Great Video! - International Towing & Recovery Museum

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We at Blue Sun Towing located in North Kingstown, Rhode Island are serious when we talk about Auto Towing and Recovery but we thought that we would lighten things up a little so we put together this Towing History-Trivia page. We hope that you will find some of this interesting.

A tow truck (also called a wrecker, a breakdown truck, recovery truck or a breakdown lorry) is a vehicle used to transport motor vehicles to another location (generally a repair garage), or to recover vehicles which are no longer on a drivable surface.

Towing services are generally provided by an emergency road service operator. Vehicles are often towed in the case of breakdowns or collisions, or may be impounded for legal reasons.

 

Towing and Recovery - A Short History

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

History

The tow truck was invented in 1916 by Ernest Holmes, Sr., of Chattanooga, Tennessee. He was a garage worker who was inspired to create the invention after he was forced to pull a car out of a creek using blocks, ropes, and six men. An improved design led him to manufacture wreckers .A museum in Chattanooga called the International Towing and Recovery Hall of Fame and Museum features restored antique wreckers and displays related toys, tools, equipment, and pictorial histories of the tow truck industry. Blue Sun Towing thanks pioneers like Earnest Holmes and others who have blazed the trail for our success since 1968!

Types of towing equipment

Five general types are in common usage, usually based on the type or size of vehicle to be towed truck chassis:

These are the most common arrangements, but are by no means exclusive, as there are flatbed units that offer a wheel-lift, boom trucks that can recover but not tow, and wheel-lift units that offer a combination boom with sling.

Operations

Tow trucks are usually operated by private businesses, except for major highways and toll roads, where the road authority may operate the tow trucks for that stretch of road. Businesses who operate a large fleet of vehicles, such as school bus companies or package delivery services, often own one or several tow trucks for the purposes of towing their own vehicles. Government departments with large fleets (such as the police departments, fire departments, transportation authorities and departments of public works of major cities) may similarly own tow truck(s). Police department tow trucks may also be used to impound other vehicles. Blue Sun Towing, located in North Kingstown, Rhode Island is a fully licensed operator servicing Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Connecticut.

Dispatching

Requests for service are placed to a dispatching center. Some tow services communicate with drivers using wireless telephone equipment. In others, the dispatching center contacts an available tow truck driver via mobile radio or by sending a text message using a mobile data terminal. Recent technology includes the use of GPS and on board wireless equipment to dispatch drivers via an LCD screen receiver.

Impounds and storage

Many tow companies have the capability to store vehicles that have been wrecked or impounded by police agencies. In these circumstances, police agencies notify a contracted towing provider to secure the vehicle and tow it to a storage lot. The tow company will sometimes prevent access to the vehicle until the law states the owner can claim it (usually after any fines are paid).

Nearly all tow companies charge a fee for storing vehicles.

GPS and AVL

Navigation systems are becoming more commonly used to tell the location (of stranded vehicles) to tow trucks. Automatic vehicle location (AVL) systems are sometimes used to help the dispatch center staff determine the closest tow truck. AVL may use GPS technology. It may display the location of all tow trucks on a map or may feed data directly to a computer-assisted dispatch system which automatically recommends the closest available units