Towing And Tow Trucks - How It All Began

Towing and tow trucks have become a necessity rather than a luxury nowadays. As we speak, there are about 1.466 billion cars in the world. In a minute, about 106 cars are produced by various manufacturers worldwide. The number of automobiles in Canada alone surpasses thirty million, with considerably higher estimates for other countries.

Accordingly, this number is projected to rise in both the short and long run. The latter is primarily due to:

  • Worldwide economic improvements and enhancement of living standards.
  • Rise in population resulting in increased demand for vehicles.
  • Lowering vehicle prices due to fierce competition amongst automobile manufacturers.

However, the surging number of vehicles paves the way for an increased number of car breakdowns, incidents, and so forth. Hence, to meet the intensifying demand, towing service providers began emerging at a breakneck pace. However, judging from the above facts, it is easy to understand that towing services were not always as common as they are today.

Have you ever wondered where and how it all began?

Well, if you have, then this blog will answer your questions. Today, we shall devote our blog to a brief history of towing and tow trucks.

Towing And Tow Trucks – A Swift History

A desperate situation often paves the way to extraordinary inventions. The same goes for towing services. Evidently, the former has now become an economic theory. A need or a necessity for something is what businesses are after. It has become a norm to incorporate design thinking when preparing to launch an innovative product.

Let us see how tow trucks came into existence:

The Pre-Modern Vehicle Era

Towing has been a part of our lives since the existence of man-made vehicles. Although the term ‘towing services’ was not used at that time. During that time, broken vehicles were tied to large animals, who then pulled to the desired destination. However, not everyone enjoyed this privilege.

As mentioned earlier, towing was not a service. It was just a matter of luck to find a passing person with the means and capability to pull the broken vehicle. Most vehicles were abandoned at the locations they broke down at until someone could come and fix them.

The First Vehicle Recovery

Vehicle recovery is a leading roadside assistance service required by customers in the modern era. But such a service did not exist a hundred years ago. However, the need for such a service did not go unnoticed for long. One faithful day in the year 1916, a mechanic called Ernest Holmes was summoned to recover a Ford Model T belonging to his former professor from a river.

The situation posed quite a huge challenge. Pulling such a big vehicle out of a river was not a joke. Using ropes, wood, bricks, and the strength of around six men, the vehicle was finally recovered after eight frustrating hours.

Thus, the incident marked the first-ever vehicle recovery service.

Holmes 484 – The First Tow Truck In History

However, the incident mentioned above rang a bell in Holmes’s mind. He acknowledged that not many people would have the privilege his professor enjoyed. What would they do in such situations? Obviously, the idea of six men pulling out a single vehicle for eight long hours was neither appealing nor feasible.

Consequently, he embarked on a journey to invent a mechanical means of doing the job. Something that would require less manpower and save time. As his first prototype, he attached a crane and pulley system to his 1913 Cadillac. Although his first attempt was a failure as the system was unstable and the Cadillac was not powerful enough to do the job.

Nevertheless, he was very close.

Braveheartedly, he continued working several days and nights for years to come up with a feasible mechanism. Then in 1919, the day finally arrived. Holmes introduced the world to the first-ever tow truck called Holmes 680. However, this truck would cost anyone a fortune and apparently no one could afford to purchase it.

To combat the issue, Holmes then released the Holmes 485, which was a cheaper version of Holmes 680.

From there, things began to go with the flow, and towing became a flourishing business opportunity. Today, the towing industry is booming at an unstoppable pace and the trend is likely to remain this way in the future.

About AAA Towing

Whether you are stranded on the road with a broken-down vehicle or underwent an accident, AAA Towing is available to provide a helping hand 24/7. Our seasoned team and state-of-the-art towing equipment guarantee peace of mind that your vehicle is in safe hands. Contact us today to learn more.

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