Types of Vehicles Supported By Heavy Duty Towing

Types of Vehicles Supported By Heavy Duty Towing

Heavy duty towing is a very specific industry and there are a wide variety of vehicles that fall within the industry. Those make and models include everything from construction equipment to an M1A1 Abrams tank.

What you need to know about your vehicle:

The diameter or width of your vehicle’s tires You will require the proper size tow hook for your vehicle if it has multiple sets. For example, if you have dual 40 x 10mm hooks, they will be needed on both hooks on the tow truck.

Before towing, consult your vehicle owner’s manual for specific information on your specific towing needs.

The following is an overview of the most common types of vehicles towed by heavy duty towing vehicles:

Heavy duty towing companies commonly tow forklifts, pallets, and lowboy trucks in addition to the typical pickup truck. Some companies even use heavyweight trailers instead of light trailers. Larger companies may also use tractor trailers.

Certain types of vehicles, such as military vehicles, cannot be towed because of weight restrictions imposed by the United States Department of Defense.

There are different kinds of specialty trucks or heavy duty trucks that are commonly used for towing and these include:

Truck beds can weigh thousands of pounds and these need to be balanced with the amount of weight that is being towed to avoid tipping.

Tow trucks commonly have around a 14-inch clearance between their hubs and the ground. There are some instances where the tow truck does not have sufficient clearance to get under the vehicle that it is towing. This is called “bottoming out” or when the hubs touch below the chassis of the vehicle that is being towed.

As the rear springs of a vehicle support the vehicle’s weight and geometry, it may be necessary to keep extra springs to equalize the overall vehicle weight.

Heavy duty trucks are commonly equipped with 4-wheel drive (4WD) and/or locked differentials that allow for more control than not having such options. This is especially helpful when towing a trailer because it allows the trailer to “float” off of turns or bumps and not get damaged by being thrown into the air. This also allows for more control in extreme conditions such as icy roads, snow and mud. Drivers often to use 4WD when towing because it provides more traction. This is especially true on ice.

Many heavy duty tow trucks have a few different kinds of winches that allow the driver to lift objects up to and sometimes over a mile high. These winches are commonly used to help secure or attach items such as a boat, trailer or even another vehicle under the tow truck itself.

When towing equipment that has a protruding tow bar or chain, it is important for the driver to ensure that there are no cars parked near the beginning or end of the tow truck’s lane. This is because the light bar and chain must not get caught on a car or it could cause them serious injury.

The driver must keep in mind that a large amount of weight is being pushed by their truck and this weight can cause considerable damage if it strikes another car or pedestrian.

The driver must also keep in mind that heavy duty tow trucks do not have airbags. Drivers should also be aware that they can roll their vehicle while they are towing.


It is important the driver be aware of the various dangers that come with towing and driving a heavy duty truck. It may be tempting to send out a low-paid employee to tow a vehicle, but it can be much more risky than simply hiring an insured professional. Read more on the dangers of towing.


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