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.

Medium/Heavy Duty Accounts

Recommended Posts

Hello, I hope I am posting this in the correct place, If not I apologize.

To start our company has just purchased our first heavy/medium duty wrecker, It is a single axle 25-ton Jerrdan HDL 500/280, It has a 9k front axle weight and about 17k on the rear, I am not entirely sure of the capabilities of this truck but my math on safe front axle weights brings me to about 10k I can lift with the under lift retracted which doesn't seem like a lot, being a single axle braking power comes into question as well so I figure it's a heavy medium duty as I don't know that I'd be too comfortable pulling a fully loaded tractor-trailer down the road with it, although I believe it probably could. 

So this leads to my problem, as we have never owned equipment with these capabilities as well as I am on the fence about what I need to advertise it towards, and I am having a tough time finding work for it. 


So for starts should I advertise toward tractor-trailers and filter out the ones that are too heavy or just avoid them altogether? 


As for finding accounts, I am starting the process of getting set for the bigger Uhauls, I have tried to reach out to NSD and Penske, but I have had no response from Penske and am not making much progress with NSD as of yet but have got an application submitted. I am finding it pretty difficult to find carriers, rental companies, etc that have a straightforward way to contact them or apply to become a provider for these bigger trucks and fleet vehicles. 

Who can I contact to acquire accounts for the heavy side, What companies have provider applications, for the companies that don't, which motor clubs do they have to provide their towing needs? I know there are guys with a lot of these accounts and a lot of experience handling them, To them I ask who do I need to contact and get involved with? 

If anyone could give some insight on what my wreckers capabilities truly are and what I should advertise for, And who I can advertise to that would be greatly appreciated.

I am a young guy who has never been outside of the light-duty world, I know the light-duty side pretty well and I know the physical side of the heavies but I am not at all familiar with the business side of the heavies at all. 


Thanks, Austin Jacob.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So to know what the truck is capable of, we would need to know more about it. The 25 ton unit is very strong and I assure you it will always outwork that chassis. Maybe post a picture of it? What's the wheel base of the truck? I wouldn't call it a medium duty...a light heavy maybe, but it will do probably 90% of a companies typical daily work. Without knowing your business plan and area, it's hard for me to say if it's the right application for business but don't discount the truck...just respect it. You have to respect weight no matter what it is you operate and when you get in to HD work, there's an added concern because the weights you're dealing with can get you hurt. Obviously any single axle has diminished braking ability on a wrecker application. Make sure you get a Brake Buddy or learn to tap in to the systems of disabled trucks. Hooking & booking is all fun & stuff but you got to be able to stop it. Every man needs to know his limitations.... And there is 2 kind of weight factors to be concerned with. The steer weight of what you're lifting is a potential enemy of a wrecker, that's what makes you "pucker". Then the over all gross weight which can seem like a lot but in actuality, just requires ample power to move it and brakes to stop it. Towing a 80,000lb loaded tractor trailer is not a big deal as long as you are prepared. Hooking to a tandem dump @ 58,000 or a loaded tri axle at 73k will school you in a hurry! That is the type of stuff that fills the other 10% of the work out there that you need to avoid. This is why it's necessary knowing what your target audience is. If you are in a metro area, you can do fine with a unit like this. If your region is logging/heavy construction ect..., then this isn't the right truck for you.


As for performance, check out Jerr-Dan's performance calculator on their site...  https://www.jerrdan.com/tow-link That will answer the math questions....cause that's all it is - physics and math. It doesn't matter who's name is on the ID tag or where the lift cylinders are placed...it's all about weights & measures.


As for the last part of your question, there are a number of principle factors that you need to identify in order to sustain. Finding business can be difficult and searching for "Motor Club Type" heavy work will typically leave you in despair, broke & frustrated 5 years from now...assuming you can hold on that long. Anybody that has their hand in your pocket, taking a piece of your hard labor is never beneficial. No different then the LD business, just magnified because of the added cost of equipment, labor and exposure. Try to avoid them at all costs would be my recommendation.  Companies like Penske & Ryder can be good accounts because they have thousands of trucks and deal with break downs & accidents every day. Many guys build their business profile around companies like this. The negative aspect is you're going to have to discount to them for any volume. I do work for these guys @ 250.00hr but guys that "do a lot" for them are working for 125-150 typically. You need to decide if you can sustain & prosper at those amounts? Years ago, I did a fair amount for them...now I don't because my business model has changed. Whatever you do, don't whore yourself. Guys doing work for these companies...tractor swaps and what not with a heavy for 100 or 125 an hour are loosing money...PERIOD! If these guys seem to be sustaining, it's because another aspect of their company or an outside source is contributing to their revenue. Remember, it's not magic.


Good luck with your venture and please, be careful. The heavy business can be rewarding but it can beat you down. When I started, I had a long, good reputation in our area and was told by dozens of companies that they were going to use us. Maybe 10% actually did. Some of the bigger players would say "well you only have one truck" and give the "what ifs". As I grew (without their help), you remember the folks that helped you get there and the ones that didn't...and charge accordingly.  😉

  • Like 7
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