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What Is the Difference Between Heavy Duty and Light Duty Towing?

When you need your car towed, knowing what kind of tow truck will suffice is critical. There are two main types of tow trucks- heavy duty and light duty. These are designed for distinct types of vehicles and have different capabilities. So, what is the difference between these two types? This blog post will discuss the differences between heavy duty towing and light duty towing, and it will help you decide which type of tow truck is best for you.

What is light-duty towing?

Light-duty towing is typically used for smaller vehicles, such as passenger cars and small trucks. These tow trucks have a lower weight capacity than heavy-duty tow trucks and cannot tow as much weight. However, they can still provide a good amount of power and can be used for a variety of tasks. For instance, light-duty tow trucks can tow smaller vehicles like motorcycles, sedans, and smaller SUVs.

What is heavy-duty towing?

Heavy-duty towing is typically used for larger vehicles, such as semi-trucks and buses. These tow trucks have a higher weight capacity than light-duty tow trucks and can tow heavier vehicles. Heavy-duty tow trucks can also provide more power, making them ideal for towing large vehicles. For instance, heavy-duty tow trucks can tow large vehicles like RVs, trailers, and boats.

Light-duty vs. heavy-duty: what’s the difference?

Weight capacity

The main difference between light-duty and heavy-duty towing is the weight capacity. Light-duty tow trucks have a lower weight capacity than heavy-duty tow trucks. Heavy-duty tow trucks also have a higher weight capacity and can provide more power. Usually, they can handle vehicles that weigh greater than 25,000 pounds. On the other hand, light-duty tow trucks can typically only handle vehicles that weigh up to 11,000 pounds.

Towing capacity

Another difference between these two types of tow trucks is the towing capacity. Light-duty tow trucks can typically tow smaller vehicles like saloon cars and sedans. Heavy-duty tow trucks can tow larger vehicles like RVs and trailers. They can also provide more power, making them ideal for towing over longer distances.

Tow equipment

Light-duty tow trucks typically have lighter towing equipment than heavy-duty tow trucks. This is because they are designed for smaller vehicles. You will find small tow trucks with a dolly or a winch here. On the other hand, heavy-duty tow trucks are designed for larger vehicles. These are more sophisticated machinery, including a flatbed, boom lift, or wheel lift.


The cost of light-duty and heavy-duty tow trucks varies depending on the size and features of the truck. However, light-duty tow trucks are generally more affordable than heavy-duty tow trucks. This is because they are designed for smaller vehicles and have less towing power. Heavy-duty tows are more complicated and require greater skill and knowledge to handle the tricky maneuver. As a result, they are more expensive.

Level of difficulty

Light-duty tow trucks are designed to handle vehicles that are not too large or too heavy. They are relatively easy to operate, and any tow truck driver out there can carry out the routine operation. However, heavy-duty tows require much more skill to operate. The driver will need to be experienced and know how to use the various features of the tow truck. The massive weight of the moving load usually makes the operation much more difficult.

Should I choose light-duty or heavy-duty towing?

The type of towing you need will depend on the size and weight of the vehicle you need to tow. Light-duty towing is ideal if you need to tow a smaller vehicle. However, heavy-duty towing is the way to go if you need to tow a larger vehicle. You should also consider the distance you need to tow the vehicle and the difficulty level involved. If you are unsure, it is always best to consult with a professional towing company. They will be able to advise you on the best course of action.

What is the importance of choosing the right tow truck?

Selecting the right truck for the job can save you time, money, and effort. For instance, you can’t use a small truck to tow a large vehicle. This is not only dangerous but also illegal in most states. Likewise, you can’t use a heavy-duty tow truck to tow a small car over long distances. This will not only be a waste of money but also put yourself and others at risk. It is essential to choose the right tow truck for the job to ensure a smooth, safe, and successful operation.

How much will I pay for a tow?

Generally, the cost of a tow depends on the type of truck, the distance, and the difficulty level. Light-duty tow trucks are typically less expensive than heavy-duty tow trucks. The cost also varies depending on the towing company you use. However, you will most likely pay a flat fee, be charged by the hour, or by the mile traveled.

Contact us today!

Whether you are in the market for light-duty or heavy-duty towing in Lake Charles LA, don’t hesitate to reach your local professional towing services at Elite Service Recovery & Heavy Duty Towing Recovery & Towing. We are a reputable towing company with years of experience in the industry. Our wide range of tow trucks can handle any scale of towing job. Contact us today for a free quote!

Read the related services we offer:

  • Light-duty towing, a medium duty tow, and heavy-duty towing
  • Emergency roadside assistance services
  • Towing for service trucks, larger vehicles, motor homes, delivery vans, flatbed tow trucks, box trucks, garbage trucks
  • Accident recovery services
  • Wrecker services

Check out our About Us page for more information about us.

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