Quantcast
Jump to content
  • Come join the TowForce community.

    Sign in to get started and to receive Tower Down Notices.

Wrecker Tow Sling Style Question


Jesse Roth
 Share

Recommended Posts

Looking for some background info on this unit. All I know is that the American Wholesale Corporation filed for a trademark on this "Tote-A-Kar" wrecker tow sling style dolly in 1984.

 

This unit looks like it was engineered to be stout but am not sure if there are helpful youtube videos anyone can point to that educates someone how to use this style correctly?

 

Also, any ideas on what a unit like this is worth, ballpark? $700? $1.5k?

C144DECD-1511-4666-818F-FF0C5F1D3D9D.jpeg

75BD0C37-0F6C-46A5-B87B-A7C0654669E4.jpeg

5C419C99-212C-49F1-BD24-B193FD80475D.jpeg

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey Jesse … I doubt you’ll find any historical data for the unit. I don’t know it as a major player in the towing industry. But, using it is simple.

 

In the early 1970’s, my Dad’s tow biz had one that I used as a teen to bumper-haul cars in-town that was headed to scrap. The one Dad had was home-made using an old bed frame and square tubing looking very much the same. The tote was scary at best, but got the job done.

 

No matter what the tow sling’s mounted to, attaching the sling and towing with it is the same process as using a wrecker, but it’s a bumper pull unit. The one I used got flat tires all-the-time. But, using a pair of J-hook chains, attaching the sling (to a car) is simple and no different than it being mounted to a wrecker. The one you picture has boat-crank and a small tilting boom for raising and lowering.  There’s a bolt that removes to crank the hand-winch, “out”, to lower the “boom” and tilt the sling to the ground.

 

Google the words, “tow sling how-to videos” or “wrecker tow-sling how to video” and watch them all for a simple tutorial. There are several videos that demonstrate pretty good techniques and some that are simply laughable, but they will give you an idea of how they attach.

 

If you’re looking to haul scrap and PLEASE not on the highway, it’s an affordable alternative until you’re ready to upgrade. As far as the price, I personally wouldn’t offer more than $250 - $400 based on age, rust factor, questionable bearings, and age of the turf tires that aren’t really suitable to speed.  

 

Not that the unit may or may not be functional; its age suggests it could be risky should something let go, snap or collapse.  There's not that much safety in its design to safely raise, hold and haul a heavy car. While I'm not trying being the proverbial Tow Police, these units went the way of the dinosaur because they weren't all that popular ... I can attest the same having used one somewhat like it. Thanks for taking me on a trip down memory lane.   Good Luck.     R.

  • Like 3

Randall C. Resch

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guys ... These were  popular in the UK also in the 70's,  the unit in the photo   was made by  Harvey  Frost  a well known and well respected recovery equipment builder n the UK ...

Harvey Frost built a number of different recovery cranes with working loads of  1. 5 tons  up to a twin winch crane with a lifting capacity of 10 tons...

The actual name Harvey Frost used for the unit  was.... Tow Dolly  

I ran a Harvey Frost  tow dolly as a back up for 2 or 3 years in the early days,  mainly for accident damaged stuff and scrap collection... 

I mirror Randall's comments...  in the right hands they were quite safe... but lethal if you are inexperienced ...no brakes, no safety features whatsoever...

we stopped using it and scrapped it after a friend of ours borrowed it and was towing a heavy car and it got out of control down a hill and rolled the whole lot over  including the towing van ... ( some friend !! ) 

We had several Harvey Frost cranes fitted to our light duty wreckers and they were very easy to work...on the heavy side we preferred to use the Holmes twin Boom cranes...

but as we progressed,  the emphasis was more on damage free lift and tow and transportation ...

gradually they were sold off or scrapped ... I think I may still have a couple of Harvey Frost Snatch Blocks in the stores somewhere...

With the advent of plastic bumpers and modern tight fitting bodywork... renders that sort of equipment useless for todays applications...

 

1254291638_towingdolly.thumb.jpg.4c378ba26a667ddd234a84f36eb6da21.jpg 

 

note ... this one has a crude over run brake fitted 

The winch is enclosed in an alloy housing and when lowering the load a brake automatically applies ... thus removing the risk of the Handle flying round and breaking your arm. 

 

   

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Mr. John. Great bit of comments about the tote. Since the 70s I haven't seen another one being used, but have seen several in the scrap pile of their own. I never heard of Harvey Frost so today I learned something new. Thanks for sharing and hugs to Aileen.     R.

  • Like 1

Randall C. Resch

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Don't recall ever seeing one around here... It's practical theory is flawed by physics itself. Since a "tow truck" is essentially a "See-Saw", this unit lifts up on the trailer ball as opposed to adding tongue weight. I would imagine with the right combination (or should I say wrong), things could get way out of control such as the example John gave! 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Reminds me a bit of learning as a very young person about tow dollies in general (the regular pan style still used today); had a 1959 Apache loaded on one, pulling it with a 1970 C10.  Took a downhill banked turn to get onto the highway with it and the road was a little damp, and the whole convoy went sideways into the curb.  I never trusted tow dollies after that.  However, they seemed better than the clamp-on style tow bars we used to move junk around with back in the days when everything had steel bumpers.

 

Richard

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...