As with almost any technological solution to a problem tow truck technology did not follow simple evolution. As with most solutions it evolved over time, but with punctuated periods of revolution in the march towards the modern flatbed tow. But it had to wait for the automobile, for without the car there was no need for the tow.
Holmes Wrecker Truck
Ernest Holmes, Sr. of Chattanooga, Tennessee is credited with the invention of the tow truck in 1916. He and six men took 8 hours to winch out a friends Model T that had flipped over in a ditch. It took block and tackle and rope to get the car out of the ditch and upright on the pavement. Thinking there had to be an easier, quicker and cost-effective way, Holmes modified his 1913 Cadillac to pull cars to his garage. He used an iron chain, pulley and poles attached to back of his Cadillac. This contraption loosely resembled the wheel lift hook and split boom of the older tows that ruled before the modern wheel lift tow. Founding his own company, he left the garage mechanic work and started Ernest Holmes Company. He patented the rig and sold the Holmes wrecker to other mechanics. He eventually improved the design with outriggers for lifting stability. Holmes died in 1945 and his family eventually sold the business to Miller Industries, the largest towing manufacturer in the world. Not only was Holmes involved in the equipment design and improvement, but he invented the 24/7 service mantra that is followed by every tow truck business like roadside service, quick accident response and breakdown assistance.
Dynamic Tow Truck Hydraulics
It was two of Holmes grandchildren that added hydraulics systems that where effective and affordable. Hydraulics are used throughout the modern tow truck. Even the flatbed types use hydraulics to tilt and extend the bed. Many winches run off hydraulic motors. Boom are hydraulic powered and are in effect a mobile crane. Wheel lift and underlift use hydraulics to lift the wheels. Even the big rigs that are used to recovery semi-trucks and buses have extensive mechanisms that depend on the physics of hydraulics. Many of the older rigs carry dollies. They fit the front or year wheels and the dolly wheels are in contact with the road surface. Some tow trucks have air or air-over hydraulic brakes. This means they have compressed air. Compressed air systems include tanks. These systems can be used to power air tools speeding up service repairs and tire changes. Tow truck need to have storage for not only tools, but they include emergency equipment like flares, caution lights, first-aid kits and other peripheral equipment that allows for 24/7 emergency and roadside assistance response.
Towing & Roadside Emergency Services in Summerlin, North LV, Henderson, Enterprise, Paradise, Sunrise Manor, Spring Valley, Aliante, Anthem, Desert Shores, Eldorado, Green Valley Ranch, Inspirada, Mountain’s Edge, Peccole Ranch, Providence, Rhodes Ranch, Seven Hills, Silverado Ranch, The Lakes, Tuscany Village & Las Vegas, Nevada
The modern tow performs valuable services including recovery of stolen vehicle, moving abandoned vehicles and provide removal of cars after accidents. Imagine if all these vehicles were just allowed to accumulate on our roadsides. Tows allow removal to body shops or mechanic’s garages for repairs. Most of us think little about tow trucks until we need them, then we’re glad they’re there. Call NonStop Towing whenever you find yourself stranded and need a tow or roadside assistance!