Working Principle - Hydraulics for Towing

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Hydraulics for Towing

Vehicle towing is a beneficial service. When your vehicle breaks down, you can call any nearby towing service provider, who will reach on-site with their tow truck and other necessary tools. But, have you ever thought about how are these vehicles getting towed, or what is the working principle behind this? Yes, there is hydraulics employed in towing. But, not all towing trucks use hydraulics. Let’s discuss more on hydraulic towing.

What are the different types of tow trucks?

The most commonly used tow trucks are flatbed tow trucks, wheel lift, hook and chain, and boom trucks. Among these, flatbed tow trucks also called ‘rollback’ truck is popular. For flatbed tow trucks, there will be an empty long bed at the back of the truck and the vehicles for towing are secured on this bed. Next is the wheel lift towing and this is a simple and safe approach for towing small to medium-sized vehicles. The wheel lift tow trucks will contain a bar structure at the back of the truck called a yoke and the front wheels of the vehicle to be towed are attached to the yolk and lifted. Hook and chain is a traditional and less commonly used approach for towing which connects the vehicle for towing with a hook and chain and drags them. The boom trucks are used for recovering vehicles from a ditch and over an embankment.

How does Hydraulics work with tow trucks?

Hydraulics has applications in every industry to make it possible to handle loads weighings tons. Among the 4 types of tow trucks mentioned above, both boom trucks and flatbed tow trucks will utilize the power of fluid, which is hydraulics. The key benefit of hydraulics is force multiplication, which produces a greater power capable of handling heavy lifting operations with a minimum applied force. Ease of maintenance, accuracy, controllability, etc… are other reasons for using hydraulics.

Just like other hydraulic systems, it is the hydraulic oil that is pressurized to produce the required power for lifting and holding. The pressurized fluid in the hydraulic cylinder will make the lifting operation successful.

For Flatbed tow trucks, it is hydraulics or the machine-powered winch that lifts the vehicle onto the flatbed. Once, the vehicle is secured, the flatbed is positioned accordingly with applied hydraulic power. Next is the boom truck and this consist of a hydraulic arm that can be used for accessing the vehicles which are out of reach. The hydraulic arm can be extended or retracted to easily access and position the arm.

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