Cargo causes trouble for guys on ‘Highway Thru Hell’

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Updated Feb 18, 2016

Sometimes what a truck is carrying is more important than how and where it went off the road.

Such was the case in three recoveries on Sunday’s episode of “Highway Thru Hell.”

Photo: The Weather Company

More to the point, exactly how much cargo is in a trailer was the issue in a recovery that got Jamie Davis out from behind a desk at the headquarters of the heavy-duty rescue and recovery company that bears his name.

Davis responded to a tractor-trailer on its side on Highway 1 in British Columbia, Canada in the rain. The driver said there was 20,000 pounds of cargo in the trailer, and with that Davis figured to right the rig himself with one of his company’s large wreckers.

When the truck and trailer didn’t budge, the driver suggested it could be carrying as much as 42,000 pounds.

Fortunately for Davis, John Rogers arrived with another Davis wrecker, hooked on and joined the battle … to little effect.

The two recovery experts repositioned their trucks, reattached their lines and leveraged the truck and trailer upright, leaving Davis to surmise the trailer actually had 80,000 pounds inside.

Meanwhile, on Highway 60 west of Edmonton in northern Alberta, Canada Colin McLean was on the scene of a collision between two tractor-trailers.

The trailer of the one rig was loaded with bottled water, but it had gash in its side. If McLean was not careful, there would be bottled water all over Highway 60 and even more traffic waiting to move.

To make matters worse, the collision had locked all of the air brakes on. Crawling under the truck and trailer, McLean freed every set of brakes but one.

With pressure to move the wreck building, Mclean decided to tow the tractor-trailer slowly to a nearby turnout just to get it off the road. Luck was on Highway 60 that day. The stuck brake gave way and McLean cleared the truck and trailer without as much as spilling a drop of bottled water.

On Highway 63 west of Lac La Biche, Alberta, Randy Jackknife rolled up to a rig well off the road and mostly on its side. Upon closer inspection, Jackknife learned the truck’s flatbed was loaded with steel beams and the customer wanted those still on the trailer to remain there.

Fortunately for Jacknife, who is trying to find full-time employment with Davis, Jonny Tipton happened by and was able to put his truck to the task as well.

Tangled steel – partially on the trailer and partially on the ground – was weighing down the wreck.

Between them, Jacknife and Tipton freed the flatbed from under the steel, righted the truck and towed it back to the highway … only to have its fuel tank scant inches from scraping the pavement. With Tipton towing and Jackknife in the truck steering, the two managed to get the rig back on the highway and traffic moving.

But, when Tipton went to tow it away, his truck failed to start. The rescuer needed to be rescued by an aerosol can of ether, and the episode ended successfully.

“Highway Thru Hell” airs at 10 p.m. Eastern on The Weather Channel.