Flatbed Vs Wheel Lift Tow Trucks: What’s The Difference? Nobody ever plans to have a flat tire, overheated engine, or an accident but such is life. No matter how carefully you drive, accidents still happen and vehicles still break down. In cases like these, a tow truck can come to your rescue. They can tow your car or truck to the service shop or to a safe place. To do the job safely and correctly the towing company you hire should be experienced and have trained staff or they could end up doing more damage than good. Therefore, it is important to choose a good towing company to avoid further damage. While selecting a towing service you may also want to consider the type of truck you’d prefer to tow your vehicle. Ontario towing always uses the best option according to the situation you are in but having a know-how of the type of tow trucks commonly used will always benefit you in unprecedented situations. The blog below explains the differences between the two most popular types of towing trucks i.e flatbed tow truck and wheel lift tow truck.

Wheel Lift Tow Truck

A popular type of tow truck used by almost all towing companies nowadays is a wheel lift tow truck. Modern wheel lift trucks have hydraulic booms with a crossbar at both ends. To tow a vehicle using it, the crossbars are placed either at the rear or front wheels. With the crossbars in place, the car is lifted so that only two wheels are in contact with the road. The choice of rear or front wheels being lifted depends on the vehicle’s transmission.


  • This type of tow truck costs less.
  • It fits into tight parking areas or narrow spaces.
This makes it the best choice for a broken car parallel parked inside a basement parking lot.


  • They can only be used for light vehicles like 2-wheel cars.
  • They can tow over short distances only.
  • Two-wheel towing can damage the rims of the tires in contact with the road.

Flatbed Tow Truck

Another popular type of tow truck is a flatbed tow truck. With this tow truck, a flat platform that can be moved to reach the ground is used. This feature makes it possible to drive or push the car into the platform. If the car is undrivable a winch system will be used. Once the car is placed on the flatbed area it is secured with straps or chains and the platform is again adjusted on the tow truck. This is where the main difference between wheel lift and flatbed towing is – vehicle protection. Flatbed towing is safer and the need to readjust the vehicle due to towing effects is less.


  • Once the car is secured on the truck bed the chances of any further damage decrease dramatically.
  • They are best for long-distance towing.
  • All four un-mobilized tires are better for vehicle transmission.
  • It can easily haul medium-size cars, SUVs, and other similar vehicles.


  • Flatbed trucks are enormous and cannot fit in narrow spaces like car parking lots.
  • Pulling the vehicle onto the flat deck can be a time consuming process.
  • Tow time dramatically increases if the vehicle is in high traffic locations due to truck size.

About Us

At Ontario Towing, We provide an extensive range of towing services, ranging from expert flatbed hauling to local and long-distance towing services throughout Ottawa and surrounding areas. We offer reliable tow trucks at affordable rates to ensure secure and satisfied towing and recovery services. We also offer reliable and expert roadside assistance services to our customers in Ottawa, Kanata, Orleans, Gloucester, Barrhaven, and surrounding areas. We have the professionally trained staff and state-of-the-art equipment to deliver nothing but the best. Contact Us now to get the best and most reliable towing and roadside assistance services. Ontario Towing, based in Ottawa, delivers premium towing, car lockout, and expert roadside assistance. Their comprehensive services include mobile tire aid, gas delivery, flatbed and long-distance towing, covering Ottawa and nearby regions.

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