Tow trucks come in a range of ratings, depending on their towing capacity and their own weight. Smaller, lighter tow-trucks handle the most basic and lightweight loads, while much bigger vehicles deal with the situations where a small truck isn’t going to cut it.
There are three types of tow truck you need to know about, each one with different weight limits.
Light-duty tow trucks
Light-duty tow trucks are also known as Class A tow-trucks. Examples include both conventional and roll back wreckers, trucks in this class must have a gross vehicle weight rating of 5 tons, they are generally used to tow motorcycles, passenger cars, and pickup trucks. Low-duty tow trucks are usually equipped with winch and cable systems, as well as wheel lifts, and they are capable of towing between 7,000 and 11,000 lbs of weight.
Light-duty tow trucks are deployed to deal with the majority of towing jobs because they are the tow trucks that handle personal vehicles and motorcycles. Because of their relatively small size, light-duty tow trucks are much more nimble and manoeuvrable than their larger counterparts. They can access small parking lots and garages much more easily.
Medium-duty tow trucks
Class B tow trucks, also known as medium-duty tow trucks, have an average gross vehicle weight of 11 tons and are usually used for towing cargo containers, farm equipment, heavy machinery, and multiple-vehicle loads. Tow-trucks in this class should be able to handle between 7,000 lbs and 17,000 lbs when towing.
Medium-duty tow trucks are used for more heavy-duty tasks than Class A tow-trucks, but they aren’t quite up to the demands of the biggest loads. Medium-duty tow-trucks handle recovery operations; they are capable of doing everything that the lighter tow-trucks are capable of. However, they are less manoeuvrable than light-duty tow trucks, meaning they will struggle to access some of the same areas.
Heavy-duty tow trucks
Heavy-duty tow trucks handle the biggest, heaviest loads. They are also the largest and heaviest of the towing and recovery vehicles available. A heavy-duty tow truck will need to have a gross vehicle weight of at least 23 tons itself to handle the kind of jobs that will come its way. This weight enables heavy-duty tow trucks to tow loads greater than 17,000 lbs.
Heavy-duty tow trucks are the most specialised tow-trucks on the market. Businesses like Mick’s Towing Service offer heavy-duty tow trucks in the form of the Super Tilt. The Super Tilt is capable of transporting the heaviest loads. These heavy-duty flatbeds are regularly loaded up with 25-ton excavators, trucks, and other heavy loads. The Super Tilt can handle up to 32 tonnes of weight without breaking a sweat.
Heavy-duty tow trucks are pretty substantial vehicles themselves. They can transport the heaviest and most specialised loads, but they are also the least manoeuvrable tow-trucks available.
Even a light-duty tow truck is a pretty big vehicle, albeit much more nimble than its larger siblings. Whether they are responding to a breakdown or assisting in the transport of heavy machinery, it is essential to choose the right tow-truck for the job. There’s no sense in sending a much larger towing vehicle than necessary, especially when the smaller vehicles are so much easier to get into position.