If you own a vehicle or you drive one, then it is almost certain that you will need the services of a tow truck at some point. Vehicles are perhaps one of the greatest human inventions but as useful as they may be they are prone to developing issues now and then.
Before calling for a tow service, it will be important for you to figure out the type of tow vehicle you want depending on the situation. This is due to that fact that there are different kinds of tow vehicles, and each one of them can be used for different situations. The following are the three popular types of tow vehicles.
This tow vehicle is also commonly referred to as the “slide” or “rollback” tow truck. It is fitted with a hydraulically inclined bed that can be lowered to ground level. The car being towed is then driven or pulled onto the bed. Once the car is secured, the bed is then adjusted to a driving position.
The Flatbed is the most popular type of tow vehicle especially for emergencies as it inflicts minimum damage on the car. Instead of dragging the car behind the tow truck carries it on its flatbed. Besides from vehicles, the Flatbed can also be used to tow other machinery like small boats and motorcycles.
- Hook and Chain
The Hook and Chain tow truck is probably the oldest type of tow truck, and it has been in use for almost as long as the vehicles. It is also the cheapest and most readily available type of tow truck. The Hook and Chain tow truck uses a hook and chain just as the name suggests for lifting and dragging the vehicle. The tow truck connects to the axle or frame of the vehicle from behind using chains. The chains are then used to raise the rear part of the vehicle for easy dragging.
Although these types of tow trucks are the oldest, they are no longer used as often as they were used years ago because of the damage that they cause to the vehicle. However, they can still be used if the car is already severely damaged or in emergency situations when you do not have enough money to pay for better alternatives.
- The Wheel-Lift
Unlike the Flatbed, the Wheel-Lift Tow truck lifts your car by the wheels and then drags it from behind. The Wheel Lift if fitted with a metal yoke and a hydraulic system to help lift your car either on the front or rear tires. In some cases, dolly wheels can be mounted on the trailing wheels so that all the car wheels are off the ground.
These tow trucks have taken the place of hook and chain trucks in the past few years since they cause lesser damage to your vehicle. However, they are still not as safe as the Flatbed but are also less expensive. This type of tow truck is used mostly when you want to minimize the damage to your vehicle, and you do not have enough cash to pay for the Flatbed tow truck.
What to consider when choosing a tow service company
- Response time: Cars have a tendency of breaking down when you least expect and at the wrong time for example when you are late for work or an important meeting. Due to this you will need a company that can respond within a very short period. Although most tow companies respond very fast, sometimes it is never fast enough. To make sure that the response time is quick enough, you should go for a local company.
- Services: Besides from the tow service what other services does the company offer? This is an important question to ask your potential tow service provider before settling for them. A good company should offer you other essential services like roadside assistance.
- Availability: In the towing business availability of the service provider will be determined by the number of tow trucks the company has and the number of clients they serve. No matter how good the company might be it will only benefit you if their services are available when you need them.
- The cost of the service: The cost of the service will depend on the type of tow truck used and the distance that your vehicle will be towed. As a car owner what matters more is the safety of your car and so instead of always going for the cheapest service you should go for one that offers you value for your money. This means the more you pay, the better the service you get. However, a good company will always charge you fairly while still ensuring your car reaches its destination with minimal damages.