How to Tow a Car

"How to Tow a Car Properly and Prevent Damage Claims"

By Wally Cass, Towing Business Owner and Operator

Whether you are looking for information on how to tow a car for your new tow truck business or how to tow a car for your personal use then you have found the best source for online towing information and training. Not only will you learn how to tow vehicles properly but also how to start and operate a towing company.

Consider me as your personal towing instructor. What makes me qualified to teach you on how to tow a car? I have been in the towing business for over twenty five years and I have towed thousands of cars, trucks, motorcycles and all types of equipment. You name it and I have towed it. I have never had a damage claim since starting my independent towing service in 1995 and I don't think too many towing operators can actually state that. I attended training classes and was certified by CTTA to recover vehicles in the heavy duty class, although today, due to economics I prefer to operate my towing business strictly in the light duty class.

Towing cars is easily mastered once you have the right towing information and training. I will teach you everything you should know on how to tow a car properly and how to tow a car safely so that you can prevent damage claims and avoid the possibility of ending up in court with a lawsuit.

It is also essential that you get the information on how to tow a car properly as there are some strict towing laws designed to keep you and the public safe. For instance in Wa State where I operate my towing business it is a law that you must have all four corners of the vehicle secured ( 4 point tie down system) while operating a car carrier, flatbed, or rollback, just to name a few definitions, excluding the winch, otherwise you could receive a fine of $960.00 for each tie down that is missing. It is the intent of the law that the vehicle being towed stays secured to the tow truck even If your tow truck is involved in a accident.

For those of you who are thinking about starting a tow truck or towing business or maybe you already own a towing business, let me explain briefly how I started my tow truck business with minimal cost and why I chose to operate with the type of towing equipment that I use, which is the ultimate in damage free towing.

I started my tow truck business on a shoestring back in 1995. It may not have been glamorous starting with a Ford f-150 and a used tilt car trailer but it got me started in the tow truck business with very little investment.

Old Car Tilt Trailer

Starting my tow truck business in 1995
"Not Glamorous but it worked"

I already owned the truck and the cost for the used car trailer was minimal. Who wants to take out a loan for expensive towing equipment? I sure didn't.

The tow trailer only had 3500 lb. axles which also tilted with the bed and this definitely needed improvement. The rear axle took all the weight. Not a very good tilt trailer design.

For economical reasons I also decided to tow only in the light duty class, all cars, motorcycles and pick up trucks up to one ton (excluding one tons). The one ton tow trucks are the start of the medium duty class.


I worked for this towing company for seven years prior to starting my own tow truck business. I enjoyed driving this Peterbuilt 18 speed in the heavy duty class which was a real challenge at times.

I drove every kind of tow truck out there and my years of prior experience told me the hydraulic tilt car trailer was the only way to start my tow truck business.

I knew the hydraulic tilt car trailers had a huge advantage over conventional flatbed and wheel lift tow trucks when it came to damage free towing, due to the low profile loading angle of a car trailer.

 

Also being that it was a goose neck, fifth wheel type setup, I could jack knife the trailer, getting into spots that conventional flatbed tow trucks could not get into.

Advantages of towing with a hydraulic tilt towing trailer:

  • Low profile loading angle for damage free towing. Tow exotic cars and low riders.
  • You don't have to worry about the drive train (such as the transmission) on the vehicle being towed. "Unlike a conventional tow truck where you might have to get out the dolly wheels and place them under the drive axle which is labor intensive."
  • Loading and unloading a vehicle is extremely fast.
  • Towing motorcycles is easy and requires no additional equipment.
  • I don't have to go through the truck scales because I am under 16000 GVW.
  • I can get into some really tight places as opposed to a conventional flatbed tow truck.
  • Insurance is cheaper.
  • I can disconnect the trailer and still use the truck for service calls or personal use.
  • The tow truck is more comfortable to ride in (softer suspension).
  • Cheaper to purchase or to build (I have trailer plans available).

After my tow truck business was established and I had a steady income rolling in, I decided that It was time for newer towing equipment and frankly, no one built the type of equipment that I wanted to use for my towing business and I couldn't find the proper trailer plans, So I decided to build my own towing trailers. I built two of them.

hydraulic ttilt trailer tow truck

"The New and Improved Towing Trailer"

The objective was to build the trailer with the lowest possible loading angle and yet have the fender height remain low enough for all vehicle doors to clear the fenders when the doors are opened. The outcome was: the trailer bed height is only 17.5 inches off the ground and only requires the bed to tilt one and half feet to hit the ground. I couldn't have been happier with the trailers low profile loading angle and opening the vehicles door when loaded cleared the trailers fenders easily.

Car door clears fender easily!

The cost to build this trailer was approximately $10,000 in materials. I easily justified the use of a credit card to purchase the materials as this was a income producing purchase and the debt could be paid back in only a couple of months, therefore the interest was minimal.

I used only the best materials I could find. I used Torflex 7000 lb dual axles with built in suspension

which did not require additional suspension parts like leaf springs and hangers. Therefore the maintenance costs were diminished. I also used diamond plate steel decking which not only looked good but vehicles with a missing wheel or two would slide off easier. If you decide to use a trailer with a wood deck the vehicle missing a wheel will only dig into the wood and will not slide off. Even winching the vehicle on the trailer with a wood deck could be a problem.

If you are looking for a conventional tow truck at around $10,000, More than likely it will be junk and a older model. So I was happy to invest $10,000 in towing equipment that was brand new and built the way I wanted it to perform. The trailer has passed the test of time and has lasted over 13 years and is still working today! The trailer has paid for itself many times over. Sign up and get the trailer plans!

car carruer
tow truck

car trailer in the tilted position

The trailer does not have to tilt very far.

The Strobe light was a bit much and later removed. A red light bar was later added to the truck (as noted below right)

car trailer
		 with fender folded out

The fenders originally were made to fold out using hinges, "for those extra wide loads" but were welded closed after awhile as they were not needed.

flatved car carrier
		   loaded with willys coupe
How the tow truck
		  and trailer look today
two flatved towing
	   trailers that I built in 1997 and 1998

If you decide you want to build your own trailer then you will also be very pleased with the looks and performance of this towing trailer. Upon inspection for it's first registration, the state patrol inspector told me it was the nicest towing trailer he had ever seen and he instantly titled the trailer. Sign up below to get the trailer plans.


 

Information that you will find in the Members area

There are videos explaining how to tow a car or truck in the light duty class, unlocking vehicles, and showing proper towing equipment. Note: The videos only show hooking up to a vehicle using a flatbed as this is my only preferred method of towing. However there are discussions about the wheel lift tow truck, the good and bad aspects and why you may consider a flatbed tow truck advantageous over the wheel lift. (ultimately less work and no worries about the drive train of the vehicle being towed)

Not only will you receive information on how to tow a car but you will have access to all of this additional information. Simply choose the topic your interested in.

  • How to Tow a Car, How to Tow a Truck (under one ton) Videos and detailed descriptions show you how to hook up to a vehicle properly. The most common mistakes while hooking up are explained. You must have this information to prevent damage claims.
  • Business planning, what you will need to get started in the tow truck business.
  • Accounting, keeping accurate records, invoicing, billing, taxes, office equipment, supplies, etc.
  • Everything you should know about Motor Clubs,how to contract with the motor clubs and which ones are the best including: rates, addresses, phone numbers, towing areas, length of times allowed to a call, billing methods and more.
  • Advertising, some of the best ways to advertise your tow truck business and one of my favorite places to advertise for free!
  • Insurance, Learn how to purchase commercial towing insurance and the details.
  • How to get business accounts, methods I use to get accounts even if the business already has a dedicated towing provider.
  • Service calls, explains the best way to perform service calls and the equipment used.
  • Safety, how to operate safely to prevent injuries to you and the public.
  • Winching, how to winch properly, (common mistakes while loading a vehicle), procedures, safety, how to winch a vehicle out of a tough situation, taking care of the winch and cable.
  • Preventing Damage Claims, learn from my experience what not to do and how to avoid damage claims.
  • Common Forms, download forms online, prevent damage claims for pre-existing conditions, dispatch sheet.
  • How to unlock a Vehicle in under three minutes, modern method to unlock vehicles, "do not use slim jim on vehicles" (Video) avoid damage to the electronics in the door.
  • Towing equipment. using the right towing equipment is essential. Choosing the right equipment will save you money and time. I explain my must have requirements for towing equipment not only for towing but also for service calls. I explain in detail how the towing equipment is used.
  • Plans for building a Commercial, Gooseneck, Fifth Wheel, Hydraulic Tilt, Towing Trailer, Get the plans to build the best commercial towing trailer. These plans have never been released and I make them exclusively available to you after you sign up.
  • How to tow a motorcycle, Learn how to hook up to a motorcycle properly. I explain how to tow a motorcycle using a flatbed and what not to do. Prevent damage claims.
  • Tire changes, Learn some of the tricks I use on those stubborn tire changes and some of the problems you may face. Be prepared!
  • Jump Starts, You need more than just a set up jumper cables! I explain why and how you will benefit from using the proper equipment.
  • Towing Resources, I list my favorite places to shop for towing equipment and parts. There is also useful information in the forum located in the members area. Members can ask questions and join in discussions. I also answer your questions.
  • And Much More!

    Conclusion:

  • I have explained briefly how I got started in the tow truck business at a very minimal cost and the type of tow truck that I use to tow a car, truck or motorcycle to prevent damage to the vehicles. You may decide that you would like to duplicate my success and purchase the trailer plans not only for an economical way to start your business but for the ultimate in professional damage free towing.

    Before starting my tow truck business, I already knew how to tow from my experience as an employee, but I had no idea how to operate a complete tow truck business or what it entailed. I had no experience such as contracting with the motor clubs or how to even contact them. Accounting was a real challenge and I had to learn from trial and error what worked best in all areas of the towing business. This method of trial and error was time consuming and ultimately costly. I sure wish I had this type of towing information available to me when I started my business. Fortunately you now have all this towing information available to you from someone with over 25 years experience.

    Sign up below and get the rest of the towing business information! I think you will be amazed at how much information is available. I also guarantee your satisfaction with a full money back guarantee. You will be redirected to the members area immediately after signing up.

    If you have questions feel free to contact me.

    Here's to your success!

     

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