What Qualities Should I Look For in My New Tow Truck?

Have you been considering purchasing a new heavy duty tow truck for sale? If so, you may have questions about what to look for when buying a new tow truck. Well, you’ve come to the right place. For whatever your reasons, the team at used tow trucks for sale are here to help you pick only the finest towing vehicles around. There are many things you need to consider when purchasing your new tow vehicle. Here are some of the most important features you should note when you come to buy a vehicle with us.

How Much Towing Capacity Does the Tow Truck Have?
Determined by the vehicle manufacturer, towing capacity is the maximum weight that a vehicle is rated to tow. You should estimate the total weight of what your average load may be.
A vehicle’s towing capacity will be listed in the owner’s manual, on the compliance certification label and on the internet. Several figures are significant, such as:

  • GVWR (gross vehicle weight rating) is the value specified by the manufacturer as the recommended maximum loaded weight of a single vehicle.
  • GCVWR (gross combined vehicle weight rating) is the value specified by the manufacturer as the recommended maximum loaded weight of a combination of vehicles (the GVWR of the tow vehicle plus the GVWR of the cargo).
  • GVW (gross vehicle weight) is the actual weight of the tow vehicle alone, without the trailer, when fully loaded.  GVW applies to the actual weight of the trailer itself as well.

For safety reasons, it is important that your tow vehicle not weigh more than its maximum GVW rating, and the trailer weight when fully loaded cannot exceed the GVWR. Those two weights added together cannot be more than the GCVWR. If your towing rig exceeds any of these ratings, it could stress your vehicle’s engine, transmission, brakes or other systems beyond their design limits and potentially cause them to fail.

How Long Should the Wheelbase Be?
The wheelbase of your new tow vehicle is critical to the maneuverability and stability of a vehicle that it will be towing. The wheelbase is the distance from the front axle to the rear axle of the tow vehicle. Basically, the longer the wheelbase is, the safer the tow vehicle will be. Also, the longer the wheelbase, the more control you will have while driving.

How Important is the Tow Vehicle’s Drive system?
Most tow trucks come equipped with rear wheel drive. This feature helps direct the engine’s power toward the axle that is bearing the most weight when towing. Many smaller and midsize tow trucks, however, come with front-wheel drive, which does offer better traction in rain and snow but provides less control over the rear of the vehicle, which is critical for towing.

Should I Buy a Tow Truck With Automatic or Manual Transmission?
Many people have strong preferences regarding manual and automatic transmissions, depending on how they learned to drive and their local terrain. A manual transmission gives the driver direct control of shifting gears. An advantage of a manual transmission is that you can downshift on a hill for additional braking, if needed. But the extra “work” in operating the stick shift is one more distraction for a driver and creates a potential for error.  An automatic transmission allows you to concentrate more on the trailer and the road. A vehicle with an automatic trans-mission usually has a higher towing capacity than the identical vehicle with a manual transmission. At the end of the day, the best choice when considering automatic versus manual transmission is to go with what is most comfortable for you. There are plenty of options for either transmission type that are capable towing vehicles.

What are Tow Packages?
A vehicle equipped with this option is built with enhanced suspension and brakes, a larger radiator with added cooling capacity, and a transmission capable of sending more power to the drive wheels. When you add all of these features together, you have a vehicle that is better prepared to manage a heavy tow. Many tow packages might also include mirrors that extend outward so the driver can better see the road and trailer. Keep in mind, a tow package does add to the vehicle weight, and it will decrease gas mileage. However, if you want a more powerful and comfortable drive, this is something you should consider.

The most important thing in buying a new tow truck for sale is that you need to choose a tow vehicle that you are comfortable driving and can control easily. Seemingly minor details, such as a driver’s seat that supports your back and fits your body well, can make a big difference over the long haul. If you have any questions about our inventory of tow trucks, call heavy duty tow truck for sale anytime.