How Much Weight Can Heavy Duty Tow Truck Carry?

Towing services are required for transporting heavy vehicles. Towing trucks are also known as recovery or breakdown vehicles. They are used by civic authorities to impound vehicles that are improperly parked. They are also used for transporting vehicles that have broken down. They can recover vehicles that may have landed in a ditch or a water body after meeting with an accident.

However, all the vehicles that are used for towing are not the same. There are many varieties depending on the method used for transporting the vehicle or the weight that the tow truck can carry. Heavy duty towing trucks are the most powerful and are routinely required for transporting other trucks, ship containers, etc. So if you want the services of a heavy-duty tow truck, you can visit AJ’s towing in Sacramento, California.

Types Of Towing Trucks

Towing vehicles can be of many types based on the weight they carry or the way in which they transport the cars:

  • Flatbed – As the name suggests, these have a flatbed that inclines smoothly to reach the road. Any car can be gently pulled over the slope of the incline.
  • Tows With Hooks And Chains – These hook the car to the back of the tow truck with a chain.
  • Lightweight Recovery Vehicles – They are used for moving small cars and sedans.
  • Heavy Weight Recovery Vehicles – They are used for transporting other trucks, multiple vehicles, shipping containers and carrying trailers or tractors that are filled with farm equipment.

Weight That A Heavy Duty Recovery Truck Can Carry

These vehicles can carry almost 17000 pounds of weight. They are routinely used for recovering cars that have gone underwater after meeting with an accident. A car that has been underwater being heavier than a car that is on the land surface because it also has the additional weight of the water filled in it. Hence, heavy-duty recovery vehicles are required to recover submerged cars.

Likewise, if a piece of single towing equipment is to transport multiple vehicles, then it should be heavy-duty equipment. Usually, in such situations, one car is attached to the towing equipment via a chain and hook, and the subsequent cars are tied to each other while they are being transported.

Features That Enable A Heavy-Duty Recovery Truck To Function Properly


A Boom Lift

A boom is a long hydraulic arm that can be lowered in a ditch or an embankment to lift up cars that may have fallen into a ditch or an embankment due to an accident. The boom lift of heavy-duty equipment can lift a weight of around 25 tonnes.

Most towing equipment that is used to lift heavy vehicles and objects comes with a rotating boom instead of a fixed one. The boom is fixed to a pivot, and hence it can rotate around the pivot. This ability to rotate allows more versatility, and these vehicles can easily recover trams, trailers, etc., from an accident site. Rotating towing machines are among the most efficient ones, and some of them can lift up to 70 tonnes of weight.

A Wheel Lift

A wheel lift is a method of transporting a vehicle by lifting up its front wheels. The breakdown truck carries the front portion of the car, including its front wheels. The rear wheels of the car are on the road and they help it roll smoothly on the road. For heavy-duty equipment, the wheel lift can carry a weight of almost 6 tonnes.

Multiple Axles


Heavy-duty recovery trucks are quite heavy, and hence they have certain features which make them highly stable. For instance, they have multiple axles, which makes them stable while moving on the road. If the recovery truck encounters a bump on the road, then the multiple axles ensure less jerking.

When the first axle is on the bump, then the second axle is still in touch with the ground. And when the second axle reaches the bump, the first axle is on its way to touching the flat ground surface again. Multiple axles ensure that the vibrations felt by the truck are significantly less. Vibrations caused in automobile parts are a major reason for them becoming loose and falling apart. If the vibrations felt by a vehicle are less, then they are easy to maintain as they do not require frequent repair work.

Having multiple axles also reduces the load per axle, and this ensures that the truck does not topple due to improper weight distribution.

Distance Between The Front And The Rear Wheels

A larger distance between the front and the rear wheel helps to manage the weight better. Hence, most heavy-duty breakdown trucks have a large gap between the front and the rear wheel.

High Horsepower


Horsepower is a measure of the power of an engine. The word horsepower was actually used to refer to the weight that a horse could carry. However, with time it came to be used as an expression of the ability of an engine to provide more torque and accelerate more quickly. Heavy-duty breakdown trucks have a high horsepower engine which allows them to lift and carry large weights.

Chassis Design

The chassis is the main metallic framework of a vehicle. Each vehicle has a specific design of the chassis to suit its purpose. For heavy-duty breakdown trucks, the chassis design is very important and it is carefully engineered to allow them to function optimally.


Heavy-duty towing equipment functions optimally using a combination of high-powered engines, multiple axles, an appropriate chassis design, etc. All these factors contribute to providing a high pulling ability and high stability.

Most people mistakenly believe that all recovery trucks are the same. However, recovery trucks come in various varieties, and each variety serves a different purpose. Getting the wrong kind of recovery vehicle wastes not only time but also money. For instance, if you get a low-duty towing vehicle to move a trailer or a lorry that has broken down, then it will only lead to a waste of time.

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