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

Photo collage of loved ones lost to substance use and overdose. (Photo courtesy Moms Stop The Harm)
B.C. overdose deaths still rising 5 years after public health emergency declared

Moms Stop the Harm calls on B.C. to provide safe supply in response to deadly illicit drug use

Burning will only occur if weather conditions are suitable and allow smoke to dissipate. (Priyanka Ketkar photo/Lakes District News)
Pile burning of 50 wood debris in Burns Lake community forest

Smoke might be visible for Burns Lake and neighboring areas

Tourism update Meghan Olson. (Priyanka Ketkar photo/Lakes District News)
Village of Burns Lake gets a new tourism coordinator

Meghan Olson, a Burns Lake local, replaces the former coordinator

COVID 19 cases in the province between Mar. 28 to Apr. 3. (BC CDC photo/Lakes District News)
No new COVID-19 cases in Burns Lake

Weekly COVID-19 cases decline in Northwest B.C.

Nee Tahi Buhn band
Nee Tahi Buhn Band chief and council removed

Interim council working towards a by-election

Demonstrators at the legislature on April 14 called on the province to decriminalize drug possession and provide widespread access to regulated safe supply across B.C. (Jake Romphf/News Staff)
Rally calls for decriminalization, safe supply on 5th anniversary of overdose emergency declaration

From 2016 to the end of February, 7,072 British Columbians died due to overdose

(Government of Canada)
Liberal MP caught stark naked during House of Commons video conference

William Amos, in Quebec, appeared on the screens of his fellow members of Parliament completely naked

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Feb. 1, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count jumps to 1,168 Wednesday, nearly 400 in hospital

Now 120 coronavirus patients in intensive care, six more deaths

Moss covered branches are seen in the Avatar Old Growth Forest near Port Renfrew on Vancouver Island, B.C. Thursday, Sept. 29, 2011. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. blockades aimed at protecting old-growth forests reveal First Nation split

Two Pacheedaht chiefs say they’re ‘concerned about the increasing polarization over forestry activities’ in the territory

Richmond RCMP Chief Superintendent Will Ng said, in March, the force received a stand-out number of seven reports of incidents that appeared to have “racial undertones.” (Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
‘Racially motivated’ incidents on the rise in B.C’s 4th largest city: police

Three incidents in Richmond are currently being invested as hate crimes, says RCMP Chief Superintendent Will Ng

Commercial trucks head south towards the Pacific Highway border crossing Wednesday (April 14, 2021). The union representing Canadian border officers wants its members to be included on the frontline priority list for the COVID-19 vaccine. (Aaron Hinks photo)
CBSA officers’ union calls for vaccine priority in B.C.

Border officers at ports including, YVR and land crossings should ‘not be left behind’

A still from the video taken of a violent arrest on May 30, 2020 in downtown Kelowna. (File)
Kelowna Mountie charged with assault for caught-on-camera violent arrest

Const. Siggy Pietrzak was filmed punching a suspected impaired driver at least 10 times during an arrest

A screenshot from a Nuu-chah-nulth healing song and performance created in collaboration between Hjalmer Wenstob and Timmy Masso. (Screenshot from YouTube)
VIDEO: Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation brothers produce COVID-19 healing song

Hjalmer Wenstob and Timmy Masso share dance and inspiration.

Most Read