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A Mesmerising History Of Roadside Assistance Services

A Mesmerising History Of Roadside Assistance Services

Standing on the side of the road with a broken automobile has become all too typical in this day and age. It has become as easy as dialing a number to have a reliable roadside assistance service provider at your disposal, regardless of the time of the day or night. However, this was not always the case. That is to say, tow trucks, vehicle recovery, and towing services were not so common back then as they are now.

The above scenario is not very difficult to comprehend, as cars and other vehicles were not as common as they are today. A simple business theory will suffice. In simpler words, if there isn’t a pressing need for a particular service, companies will never look in that direction. After all, who wants to invest millions on a business idea that won’t even sell?

But there is no fun in just telling you the year in which it started and who invented it. Instead, we shall divide this blog into intriguing historical episodes and entertain you along the way.

So fasten your seat belts and get ready for a fascinating historical ride with the most reliable providers of elite towing and vehicle recovery services.

A Bit Of Tow Truck And Towing Service History

At this point, it is critical to understand that the history of roadside assistance services goes hand in hand with that of automobiles. This service would not have existed if cars and other vehicles had never been ubiquitous. Hence, due to their intertwined nature, we shall discuss the two concurrently.

The Pre-Towing Service Era

The roads that you see now were not always so congested with automobiles. Animals such as camels and horses were once used for transportation in the past. Cars and other vehicles were invented somewhere in the nineteenth century.

They were, however, only available to the privileged due to soaring prices. As a result, automobiles were relatively rare. The numerous car manufacturers you see today were nonexistent back then.

Nevertheless, due to their mechanical nature, these automobiles were often found broken down on the roads with no sign of help. That is, there was nothing called a towing service. The lucky ones often found a passerby with large animals, such as large animals that could haul the vehicle home or a mechanic. As not many people owned these luxury items at the time, no one cared to invent a roadside assistance service.

The 1916 Riverside Incident

One faithful day, a man was peacefully driving his Ford Model T near a creek. However, his journey turned sour when his beautiful car accidentally found its way into the creek. Unable to handle the trauma of the situation, he called his former student Sr Ernest Holmes. Little did he know that the incident was a blessing in disguise that would forever change the history of the vehicle industry.

Recovering the vehicle from the river proved to be a considerable challenge for Holmes. Fortunately, he knew the owner of a nearby service station who sent about six men to the incident spot. Yet, nothing seemed to solve the situation. However, after working hard for about eight hours using bricks, wood, ropes, and about eight men in total, the vehicle was finally pulled out of the creek.

While everyone celebrated the first-ever successful vehicle recovery, the incident left a question mark in Sr Holmes’ bright mind. He understood quite well that not every car owner will be as lucky as his professor to get such a service. Besides, the idea of eight men pulling out a vehicle for eight hours was neither viable nor appealing.

So what was the solution?

Holmes 485 – The First Tow Truck

Innovation is not a thing for the faint of heart. Holmes knew he wanted to devise a means that could quickly recover vehicles, but he didn’t know how that would happen. As a start, he connected a crane and pulley system to his 1913 Cadillac. However, due to the instability of the prototype, the attempt was a failure.

As tenacious as he was, he didn’t give up. He invested a lot of time and money to finally introduce the world to the first tow truck called Holmes 680. However, the machine was too expensive to be used commercially. That is when he invented a more reasonably priced version called Holmes 485.

The Second Revolution

During WW2, Holmes’s company made several tow trucks and sold them to the US, Brittain, France, and other armies. Unfortunately, Sr Holmes died due to a heart attack during the peak time of his business.

His Grandson, Jerry, then took the initiative to invent a hydraulic tow truck. History repeated itself as his initial attempts also failed. However, after two decades of undying determination, he finally succeeded like his grandfather. From there, the industry saw a boom.

Thanks to these geniuses, we have numerous types of tow trucks and recovery services.

Who Are We?

We are the proud upholders of the principle of incorporating innovation and precision into every roadside assistance service to save cost and time. Action Towing flaunts a well-equipped team of professionals that can diligently rescue you from any roadside emergency. Contact us now to learn more.


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