The Difference Between Heavy- and Light-Duty Towing

January 20, 2022 2:43 am Published by Leave your thoughts

When it comes to the type of towing that various vehicles require, there is a general rule that specifies light-duty tows are for cars and heavy-duty tows are for trucks. However, this isn’t a hard-and-fast standard. While this makes for an easy distinction between car and truck towing companies, there is more to consider when determining whether or not your vehicle requires light- or heavy-duty towing.

Here’s a surface-level look at heavy- and light-duty towing services, what they are and how they differ from one another.

What is light-duty towing?

Light-duty towing is performed when a vehicle needs to be towed due to a breakdown or accident. Light-duty trucks are also used for transporting vehicles to new locations. This can be done to move vehicles from one garage or repair shop to another, but it’s also used for repossessions. Cars that are applicable for light-duty towing include sedans, sports cars, SUVs, minivans and most light trucks.

Light-duty tows can be performed by both light- and heavy-duty tow trucks, but the difference between them can be seen in their maximum load capacity. Light-duty tow trucks have a much smaller load capacity, meaning the towed vehicle must not exceed the load capacity of the tow truck, or else it will cause damage.

What is heavy-duty towing?

Heavy-duty towing is performed on heavy cargo vehicles such as semi trucks and other types of vehicles that are too large for light-duty tow trucks to handle. These types of vehicles are usually transported using flatbed tow trucks—which have more space on their beds for these larger cargo vehicles—or heavy-duty “wreckers” capable of towing high gross weights. These trucks can tow vehicles weighing up to 100,000 pounds (gross vehicular weight).

Heavy-duty towing is also performed when vehicles need to be transported long distances without any occupants in the vehicle. This is frequently done with large commercial vehicles, but it’s also used for moving very heavy construction equipment from one location to another, where it’s more efficient to have a single vehicle pick it up and deliver it to its destination.

What is considered light- vs. heavy-duty towing?

The main difference between the two types of tow trucks is in the vehicles they are suitable for towing, with heavy-duty towing being suited for lifting and transporting cargo vehicles, while light-duty towing is more suited for cars and smaller vehicles. This is because of the difference in maximum load capacity of the truck.

However, when it comes to the cost of light-duty and heavy-duty towing services, there is a significant difference between the two. Light-duty towing costs are typically around $100 per hour for a flat-rate price, while heavy duty can be upwards of $300 per hour.

Not sure which one you need? Contact the team at AMR Auto Repair & Towing today to provide a description of your vehicle and your situation. We’ll be able to tell you immediately whether you need heavy- or light-duty towing services, and we can bring your vehicle back to our shop for the necessary repairs.

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