Not all towing services are the same. In fact, a towing company chooses a specific truck based on which tire is flat on your vehicle, and what kind of vehicle you were driving when you got the flat tire or ended up in an accident that popped a tire. The following tow trucks, and when they are used, will help you understand how these companies operate.
Standard Tow Truck
The standard truck is the one that towing companies send when there is a flat tire on the rear of the vehicle. It is also the truck they send when they assume that the vehicles they are retrieving from an accident still have their front tires. Remember, a car is always towed in reverse so that the front tires will be the ones rolling on the ground and the rear of the vehicle is up in the air. If your car is so badly damaged in an accident that one or both front tires are gone, the towing company has to send a different sort of tow truck to bring it to the automotive repair service.
Flatbed Tow Truck
The flatbed is a long, low flatbed truck with a power winch to help move the damaged vehicle onto the flatbed. A towing company will only send a flatbed if your car has a flat on the front of the vehicle, or it needs a lot of automotive repair to ever look like a car again. If your car is a total wreck and you barely escaped with your life, a flatbed is called to remove as much of the smashed vehicle from the road as possible and haul it to either an automotive repair service until an insurance agent can look at it, or to a salvage yard. If you were not conscious and sent to the hospital after the accident, a towing company is almost always instructed by the police to tow your wrecked vehicle to the nearest repair shop. A flatbed will also be used in cases where drivers own and drive pickup trucks, since a standard towing truck cannot provide enough rear lift to a pickup to haul it properly.
Heavy Duty Tow Truck
A heavy duty tow truck is only sent in cases where either a heavy duty pickup truck or a commercial truck has been in an accident. If you were driving a heavy duty pickup with four wheels on the back and two wheels up front, that qualifies for the heavy duty tow truck. If you need a tow for this kind of truck, be sure to specify when you call for a tow.