Different Types of Tow Trucks and Their Uses

Posted on: 9 January 2024

Whenever vehicles become stranded due to a breakdown or accident, towing services are a lifesaver. And behind every reliable towing company are different types of tow trucks designed to handle different tasks. Knowing the different types of tow trucks and their uses can help you know what to expect when you call a tow truck company and can aid in selecting the appropriate truck for your specific needs.

Hook and Chain Truck

Hook and chain tow trucks have been around for nearly a century and are the most recognized type of tow truck. This type of tow truck is suitable when towing a vehicle with no damage or when the damage is limited to the bodywork. This truck can lift the vehicle by the bumper or axle with a hook and chain and transport it to a nearby service center. However, hook-and-chain tow trucks can cause further damage to vehicles with low undercarriage, so they're used less these days.

Flatbed Truck

One of the most popular tow trucks is the flatbed tow truck. This type of tow truck uses a platform or bed that can be lowered to the ground using hydraulics when loading a vehicle. The platform can secure the entire vehicle onto it, making it much easier to transport vehicles that have been in an accident or are too damaged or heavy to be towed by a hook-and-chain tow truck. Flatbed tow trucks are commonly used for long-distance transport, as they provide a safe and smooth ride.

Wheel Lift Truck

Wheel lift tow trucks are similar to hook and chain tow trucks but use a metal yoke instead of a hook. The metal yoke is placed under the rear or front wheels of the vehicle and is lifted by its tires. This type of tow truck is ideal for vehicles with minimal damage as the car doesn't make contact with the truck, minimizing further damage during the towing process.

Integrated Truck

Integrated tow trucks are heavy-duty tow trucks used to tow trucks or buses. These tow trucks can handle heavy loads and ensure the towed vehicle is lifted entirely off the ground. Typically, the truck can be used on top of an extended arm, and then the vehicle can be anchored down from the opposite side.

Boom Truck

Boom trucks are tow trucks with an adjustable boom arm, which extends and tilts backward or forward using hydraulics. These tow trucks are ideal for recovering salvage vehicles and those that have fallen in a ditch or stuck in mud or snow.

Towing companies are responsible for assisting drivers to keep the public roads safe and clear of any obstructions. That's why they have various tow trucks to ensure they can handle different roadside emergencies. Knowing the different types of tow trucks and their uses can help you select the best tow truck company to fix your vehicle breakdown, guaranteeing your and your car's safety throughout the process.