What Are The Differences Between Light, Medium, and Heavy Towing?

Most folks would call a local tow truck company if they needed a tow. Unfortunately, many drivers are unaware of several towing services, and the towing firm must know which vehicle to send to your area.

All towing services provided by any towing company may be divided into three categories: small, medium, and heavy-duty towing trucks. Each towing class is designed to perform specific towing duties with specialized tools and equipment. 

To choose a towing service that meets your needs, you must first establish your vehicle’s Gross Vehicle Weight Rating, or GVWR. Knowing how to distinguish between light, medium, and heavy-duty towing can save your life.

Light-duty towing

Light-duty towing refers to the typical and routine towing services provided by towing businesses daily. It primarily comprises services such as towing abandoned automobiles, accident and traffic collision recovery, and private property towing, among others. 

A standard tow truck, such as a dolly towing truck, must perform these towing services since light-duty tow trucks weigh between 8,500 and 10,000 pounds. Therefore, towing light-duty vehicles like automobiles, minivans, and compact trucks are considered light-duty towing operations.

Cars and trucks, such as the Honda Civic, Ford F Series, Nissan Frontier, and others, are commonly used. These light-duty automobiles cause the use of light-duty towing trucks and operators.

Medium-duty towing

Towing vehicles bigger than light-duty cars but lighter and smaller than heavy-duty cars need the medium-duty towing type. This category includes tow services for vans, box trucks, motorhomes, and recreational vehicles. Towing these cars requires specialized tow trucks with automated or low-profile trailers and boom lifts.

Heavy-duty towing

For good towing results, heavy-duty tow trucks are required for semi-trucks, trailers, tractor trucks, dump trucks, trash trucks, construction equipment, boats, aircraft, and duplexes. These massive vehicles can handle practically any size recovery and towing job. Heavy-duty tow trucks should weigh at least 26,000 pounds and be capable of hauling and transporting large cars with ease.

Heavy-duty tow trucks are the most sophisticated towing vehicles, with the most advanced equipment (such as a 25-ton boom, 6-ton wheel lift, and a winch) to perform the most demanding towing duties. The torque and horsepower of these vehicles are also predicted to be high.

Towing services are carried out using heavy-duty towing vehicles. They are entirely capable of sustaining the whole load of the towed vehicle, resulting in high-efficiency towing at lower prices. However, towing operators must have a sufficient understanding of specialized towing tactics and handling big engines due to the increased complexity involved in the heavy-duty towing procedure.

How important is towing weight?

Your vehicle’s weight is crucial in establishing whether you require a light, medium, or heavy-duty tow truck. Light-duty tow trucks aren’t designed for long-distance towing and can’t move automobiles or goods that require a heavy-duty tow. 

Transporting a little automobile with a heavy-duty truck would be wasteful and costly. In addition, hiring the incorrect tow truck might cause harm to your vehicle’s powertrain and other components.

Vehicle preparation before towing

Everyone who owns or drives a vehicle will require expert towing services. It might be due to a car accident, an unforeseen breakdown, or a cross-country move. Whatever your reason for having your car towed, you must prepare it before the towing firm comes.

Here are some key points to keep in mind:

  • Anything vital should be removed. Take your valuables and personal items out of the car to ensure that nothing is misplaced or destroyed during the journey. Damaged or lost products are not the responsibility of towing firms.
  • All windows should be closed. Closing the windows of your car while it is being towed eliminates the possibility of theft. Keeping your automobile’s interior clean and free of the trash while traveling is also crucial.
  • The emergency brakes should be disengaged. Before putting your car into a tow truck, you must deactivate your emergency brakes. To keep from getting hurt. Before towing your car, any reputable towing agency will check to see if your emergency brakes are engaged, but it’s best if you double-check.
  • Take a photograph of your car. Before the towing agency arrives, take some pictures of your car. While most firms do a fantastic job of ensuring your car is in good working order, accidents sometimes happen. If something goes wrong, these images will come in useful.


Towing a car takes a great deal of knowledge. Using the incorrect tow truck might cause harm to your car’s powertrain and other components. Also, because a light-duty truck can’t lift and move a large rig out of the way, dolly towing trucks are only helpful for small cars with short towing distances.

Instead of employing dolly towing trucks, medium towing vehicles use flatbeds. Flatbeds are safe when transferring medium-duty vehicles since they may hoist the vehicle onto the bed. 

Heavy-duty towing duties necessitate different types of tow trucks with more extensive reinforcements, frames, and powerful engines to transfer huge vehicles such as trucks, trailers, and tour buses over longer distances.

Most importantly, you would need a professional tow truck service in Mobile, Alabama, that can securely and safely transport huge automobiles, campers, and trucks.