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Different Types of Tow Trucks and Their Uses

Different Types of Tow Trucks and Their Uses
Thu, 29/Jun/2023

Tow trucks play a vital role in assisting stranded vehicles and providing recovery services in Coventry. With various types of tow trucks available, each designed for specific purposes, it is essential to understand their capabilities and uses. This article explores the different types of tow trucks commonly seen on UK roads, shedding light on their unique features and applications.

Flatbed Tow Trucks

Flatbed tow trucks, also known as rollback or slide trucks, are widely used in the UK for their versatility and ease of use. These trucks feature a hydraulic bed that can be inclined and lowered to ground level, allowing vehicles to be loaded onto the flatbed effortlessly. Flatbed tow trucks are ideal for transporting cars, motorcycles, and even non-running vehicles safely. Their horizontal platform provides excellent stability, minimizing the risk of damage during transportation. Moreover, the flatbed design allows for convenient loading and unloading, making them popular for roadside assistance, long-distance transport, and recovery of vehicles involved in accidents.

Wheel Lift Tow Trucks

Wheel lift tow trucks, also referred to as hook and chain tow trucks, are another common type seen on UK roads. These trucks employ a boom with a hydraulic system and a metal yoke or frame to lift the front or rear wheels of a vehicle off the ground. This method ensures that only two wheels of the towed vehicle make contact with the road. Wheel lift tow trucks are well-suited for towing cars, vans, and light-duty vehicles. Due to their compact size and maneuverability, they are often used in urban areas with limited space or narrow streets. However, it's important to note that this type of tow truck may not be suitable for all-wheel-drive or vehicles with low ground clearance.

Integrated Tow Trucks

Integrated tow trucks, commonly known as heavy-duty tow trucks, are designed for towing larger and heavier vehicles, such as trucks, buses, and commercial vehicles. These powerful machines feature a boom, winches, and a sturdier frame capable of handling substantial weight. Integrated tow trucks often come equipped with multiple axles and specialized attachments, such as underlifts or rotators, to safely recover and transport large vehicles involved in accidents or breakdowns. These versatile tow trucks are commonly utilized by recovery companies like VK Recovery services, emergency services, and motorway assistance providers, ensuring the swift and secure removal of heavy-duty vehicles from the roads.

Boom Tow Trucks

Boom tow trucks, also known as wrecker trucks, utilize a hydraulic arm or boom attached to the chassis. The boom can be extended and retracted to reach vehicles in various positions, including those trapped in ditches, embankments, or other challenging locations. Boom tow trucks are particularly valuable in off-road recoveries, as they provide the necessary lifting and pulling capabilities to extract vehicles from difficult terrain. Additionally, they are frequently used to tow cars and light trucks involved in accidents or immobilized due to mechanical failures. With their versatile lifting capabilities and extended reach, boom tow trucks are an essential asset for recovery companies, emergency services, and construction sites in the UK.


The diverse range of tow trucks available in the United Kingdom ensures that vehicles of all sizes and conditions can be safely recovered and transported. From flatbed and wheel lift tow trucks for lighter loads to integrated and boom tow trucks for heavy-duty applications, these vehicles play a crucial role in keeping UK roads clear and assisting motorists in times of need.

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