A truly beneficial service most take for granted until they need it, is towing services. Most can agree, the world would definitely be different without towing. Knowing that it is readily available when you need it puts everyone at ease. With a simple phone call, a professional comes to your location with their tow truck and can get you out of a jam, transport your vehicle to where it needs to be, and you can go about your course of action from there. There are a number of variables that the tow truck can assist you with and though these vehicles are there when you need them, few consider their origins. Today, we at Cheap Towing would like to pay tribute to the pioneers of towing and relate a brief history of towing.
Ernest Holmes Wrecker History
An unusual project was assigned to Ernest Holmes, a mechanic from Chattanooga, Tennessee back in 1916. The challenge was retrieving a Ford Model T, from a creek after his former professor lost control of the car. Using countless blocks and a lot of tools and props, after about 8 hours the vehicle was finally recovered. This experience gave Holmes the inspiration to devise a more efficient method to retrieve incapacitated vehicles. The final result, after many trials and work, a crane and pulley system attached to his 1913 Cadillac was born. However, though logical and probable in theory, Holmes’ new towing system just wasn’t stable enough to recover vehicles. In an effort to realize his idea, Holmes continued to work on his design. Eventually, he added stabilizers and support for the outriggers and by 1919 Holmes patented his first towing machine.
Holmes 680 & 485 Specs
Evolving his towing machine, Holmes engineered the Holmes 680, the first commercial towing truck available. Unfortunately, the expense was too much so Homes would recreate his design to make it more affordable and delivering the Holmes 485. Mounted later on Holmes’ 1913 Locomobile was a steam-powered vehicle with a 6-cylinder engine and 4 speed manual transmissions. By 1973, a company known for manufacturing military vehicles for the United States when they entered World War II, Miller Industries, bought Holmes’ company.
Types of Tow Trucks; Hook & Chain, Flatbed, Wheel Lift, Integrated & More
Through the natural course of time and technology advanced over the decades, tow trucks only improved. The development of different tow trucks has been designed to ensure safe, effective, and quick results. Still used today including boom, integrated systems, hook and chain, wheel lift, along with flatbed, their many towing methods to accommodate the variables.
Boom: The vehicle that needs to be towed is attached and lifted with a boom system.
Wheel Lift: Two wheels are lifted off the ground and the other two stay connect when the yoke fits under the vehicle’s wheels and lifts part of it off the ground.
Integrated: In this combination system, both the boom and the wheel lift equipment are involved.
Hook & Chain: Where the boom winch then lifts it a chain loops around the vehicle’s axle or frame. Unfortunately, safe use is limited to vehicles with steel bumpers without all-wheel drive because the bumpers or drive-train can get damaged.
Flatbed: The vehicle being towed sits on the flatbed and is strapped down securely, as opposed to being dragged. This method is often used as it is one of the top safest and simplest methods.