For many drivers the choice of either a flatbed tow truck, or one with a dolly doesn’t cross their mind. Most of the time they just want their car towed to a place where it can get repaired or where it’s safer. For the most part towing a vehicle with a flatbed has become the preferred method but it’s not always necessary. A tow truck with a dolly can do a good job as long as they’re careful and know what they’re doing. But there are sometimes when a flatbed is required. Here are some examples.
Tow dollies have weight limits and can’t accommodate every vehicle. Most qualified towing companies will ask about your vehicle gross weight and then dispatch a rig that can support the towed vehicle throughout transport.
Lowered vehicles may also present a problem to trucks using dollies. Vehicles with a lowered undercarriage are more likely to be damaged if transported with a tow dolly. Because of the lowered vehicles proximity to the ground, the bumpers or exhaust pipes could be damaged if the towing vehicle hits a bump or dip in the road.
Front wheel drive vehicles can be towed by a dolly with no problem because the drive wheels are typically off the ground with the rear wheels rolling behind. It’s a different story if you have a four-wheel drive vehicle. If they are towed by the front wheels only it could cause serious damage to the transmission. Flatbed towing is the best option for four-wheel drive vehicles.
If you have a classic car it’s always best to get a flatbed to transport it. Your classic car will be kept from any contact with the road and will have a much lower chance of body damage when tied down to a flatbed.
Tow trucks equipped with dollies still serve a purpose, but they are slowly being replaced with flatbeds. Next time you need a tow, make sure you get the best type of tow truck for the job.