Jump to content
  • Join the TowForce community.

    It looks like you're not logged in. Register to get started and to receive Tower Down Notices.

Best Heavy Wrecker Wheelbase

Recommended Posts

Hey everyone, we just purchased our first heavy wrecker a few months ago. Everything has been going good. Some of the trucks we go to tow, it gets pretty light in the front end. I own an older tandem pete with a Reyco suspension that has a 286" wheelbase. The truck physically will pick anything up. The underlift is very strong. It just gets light in the front end. It's on the light side (light weight is 31k.) If I stretch the truck what would be the best length but not too long for every day tows. (Not looking to do anything crazy like loaded dumps or anything.) Or should I leave the wheelbase and just try to add weight up front or behind the cab. The previous owner told me he used spring hanger forks instead of grabbing the front axle he said it distributed the weight better which I would think it would make it even more light in the front end but I'm new to all of this and learning as I go. Any input is appreciated thank you.

Edited by laser45v
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I borrowed this from Fallsway's Blog page so I didn't have to spell it all out...



(Front Axle Weight in lbs.) / (2) * (Wheelbase in inches) / (Overhang in inches)  = (Tow Performance)


14,500 lbs.  /  2  *  312”   /  190”   =    11,905 lbs. that can be lifted and towed with a safe useable front axle weight

This calculation is intended to show you what can be towed while maintaining a safe useable front axle weight. It is not intended to calculated axle weights for scaling purposes. Tow Performance is a calculation of 50% front axle weight reduction while towing and is a standard across the country. In addition, it is a good rule of thumb to abide by when building a new truck.


So a 286" wb is pretty short for a heavy. Some guys use that as a min. on quick pick's being installed. If you can get the specs on the front axle weight of your truck, we could help figure it out. It's best if you can max your steer axle weight out to the full rated capacity but if you have a light spec'd chassis, that may be only 12,000lbs. The bottom line is these are the only figures that matter in the equation so anything you can do to improve these numbers will help - greater steer axle weight, more wheelbase or limit the overhang. Picking a truck up on Spring Slippers instead of at the axle decreases your overhang by 24-30" so it will lift better. This is why short trucks of days gone by worked fine with slings, there overhang was much shorter then a under reach. 


I just want to say that the formula has been discussed through out the industry and some feel that you can safely operate a truck with less then 50% of it's steer weight and I would say that is true to a point. You just have to accept that the lighter you get, the closer you get to a "white knuckle" ride. Hitting a bounce on the highway and feeling the tires loose contact can enlighten your expierience...LoL

  • 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.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Unfortunately, your content contains terms that we do not allow. Please edit your content to remove the highlighted words below.
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.

  • Create New...
Please Sign In or Sign Up