Truth is…preference. Whatever your preference is. We just recommend getting the right size truck with the right GVWR.
Some trucks are made for towing, and others not so much. There are a few qualities a truck needs to save money, be more efficient and tow anything without any hassles or safety hazards.
The type of truck you want is largely dependent on the type of towing apparatus you plan to use, such as a wheel lift, low loader, etc. There are certain pick up trucks that are not fit for any sort of towing, these are what you want to avoid the most.
The Worst Trucks For The Trade
First thing’s first, the number one things you don’t want are ½ ton trucks. Even if you add leaf springs you are still putting people’s’ safety and your business in jeopardy. It doesn’t matter what you add on to a ½ ton truck it will never be strong enough to support the heavy equipment and vehicles you will be towing. There are so many abuses your tow truck is going to be forced to endure, meaning it has to be one strong fighting machine. Not breaking down on you.
Another unsafe vehicle for towing are all Dodge Split Frame trucks made between 1994 and 2002, including the Dodge Ram pick up. These vehicles are completely unsuitable and unsafe to use for towing purposes. This is because directly behind the cab. The truck’s frame is split and bolted together.
***If you have a Dodge Ram pick up truck and you have Rear Coil Suspension on Ram 2500’s – WE CAN NOT INSTALL ANYTHING ON THIS TRUCK****
How To Find A Good Truck For Towing
Here are the most important things you need to look for in order to find a good pick up truck for towing.
Long Wheel Base
A good tow truck must have at least 156” wheelbase, but 172” wheelbase is going to be much better and is highly recommended. Pick up trucks come with 2 types of wheel bases, long or short. The longer the truck bed the better, so that you are not limited on the load sizes you can transport.
GVWR Gross Vehicle Weight Rating
The next important step to finding the right truck is Gross Vehicle Weight Rating, or GVWR. The higher GVWR a truck has the bigger the braking system and the more weight it can ultimately tow.
You can almost always find the GVWR located on the inside panel of your driver door on the manufacturer’s tag. The minimum number you are looking for is 10,000 pounds, 13,300+ is a much better though. The higher the GVWR the more things you’ll be able to tow, meaning you won’t lose money turning down jobs because they are too heavy. The brakes and suspension rating, as well as the frame are all interconnected with the GVWR.
Dual Rear Wheels
The more wheels on the load axle..the better! Stability and overall performance. Clearly carries the weight better! Safety is our number #1 concern. Dual Rear Wheel Trucks are safer.
Do not add air bags or any other thing that is going to limit the travel of your suspension. You want your suspension to move. You need new leaf springs, with usually 3-4 springs per side. Airbags limit the truck from moving because all of the weight is behind the rear axle, which means if you apply too much weight here, stop the suspension from traveling. Creating a prying point… At the weakest point of the frame. The hump over the axle. This is where they install the Air Bag. This can easily break your frame. We have done many frame repairs for clients that installed them. We do not like them. Or timbren blocks.
We always recommend for our clients to have a frame reinforcement. The money we charge is at cost. More than 1/2 off pricing of our normal labor rate. We are committed to safety and worry free operation over the course of your ownership. Many trucks are not designed to be tow trucks and require frame reinforcement to safely get the job done. Frame reinforcements keep everyone safer and make any truck far more capable of handling large loads. The stronger the frame the stronger and more reliable the truck will be.
You will be limited without reinforcement, and you take a big risk that you will bend or break your frame.
A Diesel Engine is always best for towing. We believe it is worth the extra $$$ because of the power a diesel engine offers. A gas engine will get the job done too, and we have a trick we like to use to make it operate better for towing. If you are set on a gas engine contact us to learn how we can make it run stronger for towing. Propane Injection!
The minimum tires you want on your truck for towing is E rated, but F and G rated tires are even better. Anything less than an E rated tire is going to give you endless problems.
Detroit Wrecker is the towing professional’s best friend. We are here to help your business grow with our high quality craftsmanship and unbeatable wrecker superstore.