When a vehicle is dragged behind another vehicle, it is called towing. And the vehicle that is towed is known as a dinghy or trailer, and the vehicle hauling is the tow vehicle.
As towing is one of the biggest industries, many vehicles are designed to suit numerous purposes, e.g., transporting the damaged vehicle to the garage or junkyard.
As there are many types of towing trucks, having a good knowledge of each will help you choose the one that best suits your needs.
Different Types of Tow Trucks
There are many types of tow trucks used to tow trailers or vehicles. These vehicles are of different sizes, shapes and weights. Therefore, tow trucks also have different strengths, capacities and powers to transport each kind of vehicle.
Flatbed Tow Trucks
A flatbed, also known as a rollback and slide, is the most commonly used among other types. It has an empty bed with a flat top in the back used to load vehicles on top of it. These tow trucks use a hydraulic system to load and unload a vehicle. Once loaded and placed on the top of the bed, it is positioned correctly utilising a winch. Remember that flatbed tow trucks have a weight limit and are only used to transport entirely damaged vehicles and faulty ones.
In addition, it is the safest way to transport and tow a vehicle to the desired location and keep it off-ground and secured from dangerous elements.
Integrated Tow truck
An integrated tow truck is a heavy-duty tow vehicle that is used to move and retrieve away heavy vehicles like rigs and buses. Buses, trucks and rigs often break down; these trucks are specially designed for large, heavy-load and sometimes illegally parked vehicles, as other standard tow trucks cannot pull something like this off. These trucks use dual technology, namely wheel and boom lift.
Hook and Chain Trucks
Hook and chain towing trucks are the most popular and older ones; the hook which is connected with a chain to the tow truck, is secured to the car’s bumper, and the vehicle is transported to the repair garage or facility.
A car is partially lifted from the front while the back stays on the ground. In such a way, there is a higher chance of the vehicle getting damaged; therefore, this method is not usually suggested.
These tow trucks are ideal if your car or van is trapped in a ditch or mud; however, if one attempts to tow a 4 × 4 vehicle, there is a higher chance that the rear wheels will be damaged.
Wheel Lift Tow Truck
Though similar to chain and hook tow trucks, these do not involve or feature any hooks or chains. Instead, it uses a yoke that goes under and is attached to the car’s front wheels.
One of their main benefits is that they are simple and relatively easier to tow a vehicle and do not damage the car’s bumper.
If a car has broken down on a highway, using a wheel lift tow truck is the ideal option.
Over-sized towing trucks are one of the types of towing trucks. These trucks are used to tow and transport heavy and large-scale operations. One may have seen these trucks towing boats, vehicles or canoes on the road.
This truck features an adjustable hydraulic arm which is known as a boom. It’s like a small version of a crane used for heavy-duty recovery or towing.
You may see a book truck dealing with electric work; however, it can be used for other purposes, including towing vehicles.
Initially, these trucks used a chain to lift cars; however, a belt or a sling is attached and used now due to the damage. Furthermore, they are not a good option for pulling an all-wheel drive.
Which one You should Choose
Now that you clearly understand towing trucks, you can easily mention your requirement to a company before hiring one.
- If you have a heavy-end vehicle, hire a flatbed tow truck.
- If you have an all-wheel drive, mention it to the towing company beforehand.
- If you have a bus or truck, let the company know so they can send the proper equipment – an integrated tow truck.