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How Do Tow Trucks Work?

Few things provide relief after a car accident more than a tow truck. They tow your car or truck to a safe location where you can fill your vehicle with gas or repair internal issues and get back on the road. However, many California residents don’t understand how tow trucks work.

So, how do tow trucks work? To answer this question and more, G&O Towing constructed a brief guide to tell you everything you need to know about tow trucks.

G&O Towing is one of Placerville, CA’s most trusted professional towing companies. Our team can handle even the most challenging towing projects swiftly and without issue, making us Placerville’s go-to choice for professional towing and roadside assistance. If you need a reliable towing company in the greater Placerville, CA, area, contact the experts at G&O Towing.

Types of Tow Trucks and How They Work

Tow trucks come in several designs, with each operating in different ways. Before you learn how a tow truck works, you must understand each model and its unique duties.

Tow trucks come in four primary variations:

  • Hook and chain tow trucks
  • Wheel-lift tow trucks
  • Integrated tow trucks (pickup tow trucks)
  • Flatbed tow trucks

Hook and Chain Tow Trucks

Hook and chain tow trucks, also called hook tow trucks, were exceedingly common in the past but have become outdated due to their inferior towing methods.

These tow trucks utilize a metal hook and chain to tow vehicles and cargo from one place to another. However, the chain puts immense pressure on the car and freight, making them less favorable for delicate shipments and long-distance hauls. Hook and chain tow trucks are versatile and can efficiently transport robust vehicles and supplies.

Wheel-Lift Tow Trucks

Wheel-lift tow trucks are an updated variation of hook and chain models and utilize a metal yoke to grasp a car’s axle and tow it to its destination. These tow trucks are relatively common and often provide roadside assistance to drivers in need.

Integrated Tow Trucks

Also known as pickup tow trucks, integrated tow trucks are large, powerful industrial vehicles designed to transport trucks and buses. They feature durable arms that firmly attach to the truck’s rig and provide additional support to the cargo.

Flatbed Tow Trucks

Flatbed tow trucks are the most common and safest tow truck design. They feature a large flatbed that allows the truck to transport one or more vehicles without putting excess stress on their frame. Tow truck drivers use a ramp to pull the vehicle onto the flatbed before securing it in place.

Most people use flatbed tow trucks to transport their vehicles after experiencing an accident. However, they have many uses and ensure a safe and efficient tow.

How Do Tow Trucks Work?

Different tow trucks work in different ways; however, most modern tow trucks use a bracket system that enables them to tow heavy vehicles and provide exquisite roadside assistance without causing damage. So, how do tow trucks work using the bracket system?

Tow trucks that use the bracket system feature a large rear steel frame that attaches to the vehicle’s tires and supports the car or truck while towing. The method is less physically demanding for the truck driver and decreases the chances of vehicle damage.

While using a bracket system, the vehicle’s wheels secured to steel beams between them using durable steel pins within the yoke. The tow truck can raise or lower the yoke to position the car when necessary. The pins attach to the wheels and keep them in place during transport.

Most roadside assistance tow trucks use a bracket system due to its convenience, safety, and effectiveness.

How Much Does a Tow Truck Weigh?

 A tow truck’s weight often depends on the tow truck’s classification. There are three primary tow truck classifications:

  • Light-duty tow trucks
  • Medium-duty tow trucks
  • Heavy-duty tow trucks

Light-Duty Tow Trucks

Light-duty tow trucks are relatively common and haul small to average-sized vehicles. Hook and chain and wheel-lift tow trucks often fall in the light-duty category, typically weighing between 8,600 to 10,000 pounds.

Medium-Duty Tow Trucks

Medium-duty tow trucks are very common and can tow average and moderately large vehicles. Many people classify compact flatbed tow trucks as medium-duty tow trucks. Most medium-duty models weigh 10,001 to 26,000 pounds.

Heavy-Duty Tow Trucks

Heavy-duty tow trucks are the least common and the most powerful. They haul oversized vehicles and freight like buses, construction machinery, and other large supplies. Integrated tow trucks are the most prevalent heavy-duty model, but other variations fall under the category as well.

Most heavy-duty tow trucks weigh over 26,000 pounds.

What’s the Difference Between a Tow Truck and Wrecker?

Many people believe tow trucks and wreckers are different commercial vehicles. However, professionals classify wreckers as a type of tow truck.

Wreckers are tow trucks that transport vehicles (usually after an accident) with two wheels off the ground. Most wreckers utilize the bracket system or the hook and chain method to tow cars and trucks, making them one of the most common tow trucks in the industry.

How Does a Self-Loading Dolly Work?

Sometimes tow truck drivers use a self-loading dolly to improve the towing process. A self-loading dolly, also called a king dolly, is a 4-wheel towing device that tow truck drivers place underneath a vehicle’s wheels to make towing smoother. They prevent the vehicle’s wheel from touching the ground and protect lowered vehicles from additional damage.

Tow truck drivers use self-loading dollies for several reasons but use them the most on:

  • Four-wheel drive cars and trucks
  • All-wheel drive cars and trucks
  • Lowered vehicles more prone to damage during towing

Why Choose G&O Towing?

The G&O Towing team has vast experience towing cars of all shapes, styles, and weights and understands the best approach to each towing assignment. We treat your vehicle as our own and haul it to your desired destination while taking every precautionary measure possible to ensure a safe and effective tow. Our tow truck drivers always make you their first priority and strive to surpass your high expectations every time you utilize our towing and roadside assistance services.

Contact G&O Towing for High-Quality Professional Towing in Placerville, CA

Next time you ask yourself, “How do tow trucks work?” contact G&O Towing. We’ve been a full-service towing company in Placerville for over 20 years, ensuring you receive quality towing from experienced professionals. Whether you want to know how much a flatbed tow truck weighs or need professional roadside assistance, G&O Towing is here to help.

Call G&O Towing today at (530) 539-2413 for first-class professional towing in Placerville, CA, and the surrounding areas!