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Heavy truck shop, looking for tow truck recommendations


sask3500
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I own a heavy truck and trailer shop, I’ve been thinking about a wrecker as a service truck, to move semi trailers and dead trucks into the shop to be worked on and to occasionally take a truck we can’t fix to dealerships. 
 

What’s the minimum needed? What do you need to know to recommend a spec for a tow truck?

 

thanks

Edited by sask3500
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Welcome.

Well in my opinion, what your looking to do with it is kind of a broad spectrum. If your simply looking for a rig to move trucks and trailers in and around the shop, An old single or twin screw day cab tractor with a good used 20-25 ton Zacklift or bang bar attachment would suffice just fine. ( thats what we had back in the day as a yard dog ) The short wheelbase of a run of the mill road tractor makes wiggling around the yard and into the shop easier as opposed to using a full-on long wheelbased wrecker. But if your planning on going out and towing trucks off the road back to your shop,to the dealer, etc... Thats a whole different realm. Now you need to be better equipped to handle a variety of different trucks, trailers, Loaded, unloaded etc... and drag them down the public roads. State, Federal and D.O.T. laws now come into the picture.... You get the idea

It is one thing if you grabbed a hold of a loaded 10 wheeler for instance with your day cab/Zacklift ( if you could even pick it )and swing it around your yard and stuff it in the shop door. That same deal wont fly for even a 5-10 mile trip down the road.

As a minimum actual road tow truck, I would recommend at least a 35 ton intergrated boomed rig. It would be a versatile truck for quick shop to shop type towing, it would give you a decent range of trucks you could tow legally, but isnt a million dollar+ monster recovery truck. You will have to know when to say NO though.  

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PROFESSIONAL TOWING & RECOVERY IS NOT JUST A JOB.. IT IS A LIFESTYLE

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So 35 ton seems to be a line where some are single drive and some are tandem drive. Will a single drive legally move most unloaded tandem drive straight trucks and tandem drive power units? There is a noticeable price bump to a tandem drive tow truck. 
 

Also what about unloaded semi trailers in the yard? We have lots of heavy haul lowbeds and b-train and tanker units around. 
 

For the money a quick swap or zaklift seems like a good value too. 

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8 hours ago, sask3500 said:

So 35 ton seems to be a line where some are single drive and some are tandem drive. Will a single drive legally move most unloaded tandem drive straight trucks and tandem drive power units? There is a noticeable price bump to a tandem drive tow truck. 
 

Also what about unloaded semi trailers in the yard? We have lots of heavy haul lowbeds and b-train and tanker units around. 
 

For the money a quick swap or zaklift seems like a good value too. 

Sure. Back in my heavy days, I had a single screw, cab-over international with a 30 ton NRC unit on her and she towed twin screw, straight trucks and tractors etc.. just fine. Combo truck/trailers had to be split of course. 

Like I mentioned before, I feel it would be a good "shop" truck choice. You wont be snapping into any loaded B-trains with it but weight dependant of course, you should be ok if you could break it all up or just grab the unit that needs repair for instance..

PROFESSIONAL TOWING & RECOVERY IS NOT JUST A JOB.. IT IS A LIFESTYLE

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