Terry's Towing Blog

Novice Tips for Towing Heavy Duty Vehicles

If you have been towing small and light vehicles such as saloon cars, then venturing into heavy-duty payloads is a different experience. Whether you will be towing a fishing boat that's gone off the rails, a broken down bus or bulldozer, pulling heavy duty weights comes with added responsibility. For example, the way you approach heavy duty towing has a direct effect on your safety, the safety of other road users, and the delivery state of the vehicle being towed. Therefore, it is critical that you handle heavy-duty towing differently compared to hauling light cars. If you have never pulled heavy vehicles before, then this article provides tips to guide you through the process.

Upgrade or Add Mirrors — Having a tow truck that is versatile enough to tow both light and heavy vehicles is usually the best way to go for towing companies. It allows towing firms to use the same truck on whichever project comes along. However, if you had intended to focus on light vehicle pulling and emergency towing, then the chances are that your truck's mirrors are not suitable for towing heavy vehicles. The reason is that smaller cars do not obstruct the view of your side and rear view mirrors; therefore, standard or factory mirrors are sufficient in this case. However, buses, bulldozers and other big machines offer a different proposition. Most of the above loads are wider and taller than your tow truck and will block your vision if you use standard mirrors. Therefore, ensure that you replace the existing mirrors with wider or retractable ones before your first heavy-duty tow trip.

Watch Transmission Temperature — Normally, tow drivers pay little attention to the tow truck's transmission temperatures because the drive train is not under a lot of pressure. However, heavy towing vehicles offer a different challenge. Notably, you will land in trouble if you don't pay close attention to how hard the transmission is working. The massive weight you are towing puts a lot of pressure on the transmission system, and so the mechanism has to work extra hard. Any temperature increase beyond the acceptable limit increases the likelihood of the transmission system malfunctioning. Therefore, continually watch the transmission temperatures and make several top-over accordingly.

Confirm Clearance — Knowing how much clearance is available on your routes is critical when towing heavy and tall vehicles. However, most novice tow truck drivers concentrate on clearance heights of bridges and footbridges but forget to consider tree branches. If you don't find out whether there are low branches along a planned route, then you will be towing blind. Always confirm your load's height as well as possible roadside obstructions when preparing for the best possible course.