6 Fun Facts about Tow Trucks

You must have seen tow trucks carrying broken-down cars to the repair center plenty of times while you’ve been on the road. Towing involves attaching a non-functioning vehicle to a tow truck and transporting it to a designated area or location. The traffic department is often towing away illegally parked or abandoned cars.

Towing has been around for centuries now. However, back then it was the animals and sometimes humans responsible to carry out this tedious task. Thanks to the modern-day automotive industry we do not have to burden animals or humans to do this work. Instead, we have specialized vehicles known as tow trucks to carry out these jobs.

Why Tow Trucks?

It is the quickest way to transport broken down or totaled vehicles to a repair shop. If you’re considering a career in the industry, it is definitely worth looking into. Here are six fun facts about towing that you probably didn’t know!

1.      Their Creation

The first tow truck appeared over a century ago in 1916. It was Sr. Ernest Holmes’s idea as a solution to his problem. Once he had to pull a car out of a deep creek using ropes, blocks, and six men he realized he needed a more efficient solution.

This is when he came up with a design for a tow truck with a flat surface attached behind it and it would serve as a hook to carry vehicles to their designated location.

2.    They Aren’t Motor Carriers

They are motorized vehicles that help carry and transport other vehicles. Authorities use them to move impounded, wrongly parked, and disabled vehicles all the time. However, do not think of them as motor carriers, those are entirely different beasts.

Motor carriers are the trailers that carry cars and are mostly used for commercial purposes such as delivering cars to showrooms or owners.

3.      There are Many Types

In the beginning, tow trucks came in one single design known as traditional tow trucks. However, as the automobile industry evolved, so did our tow trucks. Today you will find 5 different variants of tow trucks which are as follows

  • The Boom
  • The Hook and Chain
  • The Wheel-lift
  • The Flatbed
  • The Integrated tow trucks

4.      The Flatbed is the Most Commonly Used Tow Truck

If you are looking for the best tow truck to start your own services, you are golden with flatbed tow trucks. They are the best and simplest choice that eliminates any chances of damaging a car’s transmission. Plus, it will not leave the car’s wheels hanging while you tow it away.

5.      There is a Tow Truck Museum

It may come as an amusing surprise but you can visit a museum specially dedicated to two trucks in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

This museum is known as “The International Towing and Recovery Hall of Fame” displaying some of the most uniquely restored antique tools, wreckers, and equipment. Plus, you will be able to see the pictorial history of tow trucks carrying out their jobs.

6.      You May Need a Special License

Not everyone who operates a tow truck needs a CDL. There are specific requirements such as if the weight of the truck plus cargo is more than 26,001 pounds than you need one. In a lot of cases once the towed vehicle is added to the weight of the truck you usually need a CDL.

Summing Up

Whether you are someone just curious about tow trucks or thinking about starting your own towing service, it is always best to do some research into the industry first.


We can help you save on your tow truck insurance.


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