There comes a time in everyone’s driving life where they need to call a tow truck to whisk their vehicles away be it as a result of accident or breakdown. A tow truck is a special vehicle that is used to transport disabled, impounded, improperly parked, and or scrapped motor vehicles from one point to the next. It may involve transporting a broken down vehicle to a repair shop or just recovering a vehicle damaged in a road accident. In this regard, we can classify a tow truck in different categories based on capacity, size, power, and friction.
Here are the four different types of commonly used tow trucks.
Flatbed tow truck
Flatbed tow trucks are the most commonly used tow trucks especially when it comes to towing passenger vehicles. This tow truck consists of a large flatbed that can be tilt. The operator can bring the back of the flatbed to the ground while also raising the front in the air to enable a car to be driven. Once the car has been completely loaded on the bed of the truck, the bed is then leveled up again and the car is secured.
A flatbed provides a great way to transport cars that have been involved in any kind of accident, especially those where the car is badly damaged. Because the car is undrivable, it needs to be lifted or dragged onto the bed. Extremely low cars may experience difficulties getting onto the back on a flatbed truck.
Hook and Chain Tow Truck
Hook and chain tow trucks are without a doubt the most iconic ones and oldest for that matter. They are not commonly used today, due to the potential of causing further damage as a result of tear and wear on tires of the car being towed. The chain can also damage the bumpers of vehicles. The benefit of using hook and chain is that they are more compact than a flatbed can can fit into tight spaces to retrieve vehicles.
Wheel Lift Tow Truck
This type of tow truck is in close resemblance with hook and chain. However, instead of metal hook and chain, they make use of a device that hooks around the front or rear tires of the vehicle being towed, depending with whether the vehicle is front or rear wheel. An hydraulic lift is used to lift the attached end of the vehicle into the air to allow the car to be towed away. Though still in use, this type of tow truck has some drawbacks and is not very appropriate for all cars due to the potential of causing damage to the drivetrains.
Integrated tow truck
The fourth type of tow trucks is integrated tow trucks. These type of trucks are designed to tow other big rigs. They are built on tow vehicles such as buses, construction equipment as well as other trucks.
Out of these four, flatbeds are the safest and most commonly used, also based on the fact that many cars on the roads today are private family cars and hence very fit for a flatbed towing.