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Features of a Tow Truck

You may think that tow trucks are just a souped-up versions of normal civilian trucks, but that’s just not true. Tow trucks are specially equipped and souped-up with heavy-duty parts to ensure they keep working through tough jobs.

This week we’re going to take a look at what separates a tow truck from a regular truck. This is a great way to know if a tow truck that’s assisting you is up to the job, and it can also serve as a checklist of things you need in a truck if you’re towing something at home.

Tow trucks normally have:

  • High number of gears
  • Heavy-duty cooling system
  • Special brakes
  • Efficient power


Essentially, the more gear choices you have the better you can match your engine’s power output in a towing situation. If you drive a car with a manual transmission, you’re probably familiar with gears and how they work with a car.

Tow trucks come with more gears to better match the power they need to move heavy vehicles. Tow trucks are already heavy vehicles, so extra gears allow them to more accurately use the engine’s power when moving themselves plus the extra two-tons your vehicle adds to their weight.

Cooling System

As you can imagine, moving two cars with one engine can be taxing. A normal radiator can only cool an engine so fast, so tow trucks are equipped with robust cooling systems to not only cool the engine but transmission and oil as well.

Cooling systems can give you a higher towing capacity by letting you work the engine harder, too. Let’s say your standard V8 engine lets you tow something up to 1,000 lbs. Equipped with a super cooling system, you can make the engine work a little harder knowing you’re able to keep it cool and working efficiently to increase your towing capacity up to 1,500 lbs.


Brakes can quickly overheat and become ineffective, especially when trying to stop 4,000 lbs. of vehicles. Tow trucks need special brakes designed to stop the massive payload and keep working under tough conditions.

Tow trucks in hilly areas also need to worry about brakes failing when going downhill. Fortunately, there are automatic braking systems equipped in most tow trucks that are activated by the brake pedal to help keep downhill speed in check.


Horsepower is the number one factor in determining tow capacity in a vehicle. Simply put, the more power a truck has the more it can tow.

The problem is that you can’t produce a lot of horsepower without burning a lot of fuel. Finding a balance between the two is crucial to not only towing power but maintaining a towing business. Using a company’s profits to fill up gas tanks all the time is literally burning away money to keep your business afloat—a poor business model.

ASAP Towing maintains a quality fleet of tow trucks to make sure we have the right equipment in working order for your job. Call us today to see what kind of truck we have that meets your needs.

ASAP Towing has the tools and trucks for any job

ASAP Towing uses safe equipment and uses safe practices to tow your car with any type of truck.

Email ASAP Towing Or call us at (904) 771-0790