Al Quiring Towing Says SmartHeat LED Lighting Keeps Truckers Safer Two Ways

Increased illumination and automatically shedding ice and snow made J.W. Speaker SmartHeat lights a must-have tool for must-go trucks

The Quiring Towing and Recovery team races into the heart of the most formidable storms on British Columbia mountain roads, where headlight quality is definitely not a forgiving variable. Quiring supports thousands of drivers on more than 100 miles of overpasses, narrow corridors and steep grades of the infamous Coquihalla Highway with with heavy-duty wrecker service. In the worst driving conditions, temperatures can drop to -20 Fahrenheit. 

“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.”

For many years, the Quiring team used halogen headlights. But they needed to be replaced often, and drew a lot of power, often shorting out or even causing fires on overworked electrical systems and batteries.

“Ice is the worst though,” says Al 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.

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 wanted 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,” says 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, J.W. Speaker says they can perform for about 20,000 hours, compared to only about 1,000 hours for halogen bulbs. 

With SmartHeat technology, the J.W. Speaker lights feature a thermal conductive grid system to de-ice the headlight 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.

Today every Quiring Towing rig uses SmartHeat 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.”

Check out Quiring Towing and other B.C. tow operators on The Discovery Channel Canada's reality show Highway Thru Hell