More from: auto hauling

That Moment When Towing Chains and Hooks Are Your Best Friend

It is probably safe to say that we know very little about the daily job of a tow-truck operator. Sure, we know they drive trucks capable of getting us out of a jam in inclement weather or after an accident, but we don’t know much more than that. It’s also safe to say that we don’t know much about the towing chains, hooks and most auto hauling equipment truck operators invest in.

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Every profession has its ‘tools of the trade’, and towing is no different. Towing chains and hooks are among the many tools of the towing industry. You might even make the case that they are the most important tools. Without them, it would be impossible to tow a vehicle behind a truck, secure it on a flatbed, or even pull it out of the ditch. It is no stretch to say that the towing chain and hook have been a motorist’s best friend on more than one occasion.

Wherever There Is Bad Weather

Retrieving a broken-down car from a department store parking lot or a residential driveway is the easy part of towing. The hard part is heading out onto the interstate to recover vehicles lost in bad weather. No one knows this better than the tow-truck drivers of California. Wherever there is bad weather, you’ll see an army of dedicated drivers recovering vehicles in all kinds of conditions.

California’s recent weather has been all about torrential rains. After suffering through years of extended drought, it looks like Mother Nature is looking to make up the Golden State’s water deficit in one fell swoop. Motorists are paying the price.

One late January storm was significant enough to cause California Governor Jerry Brown to declare a state of emergency for several counties. The governor’s action proved wise. Between flash flooding, mudslides, downed trees and power lines, and a seemingly endless list of closed roadways, it was hard to get around during the storm. But the weather didn’t stop the tow truck operators.

With towing chains and hooks on board, the men and women of California’s towing industry hit the streets in an effort to help stranded motorists. Some cars were pulled out of ditches while others were rescued from raging floodwaters. It was all in a day’s work for the tow operators.

Sometimes Tow Trucks Need Help

That moment when towing chains and hooks are your best friend doesn’t apply only to stranded motorists. For example, parts of California were hit with a late December snowstorm that caused Caltrans to close state Route 38 near Big Bear.

Chains are required on all vehicles driving through this mountainous region of Southern California during the winter, but that particular night saw chains snap on multiple vehicles that were subsequently stranded. The snow was so deep and difficult that even three tow trucks got stuck trying to help. It was quite a scene.

The point to all of this, is that we average motorists rely a lot more on tow truck operators than we realize. Whenever there’s a breakdown or a stranded or wrecked vehicle, it is the tow operator who comes to the rescue. We rely on them just as they rely on their towing chains and hooks to get the job done.

If you are a tow-truck operator, you deserve our thanks and appreciation. Mytee Products invites you to browse our selection of tow chains, hooks, and other supplies for your operation. All our towing equipment is manufactured to the highest possible standards. You’ll find our products tough, reliable, and fairly priced.

Sources:

1. KTLA – http://ktla.com/2017/01/23/showers-to-continue-monday-after-weekend-downpours-break-records-prompt-evacuations/
2. KTLA – http://ktla.com/2016/12/24/more-than-100-cars-3-tow-trucks-stuck-in-snow-near-big-bear-on-state-route-38-road-closed/

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Auto Hauling: A Very Different Kind of Trucking

What is the most lucrative form of trucking? Is it dry goods or reefers? Or maybe it’s flatbed trucking. Perhaps the most lucrative way to make a living as a truck driver is hauling flammable or hazardous materials. The point here is that the definition of ‘lucrative’ has more to do with preference than anything else. Having said that, auto hauling deserves some consideration. If not the most lucrative, it is certainly a very different kind of trucking.

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Auto haulers come in all shapes and sizes, as it were. There are employed truck drivers working for companies that specialize in carrying cars from distribution centers to local dealerships. There are independent operators who carry used cars from wholesalers in the South to small dealers in the North. There are even truck drivers who specialize in moving luxury and classic cars.

Auto hauling is very different for a number of reasons. From the equipment to the necessary skills, it is a career a lot of drivers aspire to but never attain. Here’s what makes auto hauling so different:

The Equipment

First and foremost is the equipment necessary for this kind of work. The owner-operator starts with a custom rig. Believe it or not, trucks and trailers for auto hauling have to be matched. You cannot just use any auto trailer on the back of any tractor. As a result, auto hauling rigs are significantly more expensive.

Next, owner-operators have to have a pretty significant supply of auto hauling equipment including hooks, shackles, rope clips, straps, and chains. There may not be any other form of trucking that requires so many pieces of equipment for a single run.

The Skill

Auto hauling is very different in terms of the skills a driver needs. What so many do not realize is that cars have to be loaded and secured in a certain way in order to prevent damage on the road. But loading and securing is not necessarily a cookie-cutter operation. Auto haulers have to account for different makes and models, different weights, potential weather conditions, and more.

Skill also comes into play on the actual journey. Drivers need to take a little bit of extra care due to the precious value of their cargo, especially when they are hauling expensive luxury or classic cars. They should be careful about accelerating and braking; they have to be careful about cornering; they need to be extremely cautious in bad weather.

The Experience

Just about every sector of the truck driving industry is affected by the conundrum of companies only wanting experienced drivers but new drivers not being able to get experience because they can’t find a job. Nowhere is this conundrum more prevalent than in auto hauling. Because auto hauling is so much more involved than simply applying some hooks and shackles, haulers almost always insist their new drivers have at least a couple of years under their belts – even if that time was spent hauling something else.

Drivers with extensive flatbed experience typically have an easier time breaking into auto hauling because they are already experienced with securing loads. They have used things such as hooks, chains and straps for cargo control. Suffice it to say that owner-operators who want to get into auto hauling have to work for it.

Here at Mytee Products, we are acutely aware of what it takes to be a successful auto hauler. We want to do our part by maintaining a solid inventory of auto hauling supplies for America’s owner-operators. From shackles and rope clips to auto hauling straps, we have everything the owner-operator needs.


Flatbed or Wheel Lift: What Customers Should Know About Auto Hauling

It used to be that towing a broken-down vehicle meant wrapping a couple of tow chains around the frame, lifting one end of the vehicle off the ground, and dragging the car to its destination on the two wheels remaining in contact with the road surface. This form of towing was not really harmful to the big, heavy vehicles of the 1950s, 60s and 70s. Today, things are different. Tow operators can now choose between flatbed and wheel lift options to transport vehicles.

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As with just about any other industry, there is a lot of things customers do not know about auto hauling. For example, there is more to the question of make and model than just simply being able to identify the vehicle needing recovery. Make and model tell the dispatcher what kind of truck to send. Sometimes a flatbed truck is required while other times a wheel lift is the better option.

Flatbed Auto Hauling

A flatbed auto hauler is a heavy-duty truck with a movable platform that can be slid partially off the truck frame and lowered to ground level. From there, the car can be put on the platform under its own power or using a winch system. Once on board, the car is secured with towing straps and chains.

The biggest advantage of flatbed auto hauling is security. Tying down a car with strategically placed straps keeps it secure throughout its journey, thereby reducing the risk of damage. Furthermore, keeping all four wheels stationary during transport is better for a car’s transmission.

Flatbed auto hauling is the better option for all-wheel drive vehicles, for obvious reasons. It is also ideal for heavier vehicles and luxury cars. The key to safe and successful flatbed auto hauling is properly securing the vehicle with straps and chains.

Wheel Lift Auto Hauling

Old-school towing with the wheel lift method involves the previously mentioned tow chains secured around a car’s frame to lift it partially off the ground. Things are done differently today. Instead of suspending a car on a couple of chains, modern wheel lift tow trucks come equipped with a hydraulic dolly mounted on the rear.

To load a vehicle, the tow truck operator backs up to the front or rear, depending on the car’s transmission configuration. Once in place, the tow truck operator lowers the hydraulic dolly and moves into place. The car is then either driven or manually pushed onto the dolly and secured with tire or axle straps. Lifting the dolly and locking it in place prepares the car for towing.

Just Get It to the Garage

Whether a tow operator is driving a flatbed or a wheel lift tow truck often doesn’t matter to the car owner. From his or her perspective, the most important thing is to get a broken-down car to the garage as quickly as possible. What many car owners do not know is that tow operators carefully consider a number of different things when determining what kind of truck to send out.

As a tow operator yourself, you need to have the right equipment on board whether you drive a flatbed or wheel lift truck. That equipment includes a good supply of auto hauling straps, tire chains, and hooks. We have everything you need at Mytee products.

Your choice of towing equipment and supplies can mean the difference between success and failure as a tow operator. We encourage you not to take any chances with cheap equipment that may not last. Instead, avail yourself of the tough, reliable towing equipment found here at Mytee.