AT A & G Towing Inc. in Bullhead City, Arizona we maintain the largest fleet of state-of-the-art trucks and equipment in the tri state area. As a result, our trained team of professionals is ready to meet any towing, recovery, or automotive locksmith need that you may have.
The modern automobile or big rig is a technological marvel that is far more complex than the systems used to carry astronauts to the moon in 1969. And that means the hook and chain tow truck, or “slim Jim” to unlock a car, is as outdated as tailfins, three on the tree, and bias ply tires.
In a previous blog post I talked about the origins of the tow truck. The first purpose-built tow truck is credited to Ernest Holmes, a mechanic from Chattanooga, Tennessee. To pull a wrecked car from a creek Holmes rigged up a system of pulleys, chains and hooks mounted a cut down automobile. He patented his contraption in 1919.
Evolutionary steps were required to meet the developing needs of the motorist and trucker in the years that followed. But essentially the hook and chain tow truck that was the standard for many years used the same components introduced by Ernest Holmes.
From its inception the system suffered from drawbacks. Damage to the towed vehicle, especially bumpers, paint, and front suspension, was common. Proper usage required a skilled operator with a strong back.
In the early 1960s a new type of tow truck was developed. The wheel lift that tow truck used a metal yoke to lift the vehicle by its wheels was a dramatic improvement over the antiquated predecessor. Damage to the body and bumpers could be avoided. And an improved hydraulic system made it easier to maneuver.
However, the wheel lift tow truck had its share of limitations. It would not work with front wheel drive or four-wheel drive vehicles. And it was impractical for severely damaged vehicles, rollovers, or vehicles stuck in mud or snow.
That’s why, in the 1980s, as front wheel drive vehicles became more common, another innovation was introduced. The roll back truck. This tow truck had a flatbed platform that slides back and tilts and uses a winch to load the vehicle. The vehicle was then secured with straps or chains for safe and secure transport.
There were additional advantages to the roll back truck. Depending on truck size, it could handle any kind of vehicle, including four-wheel drive, motorcycles, and boats on trailers.
Today, roll back trucks are the most popular and versatile type of tow trucks in the industry. A & G towing has several trucks in different sizes with varying capacities equipped with features and accessories, such as winches, ramps, toolboxes, and lights.
The roll back truck is also versatile. They can be used to perform other functions besides towing, such as delivering vehicles, hauling equipment and materials, and assisting in emergency situations.
So, that’s a brief overview of the evolution of tow trucks. I hope you enjoyed this blog post and learned something new. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them below.