Different Types of Tow Trucks

Not all tow trucks are created for the same reason, and they all have their benefits for towing different kinds of vehicles. If you need a tow truck to make sure your vehicle gets to where it needs to go, safely and without damage, then you will want to make sure the right tow truck for the job shows up. Here are the different kinds of tow trucks and what they’re used for.

Flatbed Trucks

This is probably one of the most common kinds of tow trucks, and easily one of the most recognizable ones. This kind of truck is almost exactly as the name suggests: it has a big long “bed” at the back of it where vehicles will sit flat and secured while under tow. The biggest benefit to these particular trucks is you can drive, or winch, your car right onto the bed itself so it doesn’t have to be hooked up underneath your vehicle. This truck will keep the vehicle completely flat while it’s being transported so there isn’t any unnecessary wear and tear to the various components of your vehicle. Flatbeds are the safest way to transport almost any vehicle, and they can accommodate almost any size of vehicle.

Integrated Trucks

These kinds of trucks are less common because they are used only in heavy-duty towing for big trucks and buses. This kind of truck has extra stability and support for the bigger weight class of vehicles with a bigger crane arm that is anchored into the core of the truck.

Hook and Chain Trucks

This is the traditional truck many people will think of when they hear tow truck. They are becoming less common, though, because previously it was unknown exactly how much damage and pressure was being applied to vehicles causing unnecessary wear and tear on parts of the vehicle (like the alignment) meaning bigger repairs for the owner. These kinds of trucks cannot be used with AWD or 4×4 vehicles because the way the vehicle will be hooked up can cause serious damage to the drivetrain. It is recommended that these trucks really only be used if the vehicle needing a tow is wrecked and is being transported to the junkyard.

Wheel-Lift Trucks

These trucks are kind of similar to the hook and chain trucks, but they use a metal yoke instead of a wrapped chain so there is less potential for damage to a vehicle. The yoke is hooked under either the front or rear wheels of the vehicle, and then a lift (either hydraulic or pneumatic) will hoist the front or rear of the vehicle into the air. This kind of truck is not nearly as safe as a flatbed and your vehicle will not be as protected, but if you are limited on funds for a tow then they are definitely a great budget-friendly alternative and will cause less damage than a hook and chain truck.

No matter what kind of vehicle you drive, there is a tow truck to help you out when you break down and need help. Knowing which type of truck is best for the vehicle you drive will be important to make sure your vehicle doesn’t incur more damage while en route to your mechanic.

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