Heavy Rescue: 401


Genre: Reality, Spring 22


Duration: 6 series 77 x 60’


Year of Production: 2016 – 2022


Production Company: Great Pacific Media Inc


Commissioned By: Discovery Canada


Definition: HD


They go to hell and back to get people home

Heavy Rescue: 401 focuses on the unique challenges and difficult working conditions endured by tow operators, rescue and maintenance crews - day and night - as they battle to keep traffic flowing along North America’s most important trade route, even through the worst of the winter driving season. Jobs and lives depend upon these highways, and for these men and women battling the elements, closure is just not an option.

Packed with big characters and even bigger problems, each series follows activity across the length of the 401. In the latest series, the season has barely begun when a devastating crash sends police investigators hunting for vital evidence, while veteran Sergeant Kerry Schmidt fights to manage a scene backing up traffic all the way through Toronto. Meanwhile, Gary Vandenheuvel faces a major crisis when a close call for his son forces him to rethink the way his crew handles heavy recoveries, and, at the western end of the 401, years of strain on his body have caught up with Eric Godard, pushing him to plan an early exit from the career - and life - that he loves. 

Series 6

The men and women who fight to keep North America’s busiest highways rolling are hitting the road for another winter and a whole new battle. In Toronto Sonny Subra makes a major change - leaving behind the company where he honed his skills and earned the senior spot. He’s striking out on a bold new career path just as an even bigger change is looming on the home front. After suffering a severe injury, Gary Vandenheuvel must step back from his work on the highway while the winter squalls start blowing in off Lake Huron. The injury forces Gary to lean on his crew and pushes him to make a decision that will change the future of Preferred Towing. At the eastern end of the 401, the crew from Cornwall Towing fights some of the biggest wrecks of the season. But owner Duncan Cooper is fighting just as hard to honour his father’s legacy with a bold new addition to his fleet. Young heavy operators like Mitch Wright and Zach Thompson head into another winter, eager to prove themselves. Storms and pileups attack the 401, pushing first responders, heavy rescue crews and maintenance teams to their limits. Because closure is not an option.

Series 5

The men and women who fight to keep North America’s busiest highways rolling are hitting the road for another winter and a whole new battle. In Toronto Sonny Subra makes a major change - leaving behind the company where he honed his skills and earned the senior spot. He’s striking out on a bold new career path just as an even bigger change is looming on the home front. After suffering a severe injury, Gary Vandenheuvel must step back from his work on the highway while the winter squalls start blowing in off Lake Huron. The injury forces Gary to lean on his crew and pushes him to make a decision that will change the future of Preferred Towing. At the eastern end of the 401, the crew from Cornwall Towing fights some of the biggest wrecks of the season. But owner Duncan Cooper is fighting just as hard to honour his father’s legacy with a bold new addition to his fleet. Young heavy operators like Mitch Wright and Zach Thompson head into another winter, eager to prove themselves. Storms and pileups attack the 401, pushing first responders, heavy rescue crews and maintenance teams to their limits. Because closure is not an option.

Series 4

The men and women who fight to keep North America’s busiest highway rolling are hitting the road for a new winter and new battles. Storms and freak accidents attack the 401, pushing first responders, heavy rescue crews and maintenance teams to their limits. As the crews fight pileups and massive fuel spills, one team is forced to master their new truck in a hurry, whilst experienced operator Eric faces major changes when new owners take over his company, and Andrew bets heavily on a 21-year-old rookie with a tragic past.

Series 3

The men and women who fight to keep North America’s busiest highway rolling are hitting the road for a new winter and face new battles in this latest series. When a raging river destroys a bridge and strands a dump truck, it forces Ross’ Towing to embark on a heavier form of heavy recovery than they’ve ever attempted. New companies and faces bring new stories, while storms and freak accidents attack the 401, pushing first responders, Heavy Rescue crews and maintenance teams to their limits. Because closure is not an option.

Series 2

It’s a new winter on Canada’s busiest highway. After a tough year proving himself in heavy rescue, and with big changes at Steve’s Towing, Sonny has to make some big decisions. Gary’s team battles massive wrecks and a lightning storm to keep traffic rolling. Meanwhile, Eric and the Coxon crew face one of their most complex recoveries in years when a massive multi-truck collision erupts in a highway tunnel. As winter rages, multiple pile-ups paralyse the 401, pushing first responders, heavy rescue crews and maintenance teams to their limits. As always with the teams featured on this series, closure is not an option.

Series 1

​It’s a new winter on the continent’s busiest highway and the crews that battle wrecks and rollovers to keep the roads safe are back in action. As winter rages, multiple pileups paralyze the 401 – pushing first responders, heavy rescue crews and maintenance teams to their limits. Because closure is not an option.

Series 1: 9 x 60' 2016

Series 2: 10 x 60' 2017

Series 3: 14 x 60' 2018

Series 4: 14 x 60' 2019

Series 5: 17 x 60' 2020

Series 6: 13 x 60’ 2022