Neill Wakefield, who appeared primarily on season five of the Discovery Channel TV show Highway Thru Hell, recently moved to Langford with his wife Tiffany. While working for Mission Towing, Wakefield spent over $25,000 personalizing his tow truck. (Photo courtesy of Neill Wakefield)

Neill Wakefield, who appeared primarily on season five of the Discovery Channel TV show Highway Thru Hell, recently moved to Langford with his wife Tiffany. While working for Mission Towing, Wakefield spent over $25,000 personalizing his tow truck. (Photo courtesy of Neill Wakefield)

Highway Thru Hell tow truck driver shifts gears, moves to Vancouver Island

Neill Wakefield is taking a break from business, and considering changing his line of work.

A star of the popular TV show Highway Thru Hell is travelling a new road this year.

Neill Wakefield, who appeared as one of the tow truck drivers on season five of the Discovery Channel show, recently moved to Langford on Vancouver Island with his family. His wife, Tiffany, is originally from the Island, and they moved back to live closer to her four kids.

The couple met through the towing industry on the mainland, and were married four years ago in Vegas.

“I’m still getting used to living on the Island,” chuckled Wakefield. “It’s a really beautiful place, but I am used to the big city, and being able to go anywhere at any time.”

Wakefield, originally from Brandon, Man., has moved numerous times in his life, primarily bouncing between Burnaby and Winnipeg. Throughout all the changes in scenery, his career in towing has been constant, taking his first job as a tow truck driver at 17.

READ ALSO: Old Highway Thru Hell tow truck helps move 850-tonne ship at Victoria shipyard

Days in the towing industry are long, tiresome, and at times, gruesome, but Wakefield has stayed with the work for 40 years.

“I’ve been addicted to towing I guess,” said Wakefield. “Hours are long, I’m on call pretty much seven days a week, so it’s more of a lifestyle, but I enjoy it.”

Wakefield was working for Mission Towing while featured on the Highway Thru Hell series, where he did heavy recovery work on Highways 1, 3, 7, 9, and Highway 5, also known as the Coquihalla. The tough job was recognized on the show, where Wakefield had to endure nasty weather conditions and dangerous situations in order to recover vehicles.

“Towing has to be in your blood to be good at it,” said Wakefield. “The pressure is on to get the job done without any problems, and every incident is different. There are quick decisions you have to make, and you have to work fast and efficiently because road closures are a big deal.”

The variety is what kept Wakefield interested in the work, but is also what has been the biggest challenge.

“You never know what you are getting,” said Wakefield. “One rollover could be easy, the next could be super complicated. You could be out in a blizzard, trudging through ditches or over cliffs, and people are relying on you to get it done quickly. I liked that the job was different every day, but it also added a lot of stress in my life.”

READ ALSO: Orcas spotted close to shore in Esquimalt

One of the episodes was focused around Wakefield and all the work he put in to personalizing his truck.

“I spent over $25,000 of my own money fixing up the company truck and making it nice. I wasn’t just a driver, I lived in my truck basically,” said Wakefield, who didn’t keep the vehicle after leaving his job with Mission Towing. “When I left the company I lost almost all of my money unfortunately. They gave me a little bit, but nothing compared to what I spent on it.”

Wakefield said he left Mission Towing after the company building burned down. He has worked in both the towing and long-hall businesses since leaving Mission Towing and the TV show. Since moving to Langford, he and Tiffany have both been working for West Shore Towing. However, Wakefield is currently taking a break from business, and is considering changing his line of work.

“I’m hoping to get a job with more regularity, something more laid back,” said Wakefield. “It may be time for me to be done with towing for good. It’s hard work, and it’s a younger man’s game.”

For more news from Vancouver Island and beyond delivered daily into your inbox, please click here.


Do you have a story tip? Email: vnc.editorial@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Neill Wakefield, who appeared primarily on season five of the Discovery Channel TV show Highway Thru Hell, recently moved to Langford with his wife Tiffany. The couple, who met through the towing industry and married four years ago, wanted to settle here to live closer to family. (Photo courtesy of Neill Wakefield)

Neill Wakefield, who appeared primarily on season five of the Discovery Channel TV show Highway Thru Hell, recently moved to Langford with his wife Tiffany. The couple, who met through the towing industry and married four years ago, wanted to settle here to live closer to family. (Photo courtesy of Neill Wakefield)

Neill Wakefield, who appeared primarily on season five of the Discovery Channel TV show Highway Thru Hell, recently moved to Langford with his wife Tiffany. Wakefield has worked in the towing industry for 40 years, and said each vehicle recovery presents a different set of challenges. (Photo courtesy of Neill Wakefield)

Neill Wakefield, who appeared primarily on season five of the Discovery Channel TV show Highway Thru Hell, recently moved to Langford with his wife Tiffany. Wakefield has worked in the towing industry for 40 years, and said each vehicle recovery presents a different set of challenges. (Photo courtesy of Neill Wakefield)

Neill Wakefield, who appeared primarily on season five of the Discovery Channel TV show Highway Thru Hell, recently moved to Langford with his wife Tiffany. Wakefield has worked in the towing industry for 40 years, and said each vehicle recovery presents a different set of challenges. (Photo courtesy of Neill Wakefield)

Neill Wakefield, who appeared primarily on season five of the Discovery Channel TV show Highway Thru Hell, recently moved to Langford with his wife Tiffany. Wakefield has worked in the towing industry for 40 years, and said each vehicle recovery presents a different set of challenges. (Photo courtesy of Neill Wakefield)

Just Posted

File photo
Greenwood streets due for spring cleaning

City crews to start on residential streets Friday, April 16

Barbed wire hangs over a chain-link fence at Grand Forks public works yard at 130 Industrial Dr. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Grand Forks to increase security following theft, break-ins at city properties

Grand Forks RCMP said break-ins at abandoned homes accounted for majority of recent property crime

The Rock Creek Fall Fair is coming back next September. It's size and scope depends on pandemic constraints, said general manager Lisa Sims. Photo: Facebook — Rock Creek Fall Fair
Rock Creek Fall Fair planners hoping for as big a return as possible

The fair launched 50-50 ticket sales Thursday, April 15

Easterly winds vent smoke from a controlled behind rural Grand Forks’ Spencer Hill Wednesday, April 14. Photo: Darlainea Redlack
Grand Forks’ wildfire operations centre reports successful controlled burn near city

Lead officer James Kastonoff said some smoke will stay in the area through Thursday, April 15

Mayor and council on Monday, April 12, narrowly voted to keep the old Hardy View Lodge shelter open for potentially another year. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Grand Forks to keep shelter open during housing negotiations with province

The current facility at 2320 78th Ave. will stay open as a COVID-shelter, according to city council’s resolution

Thursday, Feb. 4: RDKB Chief Engineer Darryl Funk hoists a banner commemorating last year’s championship season by the Bantam House Bruins. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Bantam Bruins honoured at hair-raising banner ceremony at Grand Forks’ Jack Goddard Arena

Asst. coach Mike Tollis said he reluctantly gave in to the team’s victory wish that he cut his pony tale

The father of Aaliyah Rosa planted a tree and laid a plaque in her memory in 2018. (Langley Advance Times files)
Final witness will extend Langley child murder trial into May or June

Lengthy trial began last autumn with COVID and other factors forcing it to take longer than expected

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The corner of 96th Avenue and Glover Road in Fort Langley now has traffic signals, and new “touchless” signal activation buttons. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)
Busy Fort Langley intersection gets ‘touchless’ crosswalk signals

The new traffic light started operation in April

A crossing guard stops traffic as students wearing face masks to curb the spread of COVID-19 arrive at Ecole Woodward Hill Elementary School, in Surrey, B.C., on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. A number of schools in the Fraser Health region, including Woodward Hill, have reported cases of the B.1.7.7 COVID-19 variant first detected in the U.K. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
COVID-infected students in Lower Mainland schools transmitting to 1 to 2 others: data

Eight to 13 per cent of COVID cases among students in the Lower Mainland were acquired in schools, B.C. says

Norm Scott, president of Royal Canadian Legion Branch # 91, is disappointed the Legion does not qualify for COVID financial assistance from the provincial government. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C.’s pandemic aid package passing Legion branches by

Federal non-profit status stymies provincial assistance eligibility

Latest modelling by public health shows cases generated by COVID-19 infections into places where it can spread quickly. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
Industrial sites, pubs, restaurants driving COVID-19 spread in B.C.

Infection risk higher in offices, retail, warehouses, farms

Vancouver Canucks forward J.T. Miller said it would be “very challenging and not very safe” for him and his teammates to play as scheduled on Friday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Canucks’ return to ice postponed again after players voice COVID health concerns

Friday’s game against the Edmonton Oilers was called off after the team met virtually with the NHLPA

Most Read