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An In-Depth Breakdown of a Breakdown Tow Truck

When you think of a breakdown tow truck, what do you think of? Wheels? A flatbed? A cape (because they offer roadside rescue of course)? Whatever comes to mind, we assure you there’s more to it. That’s why we are going to give you an in-depth breakdown of a tow truck, from the parts that make it up to its different types. Let’s break it down.

What is a Breakdown Tow Truck?

Breakdown tow trucks are simply any type of tow truck used to recover broken down vehicles. If your car breaks down and you call a towing service, they will surely send you a breakdown tow truck. You may have heard them be called recovery trucks or even wreckers. Regardless, they serve the purpose of getting your vehicle safely off the road and transported to a repair facility.

How Does a Breakdown Tow Truck Work?


Most modern tow trucks use bracket systems for easy towing. Large steel frames are usually installed on the back of the truck to support whichever vehicle the truck is towing. This is the safest and quickest method of towing, as it requires very little manual labor for drivers who only need to touch the wheels of the towed car.

Once the wheels are fitted within the steel beams and secured in place with steel pins, the car is positioned for the yoke (the machinery that raises and lowers the beams) to be lowered. Then, pins are put through the wheel to safely secure the car. Applying this method ensures that the towed vehicle will not be damaged at any point during the towing process. 

Chain and Hooks

Other breakdown tow trucks use chains and hooks. These work similarly to the bracket system. However, the major difference is that a strong hook attaches to the underside of the towed vehicle instead of a mechanical steel fixture. Additional chains may be used to secure the vehicle’s connection to the tow truck.


Breakdown tow trucks can also include flatbeds. This type of tow truck functions like the previous two; however, it uses a mechanical system to angle its bed like a ramp so the towed vehicle can be maneuvered in. Chains are used to fasten the wheels before the flatbed is lowered back down to a flat state.

A perk of using a flatbed tow truck is that basically any vehicle can be towed, not just a car. Vehicles ranging from motorcycles to dump trucks can all be towed using this method. If your vehicle has AWD (all-wheel drive), then a flatbed is required to tow it. When dealing with these AWD vehicles, keeping them off the ground is the safest option. That’s why flatbed breakdown tow trucks are necessary to prevent damage.  

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re There Other Types of Breakdown Tow Trucks?

We already talked about tow trucks that use flatbeds as well as hooks and chains. There are two other major types of breakdown tow trucks: integrated tow trucks and wheel-lift tow trucks.


Integrated tow trucks are for heavy-duty hauls. Their additional axels provide enough strength to support towing large vehicles like buses or other heavy rigs. Also, their arms are embedded into the body of the truck to increase stability. 


Wheel-lift tow trucks are similar to hook and chain trucks. However, they use a metal yoke instead of chains which prevent damage to the towed vehicle. A hydraulic lift is used to raise the wheels off the ground to prevent further wear and tear.

Will The Right Breakdown Tow Truck Be Used For My Vehicle?

If you use the right towing service, you’ll never have to worry about the wrong truck or rig. And the right towing service is definitely Accurate Towing. Our experienced professionals will send you the right breakdown tow truck, every time. We have the knowledge to effectively assess your situation and provide you with the rig you need for your rescue. 
Reach out to us today for more information or give us a call if you need a tow. We’ll be there within 30 minutes, guaranteed.

The post An In-Depth Breakdown of a Breakdown Tow Truck appeared first on Accurate Towing Service.

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