The Difference Between Heavy Duty and Light Duty Towing

Light and heavy duty are terms commonly used in the towing industry to describe the type of tow trucks utilized to complete the task at hand.

If you’re new to the towing sector, it’s a wise idea to figure out what type of work you wish to do. The larger the tow truck, the more experience and skills necessary.

In this article, we’ll discuss the difference between heavy duty and light towing services. Let’s get started!

Heavy Duty vs. Light Duty Towing

With the growing number of drivers on the road, there’s an ever-increasing demand for tow trucks. A towing business provides a multitude of services far beyond the standard tow. For instance, a customer may need their vehicle recovered from a difficult-to-reach location or hauled away to the junkyard.

Regardless of the type of work you choose to do, the type of tow truck you opt for will greatly influence what you can haul. It’ll also affect the type of CDL and training you’ll need (do you need CDL to drive tow truck).

So, before you start strategizing your future business, you need to fully understand the difference between light duty and heavy duty towing. The last thing you want is to tow something over your hauling capacity and damage your truck!

Heavy Duty Tow Trucks

As the name suggests, these trucks are used to tow heavy duty vehicles such as buses, RVs, and large trucks and vans. These tow trucks weigh approximately 26,000 pounds and have a substantial amount of horsepower and torque. This is because they must accommodate and meet the safety requirements of the vehicle being towed.

To perform the task at hand, every heavy duty tow truck must have on them a winch, 25-ton boom lift, and a 6-ton wheel lift.

When deciding if a heavy duty tow truck is right for your business, you must consider the overall shape and dimensions of the items you wish to haul. For instance, farming equipment can be awkwardly shaped and difficult to transport; therefore, special care and consideration are needed.

Lastly, you must be mindful when hauling commercial vehicles that contain hazardous and/or sensitive cargo. For instance, a garbage truck is responsible for hauling away toxic waste and chemicals which can be very harmful to the environment if necessary safety precautions aren’t taken during the towing process.

Light Duty Tow Trucks

These trucks are typically used to tow standard-sized vehicles like sedans, SUVs, pickups, motorcycles, and so forth. So, when someone needs roadside assistance, such as a tow, tire change, or jumpstart a light duty tow truck will be dispatched normally.

Oftentimes tow truck operators refer to these vehicles as “city driving” cars. It’s important to note, various types of tow trucks can be used to tow city-driving cars but smaller and lighter tow trucks are easier to operate and get the job done more efficiently.

On average, a light duty tow truck weighs around 10,000 pounds.

Bottom Line

Heavy duty and light duty tow trucks have distinct features, equipment, and lifting capabilities. This makes it crucial for you to know which is best to perform the task at hand.

For more information on how much does a tow truck cost, refer to our recent blog.




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