There are a few simple aspects that you should let the tow company know to understand what kind of tow truck is needed for your situation. Location of the vehicle, make, model and condition are the main ones. Minor aspects are the transmission type, towing distance, etc.
Flatbed or Wheel lift?
Flatbed tow truck:
The entire car is loaded on the bed. Some professionals say that this is the safest method of towing a vehicle. The disadvantages of flatbed tow trucks are size. They may not fit in some locations like tight parking lots, or low garages (such as apartment buildings or mall parking lots). Flatbed tow trucks are ideal for long distance towing. A flatbed tow truck usually tows sport, luxury and classic vehicles. Low profile bumpers (front or rear) should be towed with a flatbed tow truck, otherwise damage can easily occur. Heavier vehicles such as SUV’s, Trucks and Vans should be towed by a flatbed since it can tow heavier weight than a wheel lift (especially when they are loaded).
Uses a durable metal yoke that fits under the front or rear wheels of your vehicle. This type of towing is ideal for small parking garages and parking lots. It’s a smaller truck that can fit into places that the flatbed cannot. If you cannot shift your car into neutral, in some situations the wheel lift is better. A wheel lift can quickly grab the car, from the front or rear (depending if it’s front or rear wheel drive) and be ready to tow within minutes. Many tow companies prefer this method since the trucks are smaller and more convenient on fuel. Another advantage of wheel lift tow trucks are dollies. Dollies are a small unit that fits under the wheel of a vehicle and lifts it up a few inches. Each dolly has its own wheels and the vehicle wheel is secured to it.
Even after reading this article it can still be tricky determining what type of tow truck you might need. We will determine which type of tow truck is needed on a case by case basis.
For any other questions about the right towing method for your vehicle, contact 501 Towing & Roadside at (501) 451-2151.