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Tow Truck Designs for Commercial Towing in Arizona

Tow trucks must be able to carry a dynamic load safely and efficiently. The loads are dynamic in the sense that the loaded vehicle is free to float upon its own suspension system within some bounds while the tow truck is in motion. This will produce low frequency vibrations and motion of the loaded vehicle which will be close to the natural damped fundamental vibration frequency of the tow truck suspension. These can be somewhat sympathetic and therefore can amplify the dynamic response of the tow truck suspension system. Therefore, these motions of the loaded vehicle will induce forces upon the tow truck beyond the simple weight of the loaded vehicle. This is more apparent on flat bed or under lift tow trucks versus wheel lift tow trucks. The tow truck design must also be strong and as lightweight as economically possible. Tow truck designs can be classified as light duty, medium duty and heavy duty in general. It is important that the tow truck be a match for its intended purpose.

On wheel lift tow trucks the loaded vehicle has the front or rear wheels lifted off the ground while the remaining towed vehicle wheels roll on the pavement. The majority of the weight of the loaded vehicle is carried by the rear suspension of the tow truck. This can cause the tow trucks front wheels to have less steering and braking ability because there is less normal and friction force between the front tires and the road. It is important that the loaded vehicles not reduce the front axle load of the tow truck by more than 50%. This requires that the operator make allowances for speed and braking distances. For safety, larger loads should not be towed at higher speeds and the braking distance needed for stopping is increased significantly. The farther forward the boom of the wheel lift tow truck is mounted on the truck chassis will aid in reducing the de-weighting of the tow truck front tires.

The length of the boom mounted to the tow truck also determines the amount of weight the tow truck can carry. The longer the boom the less the loaded weight capacity. For long boom wheel lift tow trucks it is necessary to increase the durability and size of the tow truck.  Some wheel lift tow trucks have a retractable boom that can be varied in length depending on what the situation calls for.

Wheel lift towing will also increase the loads on the tow truck springs, axles, tires and brakes. Proper maintenance and not overloading the towing vehicle is part of our standard operating procedures.

Tow trucks used in Arizona must endure some extremely hot temperatures for extended periods of time. The combination the external environmental heat radiating from the sun and the heat produced from the engine and the on board systems of the tow truck, such as hydraulics etc. create the need for durable tow truck material selections. Not only is this important for the longevity of the tow truck but also for the comfort and safety of the commercial tow truck service clients in Tempe. This is even more important for the towing client’s safety.

Surfaces on the trucks can become so hot that they can cause pain or even severe burns to the operator or even the client of a towing company. The selection of paint color will have a measurable and meaningful effect on the tow truck surfaces. White paint will be measurable cooler than black paint. The temperatures in the valley of the sun, otherwise known as Phoenix AZ are regularly over 107F in the summer months and will reach 120F. The surfaces and controls on the tow trucks can become much hotter than that. Safety is a primary concern of ours for our Pick It Up Towing company in the Tempe Arizona area clients. We ask that they please remain clear of the work areas for their comfort and safety.

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