Are you planning to offer your tow truck services to electric cars too? It wouldn’t be a bad idea considering in 2020 there were 1.8 million electric vehicles registered in the US and this number continues to grow. So, as a tow truck driver, you want to be prepared if someone with an electric vehicle breaks down and requests your services.
As you know, electric vehicles run very differently compared to gas-powered cars. This means the towing process will also be different. In this article, we’ll discuss the best way to tow an electric car that won’t cause any damage. Let’s begin.
Why Some Traditional Towing Methods Won’t Cut It
With a standard gas-powered vehicle, you can use a variety of different tow trucks to transport it. For instance, there are hook and chains, wheel-lifts, booms, and integrated tow trucks. With all these methods at least 2 wheels are on the ground at all times during the towing process. One would assume that these methods are also ok for electric vehicles but that’s not the case.
In fact, AAA and electric vehicle manufacturers advise against this. The only way to properly tow an electric vehicle is by using a flatbed truck. This way, no wheels will be touching the ground during the transportation process.
Let’s explain why flatbeds are the best way to tow an electric car.
Towing an Electric Car
The first thing you need to do is find the electric car’s neutral mode. Unlike regular cars, these don’t have a gearbox so it can be difficult to find neutral. Teslas have this mode but the location may vary based on the model. Also, the Nissan Leaf has the feature as well. If the electric car you’re towing has this mode then you need to engage it during the loading and unloading process.
Improper towing methods can severely damage both electric and gasoline-powered vehicles. For a car that has a computer in its sensors, batteries, and tires, a lot can go wrong when improperly towed. The problem is, if the wheels are continuously spinning then electricity is being sent to a battery that isn’t currently working.
This could result in a damaged electrical system or battery. This is why the best mode of towing an electric car is by a flatbed tow truck. They prevent any wheel movement at all, which eliminate the potential hazards that exist.
For more information on how much does a tow truck cost, refer to our blog.
Loading an Electric Vehicle onto a Tow Truck
As a tow truck driver, you’ll want to be aware of the safest way to load an electric car onto a flatbed. If the vehicle has a tow mode or neutral setting then you’ll want to engage that first. Tesla models have a tow hook located by the front fender. You’ll want to attach the tow chains or winch cable to this to safely load the vehicle. However, some electric cars like the Nissan Leaf don’t recommend using the tow hooks during the loading process. In this case you’d want to attach your winch cable or tow chains to the main structure under the car.
Get Tow Truck Insurance
To avoid any costly repairs to your vehicle, the car you’re hauling, or others on the road, you need towing insurance. The towing sector is very risky and you need to protect your business at all costs. Fill out our online form or give us a call today to get a tow truck insurance quote.