Tow trucks have been around for decades, but they are still a very unique piece of machinery. Just like every individual also is not all of two services are the same. There are many different kinds of tow trucks, every one specializing in a specific kind of towing endeavor. As well, there are many companies offering tow services, each with its own models, features, and price points. If you are looking to hire a tow truck, it pays to know a bit about these different models so that you can select the best one for you.
The first choice is usually obvious: the most common type of tow truck is the semi-tow truck, and this model uses a hydraulic system to pull trailers. One advantage of the semi-tow truck is that it is much easier to drive, compared to a truck with a clutch system that requires the driver to actively control the vehicle. A semi-tow truck also makes good use of the power of the engine; as a result, its motor can work for longer periods of time before requiring recharging. However, this type of tow truck also has some disadvantages: the slow speed allows the trailer to tip over easily, and the semi-tow truck has a relatively small footprint, making it difficult to place in a normal parking space.
Towing a truck is much easier when the trailer is fitted with a tow bar. As the name implies, the tow bars allow a truck to be pulled alongside other vehicles. These types of tow bars also vary significantly in style, some resembling chains, others resembling racks, still others resembling heavy-duty rubber wheels that lock into place, protecting the trailer from getting stuck in gravel or mud. It goes without saying that the design of tow bars varies by company. As well, some tow bars are more suited for certain kinds of vehicles, such as RV’s and Farm Equipment, making it important for the driver to find out what kind of bars will work with their vehicle. In general, however, most tow bars are suitable for most cars, vans, and even light trucks.
Towing a wrecker is a slightly more complicated task, mainly because a tow truck needs both an enclosed hitch, as well as a functioning engine. Because of this, wreckers tend to only employ two types of towing vehicles. The first type of operation is manual towing. This involves putting the vehicle in motion so that the engine can generate enough power to drag the trailer behind it. In most cases, this operation is appropriate for small to medium-sized towing vehicles, such as sedan’s and minivans.
The second type of operation is the automatic towing system. Automatic towing is more suitable for larger towing vehicles, especially trucks. These larger vehicles, such as 18-wheelers and other large trucks usually require a control system that can effectively monitor the position and performance of the vehicle. Therefore, this system is usually installed on larger trucks by specialized companies.
Tow trucks use different kinds of parts to accomplish their jobs. The most common components are the enclosed hook, the metal yoke, and the trailer itself. The tow truck also has a winch, usually a drum-type unit that raises and lowers the trailer to allow it to be towed. Other components of a tow truck include the clutch system, transmission, brakes, lighting systems, and tires. However, one of the most important components of a tow truck is its suspension system, which enables them to tow anything that is large enough, whether it is a house on a piece of farm equipment, or a piece of road debris.