Key Questions for Choosing the Best Heavy-Duty Towing Equipment

June 25, 2024

When you’re searching for a piece of heavy-duty towing equipment, it can be a little overwhelming to navigate all the options.

For instance, do you need a boom that extends and retracts? Do you need a winch? What lifting and towing capacities do you need? Will you need to scale? Will you need a wireless remote?

That’s not even mentioning the prices and endless financing options.

But the clearer you are about what your business needs, the easier it is to filter through all the different options and prioritize the ones that matter for you.

We’ve helped everyone from startups to seasoned towers wanting to expand their fleet zero in on the right equipment. Here are the key questions to ask up front so you can make sure you get equipment that will satisfy your requirements.

What types of work are you planning to do?

Heavy towing can include lots of different types of work. Hence all the equipment options.

But you don’t want to pay for features you won’t use, or discover that your equipment doesn’t have everything you need to do the work you planned on.

Here are the questions we ask new customers to help them nail down what they need:

  • How will you use your new equipment?
  • Will you only be towing?
  • Will you be performing recovery work?
  • Or will you be doing both recovery and towing?
  • Are you planning to participate in state rotation?
  • Will you service a mountain pass?

By thinking through all the jobs you want to be able to do, you can focus on the right options for your business.

One reason our clients choose Zacklifts is that they are customizable. So you can get all the options and capabilities you need, without paying for anything you won’t use.

What types of vehicles are you planning to tow?

“Heavy towing” covers a wide range of vehicles, from box trucks and small motorhomes to fully loaded cement trucks and beyond. Before choosing your towing equipment it helps to know which vehicles you want to tow. 

Here are the questions we ask:

  • Are you planning to tow heavy trucks like cement or garbage trucks, or lighter trucks like UPS or Box trucks?
  • Are you planning to tow metro or city buses?
  • Are you planning to tow loaded or empty tractor-trailers?

If you’re new to the industry, it’s often helpful to spend a little time researching the kinds of jobs that are available in your area, and whether they shift season-to-season.

Once you decide which vehicle you want to tow, you can set the upper limit of the equipment you should be looking at.

What type of truck are you planning to use?

You might already own a truck—like a semi tractor for example—that you want to use for heavy towing. Or you might be looking to choose a truck in tandem with your equipment.

Either way, it’s helpful to know what kind of truck you’ll be using your equipment on.

Here are the questions we ask:

  • Do you have a truck or are you looking for a truck?
  • What is the wheelbase of your truck?
  • Are you planning to extend it or add counterweights?
  • Is the fifth wheel plate adjustable?

These details help you determine how much weight you can safely and legally tow, and whether you’ll need additional permits for the kinds of vehicles you plan to tow.

What’s your budget?

Unless you’ve spent years planning and saving, coming up with a budget can be hard.

One tip is to reach out to someone who’s about two years ahead of you in their heavy towing business. They can tell you how they budgeted and what they would have done differently.

Here are the questions we ask:

  • Will you be financing your purchase?
  • What features are critical to start, and which ones would it be okay to add as your truck starts earning money?

One of the most popular features of Zacklifts is how modular they are. It’s the only equipment that lets you build the wrecker of your dreams over time, as your budget allows.

For example, you can start with a Fifthwheeler underlift for heavy transport. Then as that earns you money you can add Stifflegs, tool boxes, a drag winch, and even a 25-ton boom called the D-Boom.

That way you can get started on your budget, without limiting what your truck will be capable of down the road.

Put It All Together Into a Successful Equipment Plan

Answering each of the questions above will get you very close to the equipment that will meet your long and short term needs.

Our top priority is to help you navigate all the different configurations and options available.

If you’re considering a Zacklift for your business, click here to get a personalized recommendation on the equipment that will best meet your requirements.


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