Souls were bared, opinions shared and a lot of trucks pulled out of snowy and muddy Canadian ditches on Sunday night’s episode of The Weather Channel’s “Highway Thru Hell” reality show.
During the show, Jamie Davis, Executive Producer Mark Miller and most of the other cast members talked about the past four seasons of the show, the work, the troubles, the trucks and each other. It was a revealing hour, so much so that it should have been called, “Highway Thru Hell: True Confessions.”
There are no shrinking violets among the crews that rescue and recover trucks and heavy equipment that run afoul the treacherous highways of British Columbia and Alberta, Canada. These are hard-working, straight-talking guys, most of whom are about as reserved as the snowstorms that bedevil the highways in northwestern Canada.
That’s why it was it was interesting – almost touching — Sunday to hear Jamie Davis talk about watching his business struggle. The likeable, if gruff, Davis explained the difficulties of expanding from British Columbia into Alberta to keep the lights on and diesel in the trucks.
“It’s a very brutal, hard place to work,” said Davis about the Coquihalla Highway, adding, “Northern Alberta is its own brand of Hell.”
Davis also spent time talking about the 2014 passing of Bruce “Crazyhorse” Hardy, a legend in the Canadian towing community. Hardy died of lung cancer and Davis his colleagues walked beside his casket in the funeral procession.
Memorable wrecks and rescues were recalled. Drivers who came and went were remembered.
Ken Monkhouse told a sobering story of a friend and co-worker who lost a leg when a motorist slammed into the car he was trying to tow.
But, easily the most entertaining, and in the end touching, part of this recap of four years of “Highway Thru Hell” was Al Quiring’s comments.
This low-key, no-nonsense man who drives wreckers that reflect his personality and outlook joked about Jamie Davis’ fascination with chrome on his trucks. He praised other drivers he worked with as well, and made it clear he was not thrilled working with his every move being captured by a camera crew.
But, Quiring was at his best when he spoke about his family history. It was his grandfather who stared the business Robert Quiring, Al’s father, now runs. Al talked about watching his two sons as they become the fourth generation helping motorists in need.
Still, Davis had the last word, and one has to wonder if he was setting up the fifth season.
“I don’t own this company, it owns me,” said Davis as the episode ended. “I don’t know what the next chapter will be. I miss driving trucks. It’s hard work, but it’s better that sitting in the office all day.”
“Highway Thru Hell” has been renewed for a fifth season.