When you drive on the roads, anytime your vehicle experiences a breakdown. In such situations, your immediate priority becomes getting your vehicle to the nearest repair center for assistance.

Tow trucks are designed to transport vehicles from one location to another, and different towing methods are available to cater to different needs. It’s essential to understand these methods to ensure the safety of your car during transportation.

The three primary towing methods include Hook-and-Chain Towing, Flatbed Towing and towing with Wheel Lifts. Each of these methods has its own unique characteristics, advantages, and best-suited scenarios.

Here, we will discuss all three towing methods, exploring their strengths, applications, and when each is the most appropriate choice.

What Are the Three Types of Towing: Know When You Need One

What Are the Three Types of Towing: Know When You Need One

Below are the three primary types of towing methods, each serving specific purposes and scenarios.

Explore each of the three primary towing methods in depth to understand when to select the most suitable one for your specific requirements.

1. Flatbed Towing

Flatbed towing is an excellent method for transporting various types of vehicles safely and securely. It involves lifting the whole vehicle from the ground, minimizing the possibility of damage during transit, and ensuring the safety of the transported vehicle.

This type of towing is particularly useful when towing long distances since it keeps all four wheels elevated, preventing additional mileage on the vehicle.

The flatbed towing technique is incredibly versatile and can accommodate many vehicles, even heavy and damaged ones. It’s also an ideal choice for transporting expensive or sensitive vehicles, such as classic cars, sports cars, or luxury vehicles, where preventing any damage during transportation is crucial.

Although Flatbed towing can be relatively more expensive compared to other towing methods, it offers significant advantages due to the specialized equipment involved.

You should rely on a reputable flatbed towing service because they have the expertise and skills to load and transport your vehicle securely.

2. Wheel-Lift Towing

Towing with wheel lifts is another reliable and versatile vehicle transport method that entails lifting only two wheels, leaving the other two on the ground. Depending on your vehicle’s transmission and design, the choice of which wheels to lift varies.

The wheel-lift towing system is divided into two categories, namely hidden wheel-lifts and slide-in wheel-lifts. A hidden wheel lift is less visible and modifies the truck’s frame, making it more complex and time-consuming to operate.

Meanwhile, slide-in wheel lifts are popular because they don’t require frame reinforcement, resulting in longer equipment durability.

Compared to traditional towing with hooks and chains, wheel-lifting is safer for the vehicle, as it avoids placing excessive pressure on the car’s axles. This method is also more maneuverable and beneficial for a variety of scenarios, including towing a vehicle with a dead battery or a parallel-parked vehicle.

The choice between hidden and slide-in wheel-lifts depends on many factors, such as visibility, equipment durability, and setup time. Understanding your car’s drive system is crucial when determining whether it can be towed using this method.

If you own a rear-drive car, then towing by wheel lift is quite straightforward. However, for front-wheel drive cars, you must ensure that the front wheels are raised. If you’re still unsure, it’s best to consult a professional towing service.

Additionally, employing a wheel-lifting method becomes more complicated if your vehicle is all-wheel drive. You should avoid towing an all-wheel drive vehicle by lifting only two wheels, as it could cause significant damage to your vehicle.

Before using the towing wheel lift method, you should know the weight and dimensions of your vehicle. It’s best not to exceed the tow truck’s maximum weight capacity allowed. 

Also, when employing the wheel-lift towing technique, it’s essential to distribute the load properly and inspect suspension ratings to eliminate truck bounce during towing

3. Hook-And-Chain Towing

Towing with a hook and chain is another method involving a hook or claw attached to a chain connected to the vehicle’s front or rear.

It was once commonly used but has become less popular due to the risk of causing additional damage to the vehicle. However, it can still be useful in certain scenarios, such as recovering heavily damaged or hard-to-reach vehicles.

Towing with hook-and-chain may damage the car’s bumper and frame. When choosing a towing method, consider the purpose, towing capacity, potential risk of vehicle damage, and the speed needed. Different situations may require different methods to ensure safety and efficiency.

How can you identify which towing method will be best for your vehicle?

Consider several key factors to determine the most suitable towing method for your vehicle. You need to assess the condition and type of your vehicle.

If you’re dealing with a luxury car, classic vehicle, or one that’s already damaged, you might need to search for a truck towing service near me that specializes in flatbed towing. This method is known for its safety and ability to prevent additional damage during transportation. 

On the other hand, if you have a situation like a parallel-parked car with a dead battery, look for a nearby service offering wheel-lift towing, as it’s more maneuverable and won’t harm your vehicle’s axles.

Which type of tow truck is used for flatbed, wheel-lift, and hook-and-chain towing?

Which type of tow truck is used for flatbed, wheel-lift, and hook-and-chain towing

For Flatbed Towing, the primary type of tow truck employed is the Flatbed or Rollback Tow Truck. These trucks are fitted with a flat deck that can be angled down to the ground to allow the car to be driven onto it. They are often powered by hydraulics, providing additional strength for the towing process.

In the case of a Wheel-Lift tow, the go-to choice is the Wheel-Lift Tow Truck, also known as a wrecker. This type of tow truck utilizes a lifting mechanism to raise the front or rear wheels of the automobile up. It secures the vehicle with a metal yoke or hook under the wheels.

As for Chain-and-Hook Towing, the name itself provides a clue. Hook-and-chain tow trucks, also called wreckers, are used for this method.

They employ a claw or hook mounted on a chain attached to the front or rear of the automobile, making them suitable for situations where vehicle damage is not a significant concern.

So, the choice of tow truck depends on the towing method you need for your specific situation.

Choose a Safe Towing Method for Your Vehicle’s Safety

When you need towing, choosing the right method is extremely important in ensuring your vehicle’s safety and minimizing the risk of further damage.

Flatbed towing is generally regarded as the safest and most secure method for transporting different types of vehicles, while wheel-lift transport provides more maneuverability and versatility. Even though hooks and chains are less common, they may be useful in certain circumstances.

The best way to ensure a safe and smooth towing experience is to trust a reputable and professional towing company.

Santa Clara Towing is a reputable towing service in Santa Clara that offers 24/7 towing service. You can call 669-228-5951 to get in touch. By utilizing their specialized equipment and expertise, your vehicle will be transported in a safe and secure manner.

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