Revolutionizing Heavy-Duty Towing
So, where do tow trucks come from anyway?
They’re our go-to when we’ve got a busted tire or have been in an accident. But, most of us don’t even know how they came to be.
Think about how often you see a tow truck on the road. How often they’re on the way to rescue someone’s car or a massive heavy-duty towing job. Most of the time, they already have a car on their back.
In a world so vehicle-dependent, it’s evident that tow trucks are a staple in our community. But what about way back when?
Was there a widespread need for it?
Or did somebody just decide one day that they were going to design a car for the specific purpose of getting other vehicles out of trouble?
Let’s find out.
The History of the Heavy-Duty Tow Truck
So what really led to this gem of an invention? Who came up with it, and why?
Well, if we take a look at the records of the International Towing & Recovery Hall of Fame & Museum in Chattanooga, Tennessee, we’ll find our answer.
Chattanooga, Tennessee is the birthplace of the wrecker industry and is the towing and recovery capital of the world, in case you were wondering.
(If you’re wondering what a wrecker is, it’s a vehicle that tows and recovers, as opposed to a tow truck, which just tows.)
As the story goes, a driver lost control of his Tin Lizzie on one otherwise uneventful day in 1916, and it ended up in the Chickamauga Creek.
Ernest Holmes Sr. got wind of the accident and went out to help recover the car from the water. It ended up taking eight hours for ten men to complete the job, which left Holmes with the belief that there had to be a better way.
As a member of the local auto club and with a brother who owned a service station, Holmes was well-versed in automobiles.
So he went back to his garage and formulated a plan to build the first wrecker, with the help of two of his friends – L.C. Decker and Elmer Gross.
He created a prototype and bolted it to the base frame of a 1913 Cadillac. But when it was time for him to put his wrecker to the test, it failed, and they had to revert back to good, old-fashioned manpower.
This setback contributed to his parents’ doubts, and they tried to prevent his involvement in the auto service industry. It’s no wonder why his parents were so against it after his neighbor Decker put his eye out on the job.
None of this stopped Homes though, and he quickly figured out that his wrecker needed outriggers to stabilize the car whenever it was in recovery mode.
After making improvements to his prototype, he secured a patent for his invention in 1919 and began selling branded wreckers mounted on the backs of used cars.
His success story came in the form of the Holmes 485, which he fastened to a 1913 Locomobile. This wasn’t his first working model, though.
No, that was the Holmes 680, which sold for $680 and was too expensive for its time.
His invention was so successful that it even prospered in the time of the Great Depression, which meant no employees were laid off from the Holmes Company.
His business did taper off during World War II, though, when the materials he needed to build were in short supply or, in some cases, off-limits.
That’s when he was offered a government contract to build recovery vehicles and bomb-loaders for the war efforts. This sustained his operation until his death in 1945.
Over his lifetime, he patented about a dozen improvements on general tow trucks and around another half-dozen on vehicle lifts, creepers, and jacks.
And that’s how heavy duty towing came to be.
Heavy-Duty Towing Today
Wreckers have come a long way from their inception in 1916. We can now handle anything from a small car in a ditch to an overturned semi-truck.
Today, heavy-duty towing mostly encompasses:
- Misshapen Vehicles
- Extreme Vehicles (bobtails, big rigs, garbage trucks, etc.)
These vehicles need heavy-duty towing the most because it offers a damage-free and safe solution.
Heavy-duty towing can also handle:
- Load shifts
- Equipment moving
- Accident recovery
- Underwater recovery
- Uprighting overturned vehicles
- Hazardous material containment
- Air cushion recovery
Heavy-Duty Towing and Recovery Services at Geyers
At Geyers, we can handle trucks of all weights and classes and in all areas of highways and interstates.
All of our drivers are WreckMaster certified, fully licensed, and insured.
We’re a member of the Towing and Recovery Association of America and of the Towing and Recovery Professionals of Maryland Association.
Perhaps most importantly, we’re available around the clock and will provide you with unmatched service.
Whether you’re a business that handles massive equipment transfers or you’re an individual who needs help transporting heavy and overweight vehicles, we’re the towing company for you.
No job is too big for us. In fact, we welcome a challenge. So if you need help with your semi, motorhome, bus, aircraft, or whatever else you can imagine, we can handle it. Just give us a call.
We’ve been in business since 1993, and we’re a trusted name in the industry.
In fact, we’re so trusted that we are a “Police Authorized and Approved” company. We offer service to:
- Maryland State Police
- Montgomery County
- Gaithersburg City
- Maryland National Park Police (Montgomery County Division)
Above all, we believe in operating at a rate that fits into your budget, because the last thing you should have to worry about when you’re dealing with an emergency is whether you can afford help.
Heavy-duty towing requires professionals. Otherwise, you risk further damage to your vehicle. Don’t settle for second-best.
We treat every single one of our customers like family and will care for your vehicle as if it was our own. We can always provide an accurate quote in terms of pricing, and time estimation of when one of our heavy-duty tow trucks can arrive to help you as we use GPS tracking with devices such as the ones found at gpswox.com/en/supported-gps-trackers/ruptela. Which, according to trackingfox.com helps not only with time estimations of arrival, but also safety for both parties. Your vehicle is always in good hands when you call Geyers Towing.
If you need help with your heavy-duty vehicle today, just call Geyers Towing, and we’ll take care of it.