Tow trucks are seen everywhere on a daily basis, pulling and hauling other vehicles to safer places. Do you notice that tow trucks can sometimes look different from each other? Well, the reason is that there are different types of tow trucks for different types of tows!
Flat Bed Tow Truck
These trucks are sometimes referred to as “rollback” trucks. This truck has a long empty truck bed that has a flat top. The truck itself has a hydraulics system in place to move the flat bed up and down and tilted into a ramp. This allows easier loading for cars because a person can just drive the car onto the ramp. For boats and stationary vehicles, a winch can be used to drag them onto the bed. Once the vehicle is set, the hydraulics are used again to even out the ramp so that the truck can hit the road with the car in tow. This is usually the preferred way of towing because it avoids having to drag the vehicle, as well as relieves pressure from it.
Hook and Chain Tow Truck
This type of tow truck is exactly as it sounds. A hook and a chain are used to tow the cargo. In a more detailed explanation, these trucks are called sling trucks at times. They aren’t as popular as they once were, and are not used very often anymore. They work by wrapping chains around axles and frames of vehicles to tow them. This type of towing causes scratches and damage to the vehicle, so they are mainly used to tow wrecked and junk vehicles.
Wheel-Lift Tow Truck
These trucks are similar to the hook and chain tow trucks, but cause much less damage. The difference is, instead of using chains, they use a metal yoke. It hooks under the front or rear wheels to be towed away. As the vehicle is towed, a pneumonic hoist or hydraulic lift suspends the front or rear side of the vehicle so that it is lifted from the ground. This reduces potential damage to the car.