Types of Tow Trucks

There are several types of tow trucks and they all work differently.  Here is a great summary of each:

Flatbed Tow Truck

Flatbed Tow Trucks have no chains or hooks that attach to your vehicle. Instead, the bed is lowered on one end to the ground and a winch is used to pull your vehicle up onto the bed.  Or a crane-like apparatus may lift your vehicle and set it on the flatbed. These are the safest types of tow trucks, with the least risk of damaging vehicles as with a hook or chain.

Boom Tow Truck

This tow truck has s boom winch that is used to pull damaged vehicles from ditches and other hard to reach places. This one show above (courtesy of kenworth dot com) is lifting an airplane.


Hook and chain/Belt lift Tow Truck

This type of tow truck uses a heavy-duty chain and hook. The boom that is on the back of the tow truck is attached to the underside of the vehicle that needs to be towed.  The boom is then raised so the back wheels come off the ground and the vehicle is ready to tow (backwards).


Wheel-lift tow trucks

These tow trucks use a lift yoke to move vehicles.  The yoke is lowered to the ground and placed under the back or the front wheels of the vehicle. Then the vehicle is then lifted using a pneumatic or hydraulic crane-like device.