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Is Wheel Lift Towing Right for Your Car?


Wheel lift towing can be a useful, efficient way to transport your car after a breakdown.

But this method isn’t right for every vehicle. Depending on how your car is positioned, the type of vehicle you drive and where you’re headed, it may or may not be the ideal form of transport.

What Is a Wheel Lift Tow Truck?

Tow trucks equipped with a wheel lift have a metal yoke that fits underneath either the front or rear wheels of the vehicle to be towed. They also use a hydraulic lift system to hoist the vehicle’s front or rear end off the ground. The remaining two wheels run along the roadway while the vehicle is being towed.

Understand Your Car

What type of drive system do you have? If your car is two-wheel drive, this towing method can work for you. Cars with all-wheel or four-wheel drive shouldn’t be towed this way, since all four wheels must be completely lifted off the ground during towing or else transmission damage may result.

There are always exceptions, but check your car’s owner’s manual and read the section on towing just to make sure. It is possible to add dollies to the wheels that run on the ground, reducing the chance of transmission damage, but dollies make it impossible to tow long distances at high speeds.

The Benefits of Using a Wheel Lift Truck 

Wheel lift towing is a major advance over traditional hook-and-chain towing. Instead of wrapping chains around the axles of the car, the metal yoke lifts the vehicle by its tires. This method is less likely to cause damage to the car’s frame and bumper.

This towing method also makes it easier to maneuver vehicles out of tight spots. If your car’s battery dies or you get a flat while you’re parallel parked, you’re going to need a way to extract your car without damaging any of the nearby vehicles. Wheel lift towing is the answer in this scenario. It’s a fast, convenient way to move your car.

When You Need Other Types of Towing

Do you have an expensive vehicle that you need to transport a long distance? No matter what kind of towing method you use, your car is always at risk of damage on the roadway. However, using a flatbed may be preferable for valuable cars, as keeping them up above the roadway leaves them less susceptible to flying rocks and debris.

Wheel lift towing also isn’t always ideal when you have a long way to go. Long-distance towing is best executed with a flatbed, as it’s easier to tie down securely.

Leave it to Your Towing Professional

When you’re faced with a situation in which you need towing, call a professional company like Stauffer’s Towing that has a wide range of methods available and can dispatch the appropriate equipment for the job, whether it’s flatbed or wheel lift towing.