Tow trucks are big rigs that pull behind large trucks. They can tow almost any vehicle, as long as it is within their range of movement. Towing services are usually provided by tow truck companies, but they can also be individual, private owners who have extra equipment on the property. All tow trucks are equipped with winches, tow bars, and winching ropes.
There are many types of tow trucks, including flatbed tow trucks and tapered flatbed tow trucks. Flatbed trucks are often used for towing boats and other large vehicles, but they are sometimes used for residential towing as well. Flatbed towing is more difficult than towing in a bed-mounted manner, primarily because the flat bed has no side rails or curtains to help maintain a secured position. When securing a flatbed tow truck, a professional must use winch pressure to keep the truck in place. It is also important to use winches that are the right size and strength for the vehicle in question.
Towing trailers and smaller vehicles such as golf carts require a different style of tow truck than those used for larger vehicles. Trailer towing requires a larger and stronger tow truck because it is necessary to secure trailers with built-in wheels to prevent them from being damaged when transporting. However, all tow trucks are designed with the same dimensions so that they can tow most types of trailers, from family cars to large trucks and SUVs.
The towing capacity of a tow truck is an important factor to consider when purchasing one. Typically, towing capacity is calculated in cubic feet per minute (cfm), which is the weight of the towed vehicle multiplied by its maximum trailer towing capability. Most flatbed tow trucks use tires with a diameter of 12 inches, because towing larger or irregularly sized tires can damage the wheels and potentially cause the vehicle to skid.
Towing a trailer manually can be hazardous to the driver, making it a difficult task. In addition, it can take a skilled operator a long time to properly tow one. For this reason, many trailer companies now offer automatic chain towing. Automatic chain towing is a great option for people who don’t have experience driving with a trailer, are unfamiliar with road conditions, or don’t want to waste their time practicing manual towing. With automatic chain tow trucks, drivers can simply push a button, and the truck will drive the trailer to where the driver is, automatically towing it along behind them.
There are some limitations to using flatbed tow trucks, however. Because of the way the truck is constructed, it cannot be easily lifted off of the ground. To prevent damage to your vehicle, only allow flatbed towing if you are driving it with the assistance of another vehicle. Also, flatbed towing is not recommended for towing motorcycles. If you need to tow a motorcycle, you will need to rent a motorcycle trailer.
Flatbed tow trucks are not only better than manual towing, but they are also safer. When a flatbed tow truck works with a cable system, the cable is secured under the vehicle, and the towing weight is evenly distributed across the cable. This allows the weight of the trailer to remain centered over the trailer. There are no unsightly riggling areas that can occur if the weight distribution is not perfect, which can cause damage to your vehicle.
One more advantage to flatbed towing is that the trucks can be fitted with a special tool which enables them to remove the weight from the front and rear wheels of the vehicle. This gives the tow truck driver more maneuverability and makes it easier for him to make turns in the road. There is also a special hook on the back of most models which enables the truck to tilt its back wheels upwards, so that they are much higher when attached to the trailer. As this type of towing is becoming more popular, more people are reporting accidents and near misses. Although the accidents can often be blamed on the drivers of other vehicles, it is becoming apparent that the majority of these crashes have nothing to do with the other driver at all. These accidents are happening every day and although the driver of the other car may have been operating his vehicle normally, it is still possible that he got caught up in the backwoods and ran into a tow truck driver.