Case Study

Saving Money, Saving Lives

How J.W. Speaker Lighting Helps Quiring Towing Survive "Highway Thru Hell"

For nearly 60 years, three generations of the Quiring family have recovered stalled, crashed and submerged heavy vehicles across British Columbia, including the infamous Coquihalla Highway, or “The Coq” — a 100-plus-mile stretch of treacherous highway pummeled by howling winds, blizzards, heavy rains and ice storms.

The team’s efforts and adventures while rescuing drivers has led to a partnership with the Ministry of Transportation and has been chronicled in the Canadian television series “Highway Thru Hell” on the Discovery Channel.


Poor visibility in dangerous conditions.


Integrated lens heating technology — SmartHeat™ LED Lighting Series


- Clear light beam for enhanced visibility
- Maintenance-free headlights minimize delays
- Safer driving for all drivers

Challenge: Seeing through the snow

When the weather service issues a winter advisory warning, most people find excuses to stay off the roads. For Al Quiring and his team, the day — or night — is only beginning. As one of the most prominent heavy vehicle recovery and rescue companies in British Columbia, Quiring Towing races into the heart of the largest, most formidable storms.

The drivers have to move quickly. It’s much more than one vehicle at risk. The Coq and other highways in the area are used by thousands of vehicles daily. Each includes countless overpasses, narrow corridors and steep declines, so a single incident can bog down traffic for hours, for miles. With temperatures plummeting to -30ºC, tragedy awaits those stranded for too long.

“Even a small incident like a minor tire explosion can be catastrophic,” said Al Quiring, Owner of Quiring Towing. “If it’s snowing and it prevents snowplows from coming through, things are going to get much worse quickly.”

Quiring Towing drivers are at risk, too — if they’re unable to see the roads. For many years, the team used halogen headlights. But they needed to be replaced often, sometimes on the side of the highway. The lights were also a large power draw, often shorting out or even causing fires on overworked electrical systems and batteries.

“Ice is the worst though,” said Quiring. “Whether it be ice, snow or sleet, you had to stop the truck and wipe the headlights clean on narrow two-lane roads in mountain passes, where other vehicles, falling rocks, avalanches and even cougars and bears can be a problem.”
The alternative was to keep driving with iced-over headlights that impaired the driver’s vision.

Solution: SmartHeat™ heated LED headlights

A couple of years ago, Quiring was tired after a long trek across British Columbia. But he wasn’t ready to go home. He was too excited after using a J.W. Speaker heated headlight for the first time — and needed to share his new find with somebody.

“I went straight to our local dealership and got a set of J.W. Speaker headlights for my coworker, Gordy Boyd,” said Quiring. “And I told him that I wouldn’t let him drive another mile without them because the visibility improvement is hundred-fold over.”

The headlights are the first 5-Star NCAP-compliant low beam headlight. They provide a powerful beam pattern that’s estimated to be up to 300% brighter than most halogen bulbs, while still minimizing glare. Plus, they can perform for about 20,000 hours, compared to only about 1,000 hours for halogen bulbs.

Even the best, most illuminated headlights get dull when covered with sleet, ice and snow. Built with SmartHeat™ technology, the J.W. Speaker lights feature a thermal conductive grid system to de-ice the lens. The driver doesn’t have to risk their safety getting out of the cab to clear them. The heated element begins working automatically based on real-time weather conditions.

Results: A better performing light to the rescue

Today every Quiring Towing rig uses a brighter, longer-lasting headlight that works with incredible consistency in any type of weather conditions, including sleet, fog, snowstorms and avalanches. They offer superior visibility, and drivers spend less time replacing and cleaning the headlights.

“It’s really a maintenance-free light,” said Quiring. “The ice melts and basically cleans the light for us. It not only keeps our drivers safe in the cab, it helps passing drivers see the bright illumination and steer around us. If you’re not using J.W. Speaker, you’re not maximizing your night-time driving performance.”

About J.W. Speaker

J.W. Speaker specializes in the design and manufacturing of vehicle lighting systems for OEMs and aftermarket applications. For more information contact us at 800.558.7288 or

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