History of Tow Trucks

Wreckers, Breakdown trucks, Recovery Trucks and Tow Trucks all came from Earnest Holmes Senior of Chattanooga, Tennessee. Holmes invented the tow truck after he had to tow a vehicle out of a river using sixe men, ropes and wood. Due to the complexity of this, the tow truck idea was born and then manufactured by Holmes.

There are many different types of towing equipment that are affixed to different cab and chassis. The boom or Heavy Duty Tow Truck is used for large accidents such as tractor-trailer rollovers or getting a vehicle that fell into an inaccessible ditch. The Heavy Duty Jerr-Dan 60 Ton Rotator extends its boom out to 43 feet at a 50-degree elevation. The boom can lift 24,600 pounds and can rotate 225 degrees while lifting 53,000 pounds; which is 7,000 pounds more than a typical steel coil.

Many wreckers and car carriers utilize Wheel- Lifts. These are basically large L shaped pieces of metal that come out of the back of the tow truck and suck in the tires of the vehicle being towed. The hydraulics then lifts the vehicle up off the ground so it can be towed.

The flat bed or car carrier or rollback is put onto a cab and chassis set up. This allows for the cab and chassis to have a bed that hydraulically moves up and down, and declines to ground level. This is all done easily with a winch that is operated on the side of the truck.

The wrecker goes by self-loader, snatcher, quick pic or repo truck. The boom and wheel lift are put onto a cab and chassis. This is typically put on a light or medium duty truck. The length of the tow truck allow for it to get into tight areas in the city and easily hook trucks quickly.

Many styles of tow trucks are available to customize. An experienced tow truck dealer with an excellent service shop and tow truck parts department can pretty much customize any tow truck to meet your ideal application needs.

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