Tag Archives: Highway Thru Hell

Comments and queries for the week of March 4

Highway Thru Hell on DVD?
I would love to order all seasons of Highway Thru Hell on DVD. Can you help me on how I can? I live in the States and I have friends who live in Canada. I just love this show and would like to get all seasons of this show. —Gail

There’s good news and bad news. First, the bad news: at this time no seasons of Highway Thru Hell are available for purchase on Blu-ray or DVD. The good news? Four seasons of Highway Thru Hell are available for purchase via the iTunes store.

Let’s talk skinny basic

In December, don’t they have to completely unbundle? So what, $40 a month for FX, $5 a month for OLN? $80 for HBO, $2 for Comedy Gold? In theory, this was a good idea but so was eliminating three-year cell phone contracts. Did the consumers actually save money? No. Did Bell, Rogers and Telus recently raise their cell phone prices-again? Yes, but not everywhere. Where didn’t they? Manitoba, Quebec and Saskatchewan. What’s different about them? MTS Mobility, Videotron and SaskTel. I wonder why a lot of people want telecom competition? Anyone else see a lot of brands all linked to a few of the same names? Doesn’t that look like a problem? —Dan

Great article! I really liked it. I’m 33 and I’ve always been a cord cutter (or cord never had it). I watch Netflix, but that’s basically it. I’ve actually been watching YouTube more and more and I was curious what your thoughts are on that trend? 18-25 watches more YouTube than TV or Netflix combined. And 26-35 isn’t far behind I think. YouTube made $8B in ad revenue last year and with YouTube Red being the biggest app in the app store at the end of the year, it’s likely to continue. Thanks for the great article. I’ll be back on the site soon and have followed on Twitter. Definitely want to see more of your thoughts. —Somnia

These offers from the cable companies are not surprising, they are tailored to fit the flawed CRTC new rule which explicitly excludes equipment. If you get only a few OTA channels, it could be that your antenna is not up to the job. Before even looking at those cable packages, see if you can upgrade your setup. A new/better antenna, with installation (if required) may cost you a few hundreds, but it will quickly pay for itself. We cut the cord two years ago and switched to high-speed unlimited internet with VoIP landline phone and to a rooftop antenna connected to a Roku and a Tablo DVR. With 23 American and Canadian over the air TV channels, we never looked back. Our own setup was not cheap ($800) but was paid back in eight months. Not having any kind of cable package is by far the best way to respond to any cable company offer! —Jerome

Life imitates art for X Company‘s Sandra Chwialkowska

This show is the best show on television. These articles help bring it more and more into the light. Waiting for each new episode with anticipation is one thing but the ante is upped with each new insight, interview, and article that comes out. Yes, I await each glimpse into this masterpiece with almost the same excitement with which I await each new episode. With great pride I have nudged, nieces, nephews and friends toward this show, and with great joy share in their addiction of same. Thank you for this quality gift called X Company. —Linda


Got a question or comment about Canadian TV? greg@tv-eh.com or @tv_eh.


Preview: Highway Thru Hell hauls into Season 4

There’s something horrifying about watching a tractor trailer, weighed down with supplies, sliding slowly off an icy highway and into a ditch. It’s a bit of a mind-blower to witness the effect millimetres of frozen water has on such a big beast. But it’s something Jamie Davis and his staff see almost every day during winter travel on the Coquihalla Highway and he’s made a career out of it.

This Tuesday at 10 p.m. ET on Discovery, Highway Thru Hell rolls on with 13 new episodes, documenting the successes, drama and disappointment that involves Davis, his staff and competitors. It takes a special type of person to go into the freezing cold and pull rigs off chunks of highway with nicknames like “The Smasher,” but it’s just another day for Big Al, who’s at the helm of Quiring Towing; within minutes of the Season 4 return he’s helping the occupants away from their smashed car, worried they’ll be injured by a sliding rig.

Meanwhile in Lac La Biche, Davis is busier than ever, and has expanded his fleet to cover not just the oil fields but Edmonton itself.

And while you can rest assured the Coq gets slippery in winter, there are changes afoot in Season 4. Davis’ right-hand man, Howie, left to work for a city-based towing company to be closer to his family, and Adam cut ties to work for a rival outfit in B.C., meaning Colin has to step into the role. Colin’s first job? To pull a tractor trailer upright using the rotator, a tougher machine to operate than a tow truck, and newbie John has two decades of towing on his resumé, but must prove he belongs on the B.C. team.

What I like about Highway Thru Hell is the lack of extra fluff. Sure, we learn the personal stories of the folks working these snowy strips of asphalt, but the focus is almost always on the men and women putting their lives on the line to help others out of a tight spot. (And kudos to the producers, who often include a quick science lesson as to how these trucks ended up in their precarious positions.) I may not have the skill-set to drive a tow truck and haul rigs around, but I can certainly appreciate and salute those who do.

And man, does it look stunning in HD.

Highway Thru Hell airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT on Discovery.


Highway Thru Hell slides into Season 3

It takes a special kind of person to want to drive tractor trailer loads of supplies along the notoriously dangerous Coquihalla Highway during the winter around Hope, B.C. But it takes an even more special kind of person (some may say “nuts”) to pull crashed tractor trailers out of the ditches along the Coq. Meet Jamie Davis, whose company, Jamie Davis Heavy Rescue, has been doing it for over a decade.

Davis and his motley assortment of drivers, mechanics and staff are back behind the wheel for Season 3 of Highway Thru Hell–returning to Discovery with 13 new episodes tonight–and the stress and danger has been doubled for the grizzled road veteran. A drop in business in B.C. meant Davis needed to explore other options, leading to an opportunity for his company to patrol Alberta’s Highway 881 and 63, the former the only lifeline between Lac La Biche and Fort McMurray in the newly discovered oil fields.

“We had to take a gamble and move to Alberta,” Davis says. “It was do or die. We moved to Fort McMurray, as well as having locations closer to Lac La Biche and now we’re in Edmonton. Long-term employees have stuck through me through thick and thin and they have the gumption to just do it.” Doing it is a tough, long slog. Hours are spent pulling shattered rigs upright and coordinating with law enforcement and firefighters to re-open the mountain or tundra thoroughfares as quickly and safely as possible. Davis teases viewers will see how stressed even longtime staffers get during the course of Season 3.

The road to Fort McMurray presented a particular challenge for everyone because of its remoteness–a closed highway means no groceries or fuel make it there not to mention the heavy equipment needed at the oil fields–but the conditions are harsher with winter temperatures plunging to minus-46, wreaking havoc on both man and machines.

Davis is still amazed over the popularity he and his crew have gotten over the last two seasons of Highway Thru Hell. The whole TV thing started innocently: driver Adam Gazzola was helping a guy whose truck broke down and they compared jobs. Gazzola told the dude, who revealed he worked in the television industry, that he drove a heavy rescue truck for a living and that driving the Coq in the winter was a gong show. The TV guy’s boss? Mark Miller, the man whose Great Pacific TV production company is behind such shows as Air Dogs, Untold Stories of the ER and Daily Planet. A series was born.

And despite Highway Thru Hell‘s success–the 2012 debut is still the No. 1 series premiere in Discovery’s history–fame isn’t their goal.

“That isn’t our business,” he says. “Our business is towing.”

Highway Thru Hell airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Discovery.