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Discovering The History Of The Tow Truck

By Jay Godfrey

You can call it in many ways: breakdown truck, towie, wrecker or recovery truck, but the tow truck is something common on the roads and highway. They can be owned by someone who has a tow truck, or belong to a service station that will tow the vehicle in for demolishing or what is necessary. And, from 1915 till now, there necessity is growing increasing accidents daily.

This automobile was created for towing one or more cars. Everytime there is an accident or a broken down automobile, this automobile is the one that is called to shift them away to their mechanics or even a junkyard if the damage is that bad. They are used constantly by the police to haul motor vehicles away that are immobile, or even a parked.

In Tennessee, a man had the idea to invent one of these pickups after many hours of aiding a friend pull his wrecked vehicle from a river. Ernest Holmes was responsible for the invention of this truck and he built and engineered it from his garage, it was something that he’d use to his gain to shift cars to fix in his own garage.

After some very long thinking, he finally came up with the proper sketch and used the 1913 Cadillac car as a platform for his creation. He set up three poles and a pulley to accomplish his work and appeared with the first tow truck in history. After patenting his invention, he proceeded to set up the first towing business also.

This demonstrated to be the best thing for Ernest Holmes as it’s an instant success for him. Soon his contraption was known around the world and begun creating his world-famous truck for the Second World War. The W-45 was used to supply and transport during the war by travelling from Normandy to Belgium.

Besides being a supply truck, it’s also used to get better cars that were wrecked or immobile up until 1973, the French army still used Holems trucks. Because of their amazing capability, it had the strength to pull up to fifteen tons. You can find this and quite a few of his former trucks on showing at the International Towing and Recovery Hall of Fame Museum in Chattanooga today.

Until his death, Holmes kept to run his business and then passed it down to his son, Ernest Holmes Jr. He carried on the business until 1973 which was his retirement and the Dover Corp took control. At this time, Century Wreckers was established by a third generation member of the Holmes family and became a main competitor to the Dover Corp. Century Wreckers utilization of hydraulics is what provided them the advantage. Through time, both companies were acquired by Miller industries.

Overtime, the tow truck has transformed and made much improvement in how it works. There are a few methods used these days and the three principal types are the wheel-lift, hook and chain, and flat bed.

The first method utilized and still in use today is the hooking and chain. A chain and or hook goes around the axle of the vehicle or framework. This can cause marks but has a edge to automobiles that are deficient front or rear tires.

The one most used at present hoists vehicles hydraulically or pneumatically by hooking a metal yoke below the car. This is the chosen approach of most because it is simple and causes the least amount of damage to an motor vehicle.

A rollback and or flat-bed trucks are primarily for cars that still can drive. With the bed of this truck, it is tilt to make a ramp so that the car or truck can be driven on to the truck and then be towed away.

Watching a tow truck when travelling is a part of everyday life today. They are handy and most of the time much needed. Regardless of whether you are pleased or not when you see it, while there are vehicles being driven, tow trucks will be around.

In Need For towing service can be effortless but do you know what fees are involved? Discover what Pro Street Towing is doing to transform the car market.

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
Godfrey, Jay "Discovering The History Of The Tow Truck." Discovering The History Of The Tow Truck. 1 Jul. 2010. 23 Aug 2015 <>.

APA Style Citation:
Godfrey, J (2010, July 1). Discovering The History Of The Tow Truck. Retrieved August 23, 2015, from

Chicago Style Citation:
Godfrey, Jay "Discovering The History Of The Tow Truck"

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