What Type Of Tow Truck Will Best Protect Your Car?

Posted on: 16 April 2015

When your car fails, and you are stranded on the road somewhere, your first concern most likely will be how to get your car taken care of in order to get on with your day. Calling the first tow company you can find might be the quickest option, but it won't necessarily keep your car from getting damaged. If you car is already totaled, then getting a few scratches on your car might not be a big deal. On the other hand, if you just need your car towed because you need a few mechanical repairs, scratches can add hundreds of dollars to your repair bill. To avoid scratches, you need to choose your tow truck carefully. 

Hook-and-Chain Tow Truck

A hook-and-chain truck uses a cable, boom, and winch to lift one end of your car up off of the ground. The problem is that the operator has to connect the cable to either the frame or the axle of your car. When this connection is made, the tow cable can rub on the bumper of your car and cause scratching, denting, or other damage. 

Wheel-Lift Tow Truck

A wheel-lift truck uses a specially designed cradle to lift the drive wheels of your car up off of the ground. A hydraulic arm extends from the back of your truck with two crosspieces extending perpendicularly from the hydraulic arm. The crosspieces slide under your tires and cradle them as the hydraulic arm picks your car up off of the ground. This lifting method will not damage the body of your car, but it will leave your car exposed to potholes and other road hazards. A wheel-lift truck will also not work if you have an all-wheel drive vehicle. 

Flatbed Tow Truck

A flatbed truck has a tilting bed and a winch. The driver will tilt the bed and then winch your car up onto the bed. The driver will then lift the bed back up. A flatbed truck will lift all of your car wheels off of the ground, so even if you have an all-wheel drive truck, you don't have to worry about damage to your drive train. Also, your car is protected from any road hazards that might damage it. 

When you are in a rush, and you need a tow truck, make sure you choose one that will work with your car. If you have front or rear-wheel-drive vehicle, a wheel-lift truck is a good choice. If you have an all-wheel-drive, a four-wheel-drive, or you just want to keep your car up off the road, a flatbed truck is the best way to go. Make sure to go over this with whichever tow service you contact.