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What tow truck for a heavy truck and trailer shop?


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I moved this from the  TowCanada bit. It seems to be mostly populated by a couple bots. 

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 wheel lift needed to move empty semi trailers, dead straight trucks and power units with the occasional couple hour haul on the highway? 

 What do you need to know to recommend a spec for a tow truck?


Are used wheel lifts available at wrecking yards to build a service body around? 



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 A Zacklift fifth wheeler  and a longer wheelbase tractor with a wet kit would work well because then you can move trailers or bang your wheellift on in 15 minutes and move a tractor or truck. The longer wheelbase the better. I know that my Zacklift  on a 244 inch wheelbase would move tractors or or loaded tractor trailers as long as you can pick them. I towed a loaded tractor and tridem trailer off the highway in Eastern AB without any problems at all. If it was a yard truck only I would add weight to your front axle and it would allow you to move the heavier stuff in the yard. I used mine to tow out of Saskatchewan or BC  without any issues at all

Edited by Cooter64
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So something like a sleeper truck with the bunk removed and tool boxes in it’s place and a zaklift on a 5th wheel to move dead things? 

How does it work using an under lift to flat tow truck and trailer combos? 


Like this but a 5th where the crane and back boxes are. 


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You would need your fifth wheel  over your bogies to avoid unloading your front end  but other than that it would probably work because of the weight on your steer axle. If you are unfamiliar with towing tractor trailer combos it would definitely be worth getting training just for the safety aspect of it rather than just jumping into it. Is this going to be an income stream or are there no other tow trucks in the area because all of a sudden you are a competitor and the tow companies will forget that you have a shop when it comes to recommending people to you. Just my 2 cents. Jeff

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It’s not really a situation that would cause business issues. More for convenience. I need something around to move things no matter what.  Right now it’s a day cab and a skid steer. I don’t run a service truck but call outs still happen, it would be nice if those quick runs to take a look at something could be towed back sometimes. 

Or like today, -40 and all the work in the yard won’t start, it’d be nice to not mess around outside getting things running. Just pick it up and set it inside. 

Where would I look for a wrecker that would have an old wheel lift in stock? Any specialty tow truck wreckers in Canada or US? 



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