What Are the Different Types of Towing Services

What are the various towing services offered and how do they all work? You might be shocked to hear that there are a few different alternatives accessible when it comes to towing vehicles. It all depends on the car and the situation.

Flatbed towing

A flatbed tow truck is used for flatbed towing. The truck’s flatbed is lowered to ground level. The automobile is dragged up into the truck bed using a hydraulic winch mechanism. One of the most often used services. 

Prior to shipment, the car is placed on the truck’s bed, which is leveled, and the vehicle is securely fastened down. It’s one of the safest and most straightforward methods of towing a car.

Lightweight or medium towing

Various towing firms provide a range of lightweight/medium duty services for transporting automobiles or goods. Engine jumpstarts, flat tire replacement, and a variety of additional services are available. 

Such businesses can be contacted for aid and help if you run out of gas or fuel. Towing services are not extremely expensive, therefore it is easy to discover a firm that provides high-quality services at reasonable prices.

Wheel lift towing

Wheel lifts are appropriate for most compact cars and light trucks, but not for towing 4×4 or all-wheel drive vehicles. Before the car’s drive wheels are raised, a yoke is placed beneath them, allowing the vehicle to be towed on the non-drive wheels. They’re one of the world’s oldest forms of towing services.

Heavy-duty towing

Wreckers or rotators are big recovery trucks used in heavy-duty towing services. They can rescue massive trucks, tractor-trailers, heavy equipment, and other vehicles. Large hydraulic winches and cables are used by wreckers to lift, pull, and even spin huge automobiles.

Different types of tow trucks

A tow truck is a specialized vehicle that is frequently used to carry impounded, disabled, poorly parked, and discarded cars from one location to another. This might include moving a car that has broken down to a repair shop, retrieving a vehicle that has been damaged in a road accident, or restoring a vehicle to a drivable surface in inclement weather. Tow trucks can be classified into the following groups depending on their size, capacity, power, and role.


Boom tow trucks utilize an adjustable boom to rescue automobiles from ditches or embankments. Some trucks have a fixed boom, while others have tubes that are propelled by hydraulics. The heaviest boom trucks, which feature a rotating boom, act more like cranes. It’s usually utilized to get huge vehicles back on the road.


Hook and chain technology is used on classic wheel-lift trucks to lift the front end of the vehicle off the ground so it may be transported. Wheel-lift trucks pull up the vehicle’s drive wheels, making it easier to tow rear-wheel drive vehicles. Wheel-lift trucks can be further classified based on their wheel-lift technology.


We obtain integrated tow trucks or autonomous loaders when boom and wheel-lift technologies are combined. The integrated system is frequently utilized to relocate automobiles that have been parked unlawfully. 

The vehicle does not need to be hooked up, and the device within the truck allows for a speedy pickup. To transport items, heavy-duty vehicles can employ an integrated lift system.


A flatbed truck has a flat surface or a bed on the rear that can be slid or inclined back to ground level using hydraulic technology. Tow trucks with flatbeds are typically used to transfer severely damaged autos. When the safety of a car is a top priority, people prefer flatbed towing service. Rollback trucks are another name for them.

Hook and chain tow trucks

Tow trucks with hooks and chains are used to tow a variety of items. In the past, these vehicles were commonly utilized. Wrapped chains might scratch or harm the vehicle, thus this option should only be used if you’re moving a destroyed automobile to a junkyard. 

Furthermore, hook and chain tow trucks are not permitted to be used on all-wheel and four-wheel-drive vehicles due to the risk of damage to the powertrain. Nowadays, hook and chain tow trucks are mostly employed to tow garbage and broken vehicles.

Key features of tow trucks

Towing capacity

The ability to tow is the most significant aspect of a tow vehicle. Normal trucks have a passenger or maybe a loading capacity that is not the same as the towing capability. A truck’s towing capability should be more than that of the car being towed, otherwise, both vehicles would be damaged. 

A truck’s towing capacity is determined by the horsepower it has, the strength of its body, and the torque or driving force it generates, as well as the presence of a proper radiator and other necessary equipment.

Wheelbase distance

The wheelbase distance is the measurement between the front and rear wheel axes. This distance distributes the truck’s weight, as well as any additional weight it may be hauling, between the front and rear wheels. The tow truck will not be able to draw a big car if the wheelbase distance is not balanced.

Drive system

In a tow truck, there are three primary driving systems. All-wheel-drive, four-wheel drive and rear-wheel drive are all options. These drive systems are capable of delivering a variety of results depending on the terrain, the weight they are hauling, and the fuel economy that must be maintained.

Curb weight

The entire weight of the vehicle with a full gasoline tank is known as the curb weight. To typical truck drivers, this may appear to be a minor distinction. Tow truck drivers, on the other hand, are aware that the total fuel economy of towing vehicles may be improved by controlling the entire vehicle weight.

Transmissions and gears

When opposed to conventional vehicles, tow trucks have a distinct range of gears and gearboxes. A tow truck’s transmission is designed to provide maximum traction, which is easier to do when low gears are stronger. 

When the truck is pulling another vehicle, this little but effective mechanical difference helps it to become more stable and produce greater push and pull.

Tow packages

People frequently recall towing vehicles with simply the towing ball or tip attached to their backs. There are a variety of towing packages available, depending on the type of towing service you want.

Upkeep costs

When compared to conventional vehicles, tow trucks have higher maintenance expenses. The added features of proper tow vehicles need extra attention, therefore maintaining them comes at a cost. The utility of these characteristics is determined by the tow truck’s role and frequency of use.

Final thoughts

While you would probably ever need towing services a few times in your life if any, knowing the different types of towing services and being able to identify which one you need holds paramount power. It will not only save you money but save you time as well. The next time you’d need yourself this service, feel free to go back to this article for help.

If you’re looking for a tow truck service in Mobile, Alabama, feel free to contact us today!