At some point in life almost every driver will probably find themselves involved in a roadside accident or mechanical breakdown.
When difficult situations appear on the road, some people decide to take care of it on their own.
For example, consider a situation where your car tire goes flat. If you have the knowledge, tools and a spare tire in the trunk, you can easily pull off a tire change to get back on the road.
Still, one can only take matters into their own hands up to a certain point. Some situations require the aid of professionals.
When your vehicle is damaged and you can’t fix it on your own, the best thing to do is to call a towing company.
A good quality towing company will ask for the details of the situation and the vehicle. However, it’s always good to know what kind of tow truck you will need to resolve your problem. Otherwise, the towing process could harm your vehicle. That’s why it’s important to be aware of the different types of tow trucks you can choose from when calling for help.
FLATBED TOW TRUCKS
The flatbed tow truck is the most common and probably the most secure option overall for towing vehicles.
These type of tow trucks have a flatbed which can be inclined to the level of the ground. This way you can drive your vehicle up on it or have it pulled up and secured on the deck. This process may take some time, but once the vehicle is tied up on the deck, it is unlikely to suffer any more damage.
This method is perfect for vehicles that have been significantly damaged and/or need to be carried a long distance.
A downside of flatbeds is their size. Flatbed tow trucks are very large and take up a lot of space on the road. Consider the place where you’re stranded before calling a flatbed.
HOOK AND CHAIN TOW TRUCKS
If your car is damaged in a way that a flatbed tow truck cannot lift it on its deck, you will require a hook and chain tow truck.
Also known as wreckers, these tow trucks hook up to the vehicle’s undercarriage and drag the car around with chains. This method was much more common in the past.
It is recommended to call a hook and chain tow truck when the vehicle is severely damaged and likely to end up in a junkyard.
This method is not so convenient nowadays, because hook and chain can cause more damage during transportation since a lot of pressure is applied to the vehicle being towed.
WHEEL LIFT TOW TRUCKS
These tow trucks are available from most tow truck companies. Wheel lift tow trucks implement hydraulic booms with crossbars at the ends that will briefly lift the car.
This is similar to the hook and chain method since two wheels will stay touching the road, but wheel lift causes much less damage to the vehicle.
To choose the best method of towing, it´s key to take into account the crash damage, the space available, and the price of each method.