis’s determination and bold attitude towards his towing company.
The show highway thru hell focuses on the harsh reality of the towing business. The unforeseeable weather, changing topography, risks taken every day to fulfill the job on one of the most dangerous roads, especially in winters, Coquihalla Highway, Southern British Columbia, Canada.
Well, I have curated 15 details about the documentary that will make you watch the show.
Highway Thru Hell: 15 Exciting Facts
1. The Hell Way
The documentary, Highway thru hell, reflects the adversity of rescuing on highways in the interiors of British Columbia. The prime focus of the show being on The Coquihalla highway, abbreviated as The Coq, Southern British Columbia, Canada.
Coquihalla highway or Highway 5 is a 543.3 km long highway. The coq highway connects the Southern trans-Canada route to the Northern trans-Canada route. It is the shortest land connection between Vancouver and Calgary.
A 200 km long part of the Coquihalla highway is considered one of the most dangerous and hostile roads to drive during the winters. Summers are still fine.
The weather is unpredictable. It can change from cloudy to stormy to blizzard in more or less 20 minutes. Jamie Davis and his team rescue the vehicles handles all the operations in whatever weather condition to keep the traffic going as it is one of the frequently used highways by the travelers.
2. The insight of Towing business
From the very beginning, Jamie Davis wanted to change public opinion about his work and the towing industry. ‘Highway thru hell’ successfully brings to public attention, The reality and importance of the towing business. How does it work? What all it takes to rescue in such extreme conditions?
As it is all real instead of being reeled, The crew of Highway thru hell records the live rescue operations performed by Jamie Davis and his team. Towing is a 24/7 business, and so is the recording of Highway thru hell. Whenever something thrilling pops up, The camera starts rolling and make the audience watch the real challenging side of the towing business.
3. Heavy rescue trucks
For such dangerous rescuing operations, powerful vehicles are required. ‘Highway thru hell’ catches the public’s attention with such a colossal truck fleet. Jamie Davis Truck fleet includes Modern fleet, Coastline trucks, Holmes fleet, and few others.
Among all the breakdown lorry, The star of the show is undoubtedly The rotator. The rotator is the most massive boom, having a capacity range starting from 30 tons up to 75 tons.
The real gem, The rotator, has been sold by Jamie Davis to Berg’s recovery in season 5 of Highway thru hell. Go and watch the show to found out What leads Jamie Davis to this decision?
4. The upswing in the local economy
The show has boosted the local economy of the village, Hope. Hope is a small town situated at the entrance of the Coquihalla highway. Since 2012, when the show started, Hope has become a minor tourist attraction. People come to visit the village, to see the highway and the yard.
The village has also received attention from various businesses after Highway Thru Hell went viral. This certainly boosted the rural economy.
The makers of Highway thru Hell also hired several residents to work on the show. By the show’s international success, the locals of Hope have benefitted.
5. The voice behind ‘Highway thru hell.’
One of the most critical aspects of the success and failure of a story or a documentary is its narration. The man behind the voice in Highway thru Hell is Dave Pettitt. Dave Pettitt is a Canadian actor who has worked in the broadcasting industry, television, and commercials.
Dave has done voiceovers for many games and shows. He provided the voice for Dragon Balls and Dragon balls GT. He narrated the French game, Valiant heart: The great war. He also described the twin series of Highway thru Hell, Heavy rescue: 401.
His vocal delivery, realistic approach, solemnity, and softness, according to the situation which bring life to the show during narration.
6. When, Where, and How ‘Highway thru Hell’ happened?
You guys might also wonder about How the Highway thru hell happened? Who approached whom? Well, the story appears a bit filmy rather than realistic.
The show, Highway thru hell, was created by Mark A. Miller, Kevin Mills, and Neil Thomas. It all started with the break down of Neil Thomas’s truck on Highway 5. By coincidence, it was rescued by one of the employees of Jamie Davis Motor Truck & Auto.
After that, the idea was discussed with Jamie Davis. As mentioned earlier, Jamie always wanted to change public opinion about the towing industry. He tried to draw the audience’s attention towards the reality and hardship of the towing business.
After the show, Highway thru hell, people started looking up to the tow drivers. They come to know what they do and how they do it. The show successfully fulfilled the root cause behind the making of the Highway thru hell.
7. The offshoot
After the massive success of the show, Highway thru hell, Mark A. Miller decided to create a spin-off television series, Heavy rescue:401. Just like Highway thru hell, It is also a Canadian documentary. But it showcases the towing operations in the Greater Toronto Area ( GTA), mostly highway 401, Ontario.
Apart from the tow rescue operators, Heavy rescue: 401 also talks about the support from the Ontario provincial police (OPP) and the Ministry of transport and management, Ontario, Canada.
The show was created in 2016. It has four seasons till now, with 36 episodes. It was also broadcast on The Discovery Channel, Canada, and The Weather channel.
8. The local fame
Back in 2010, Jamie Davis was just like any other rescue operator doing his job in Canada. The show ‘highway thru hell’ changed his fate. The show was a big hit. It was also ranked No.1 series on the discovery channel, Canada, for the first time in history.
Not just in Canada, The show was also appreciated internationally. It was telecasted on other channels like The weather channel and Prosieben Maxx in Germany under Highway heroes Canada.
As the show became popular, people started looking up to Jamie Davis, his team, and other rescue operators. Both in town and outside the city, people recognize their big red trucks and wave to them. He also mentioned that people from different places visited the yard to see the fleet and other things.
9. Dealing with emergencies
Rescuing on highways during harsh winters is not a cakewalk. Who knows it better than the tow drivers themselves? Jamie Davis and his team remain always prepared for sudden changes in weather and any emergency.
They always load their trucks with snacks and stuff, especially during long-distance towing. As they never know when they might get stuck for hours? They always carry a few extra blankets, snowshoes because the weather changes abruptly.
Jamie Davis also mentioned in an interview that they fill gasoline tanks as soon as possible. If you’re planning to drive across mountains, make sure to carry all the essentials.
10. The making of ‘highway thru hell.’
The making of the Highway thru hell is also compassionate at times. While capturing the live rescue operations, The crew also faces the same life-threatening situations. But Neil Thomas, Executive producer, said in an interview, Its safety, then story always.
The camera persons and the entire crew have become more and more skillful over time. The technology has been evolved. With drones, fixed cameras, GoPro cameras, and other things, it became easier now.
Thomas said, “We’ve skipped entire scenes or stories because we felt it’s just not worth the risk to our guys. We’ll get the next one.”
And thrill never ends on Highway thru hell.
11. The emotional crash
Jamie and his team daily encounter truck crashes, drifts, storms, and whatnot. But in season 5, Highway thru hell, you will see Jamie and his team facing a different crash, The emotional one. Jamie Davis has expanded his business in Alberta in the last two seasons.
Due to the economic recession, Davis has to return from Alberta back to Hope from where he originally started. In episode 1 of season 5, you will see Davis teary-eyed. Seeing a man like him in the situation will make you cry with him.
Season 5 is undoubtedly an emotional rollercoaster for Davis, his team, and indeed for the audience as well.
12. The ambiguous reality
Although Highway thru hell showcases the real side of the towing industry, the makers tried to exaggerate the drama between the Quirings and Jamie Davis during season 1. Quiring and Jamie are competitors in the business.
In an interview, the Quiring family said it’s fallacious how they have been portrayed in the entire season 1. It does bring a sort of hatred from fans towards them. This also results in the hesitation of a few clients towards them.
From season 2 onwards, the makers tried to portray a more healthy competition to dilute Quiring’s image, which has been fabricated previously.
13. The challenges crew face
The job is challenging in itself. But filming the same comes with additional challenges.
While the tow drivers follow their regular working routine, the camerapersons and makers of ‘highway thru hell’ shoot perilous situations. For the same, they need to be very careful and smart.
The makers mentioned in one of their interviews that they break recording equipment very frequently—all credits to the weather.
Sometimes they landed up to distant places where they have zero network connectivity. The crew has learned to be self-reliant in those situations.
The more thrilling the operations, the more difficult is the shooting. The proper camera angle is hard to achieve in those situations. Sometimes, they shoot them from some weird angles, which leads them to drop the entire scene.
14. The competition in the business
Jamie Davis Motor Truck & Auto is not the only towing company in the area. There always was a competition, and it became more and more intensified during Season 2, Highway thru hell. The competitors in the same are Quiring towing, Mission Towing, Aggressive Towing, and Reliable towing.
Quiring towing is one of the longest-running families in the towing business. Al stepped into his father’s shoes, and now his son Cary is all set to take the responsibility.
“Cary is working at taking over my job, which is perfect cause he grew up a kid in my truck the same way I grew up in my dad’s truck,” Al Quiring said in an interview.
15. The real gem of ‘highway thru hell.’
Going to hell and back every day wasn’t enough of a challenge – Jamie Davis.
Highway thru hell starred many characters. But the real gem of the show is Jamie Davis without any doubts. Jamie Davis was born in 1962 in British Columbia. He learned how to operate on trucks from his father at a very young age and entered the towing industry in 1979.
Since then, he has never looked back. Whatever it takes, he is always there to do his job to keep the roads going. Whether its snow, rain, ice, storms, and whatnot, Jamie still manages to get his job done at the earliest.
This attitude of Davis makes him the legend. Not the legend of the show but the towing industry as well. He owns a company, Jamie Davis Truck & Auto.
Jamie indeed gains some popularity after the success of the show. But his passion for work never got affected by the fame he received. He is as dedicated to his job now as he was 20 years back.
Highway thru hell has nine seasons so far. Do binge watch if you haven’t. If you have watched the show already, tell me in the comments below Which season, episode, the character is your favorite and why?