If you're a newly licensed driver and first-time car owner, it's important that you be prepared for a potential breakdown on the road. After all, it's likely to happen to every driver at some point. Although most people are familiar with basic tow trucks, you may be surprised to find out that there are several distinctly different types of tow trucks – each with its own unique purpose. Familiarizing yourself with each type can help you decide if you need to request a special truck the first time you have to call for a tow.
Towing Via Flat Bed
Flatbed tow trucks are often the most recognizable of all of the tow trucks in the industry. They are also the most versatile. In most cases, cars are hoisted up on to the flatbed surface using a winch or hydraulic motor. Once the car has been positioned on the flatbed, it's secured using a series of chains and anchors across the bed. This keeps the car in place. This is often the most preferred towing method because the vehicle is secure and it's easier to maneuver through traffic.
Towing Via Dolly
If you've ever seen a vehicle towed by using a tow bar or steel yoke connected to the axle, you've seen a dolly truck. These trucks rely on hydraulic power to raise a single set of wheels off the ground. Then, the car is towed by leaving the other two wheels on the ground to roll. These trucks are smaller than the standard flatbed truck, and they don't typically have the same amount of towing power that dolly trucks do. They do, however, work well for local towing and light-duty needs.
Towing Via Hook and Chain
Although it is less common than other methods, hook and chain towing can be used for emergency towing needs in situations where the car may have been totaled. It's not a popular choice for other applications because it can potentially cause more damage to the vehicle. This process involves hooking heavy-duty metal chains to the car by connecting the hook to an anchor point on the car. All four wheels of the towed car usually stay on the ground during this towing method.
Although most roadside emergencies benefit from calling a flatbed truck, you may find that one of these other options is more affordable or more efficient in other cases. You can contact a professional towing company like Elden Dattage Towing & Auto Repair for more details and rates. Understanding the lesser-known choices helps you to be better prepared for your first towing experience.