Corinth Towing Service
The history of tow trucks began on a particular day in 1916. Ernest Holmes, Sr., a mechanic in Chattanooga, Tennessee, heard that someone had lost control of their Ford Model T and ended up in a creek. Holmes went to the crash site to help get the car out. Using only rope and blocks, it took six people eight hours to get the Model T out of the water and back on the road.
Holmes thought there must be a better way to move broken-down cars. He went back to his shop and started building the first tow truck. He put a chain and pulley system on a 1913 Cadillac. Later, he added two outriggers to help keep the towed car stable when lifting it off the ground. In 1918, he got a patent for his invention.
As more people bought cars, Holmes knew there would be a growing need for tow trucks, also called wreckers. He changed his auto shop into a factory to make and sell these new vehicles.
His first tow truck for sale was the Holmes 485. This better version used the longer body of a 1913 Locomobile, which many people thought was the best American car. A new Locomobile cost $6,000 back then, about $100,000 today.
After getting a patent and starting production, Holmes built a very successful business. He provided the U.S. Army with thousands of military wreckers during World War I and II. When NASCAR began, Holmes’ wreckers were often seen at racetracks. By 1965, about two-thirds of all tow trucks were Holmes models, as reported by the Chattanoogan.
Over the years, Holmes kept improving his first design, getting around 12 more patents. He also invented new vehicle lifts, creepers, and jacks. His brand of trucks is still around today. This information came from the AAA Magazine website.
Modern Tow Trucks
Flatbed: True to their name, these trucks feature big flatbeds that accommodate a whole car. The flatbed is angled towards the ground through hydraulics, enabling the vehicle to be driven or towed onto the platform. Once the car is on the bed, it is raised back into place, secured, and the truck is prepared for transportation. Flatbeds are widely regarded as the most secure and convenient method for car transportation. They eliminate stress on the towed vehicle and prevent any possibility of it being dragged on the road.
Hook and Chain: These towing vehicles use robust chains to connect to one end of the incapacitated car. The chain is subsequently pulled, hoisting the vehicle into the air with only two wheels remaining on the ground. The car is then transported in this elevated state. Since hook and chain trucks leave the towed vehicle vulnerable to harm, they are generally reserved for transporting damaged or poor cars. Additionally, they can be employed to extract a vehicle from challenging situations, such as ditches or muddy patches.
Wheel Lifts: Similar to hook and chain towing, wheel lifts transport cars with only two wheels touching the road. However, they employ a metal yoke to elevate the vehicle rather than an unsteady chain. This design offers a more secure connection and less pressure on the towed vehicle, minimizing the chances of damage during transportation.