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Various Types of Tow Trucks


A tow truck is a special vehicle often used to transport impounded, disabled, improperly parked, and scrapped motor vehicles from one point to another. This may involve transporting a broken down vehicle to a repair shop, recovering a vehicle damaged in a road accident, or returning one to drivable surface in harsh weather. We can classify tow trucks in the following categories based on their size, capacity, power, and function:


Boom tow trucks use an adjustable boom to recover motor vehicles over an embankment or from a ditch. Some trucks have a fixed boom, others feature hydraulic-powered tubes. The heaviest types of boom trucks function more like a crane as they have the boom which can effectively rotate. It is mostly used to recover heavy vehicles. A traditional boom truck uses a hook and chain system to lift the object.


The traditional wheel-lift trucks use hook and chain technology to draw the front end of the vehicle clear of the ground so it can be moved. Wheel-lift trucks pick up the drive wheels of the vehicle making it convenient to tow rear wheel drive. We can further categorize wheel-lift trucks based on the wheel-lift technology.


A flatbed truck has its back fitted with a flat surface or a bed that can be inclined or slid back to the ground level using hydraulic technology. Flatbed tow trucks are mostly used to transport completely damaged vehicles. People prefer flatbed towing service when the safety of a vehicle is a prime concern. It is more like carrying an object rather than towing it. We also call them rollback trucks.


When boom and wheel-lift technologies are integrated together, we get integrated tow trucks or self loaders. The integrated system is often used to move illegally parked vehicles. Operators are not required to hook up the vehicle, apparatus inside the truck makes a quick pickup possible. Heavy duty trucks also use integrated lift system to move objects.

We can also categorize tow trucks in terms size and weight. The lightest models are ideal for carrying out car towing operations. Flatbeds are medium and heavy duty trucks featuring enough power to carry entire vehicles.

A highly professional towing company uses different types of tow trucks depending on the requirements and nature of a project. In Edmonton City, we have Action Towing, a towing and roadside assistance company equipped with a complete range of powerful and modern tow trucks. If you are in Edmonton and need to tow or recover a vehicle, call us for an emergency response.


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