If you are considering breaking into the vehicle recovery industry, choosing the right truck makes a big difference to your business. Not all breakdown trucks are equal, and strict legislative guidelines determine which ones are acceptable under UK and EU law. Fortunately, many car recovery vehicle manufacturers meet these guidelines, although they may have unique features that determine if they meet your specific needs.
Look at a Breakdown Truck's Roadworthiness
In the UK, The Road Vehicles Construction & Use regulations state that all recovery trucks must be unlikely to pose a risk or nuisance to any other vehicle or trailer on the road. As a result, drivers should inspect used recovery trucks to ensure they are roadworthy. This is particularly important when the truck comes from a company that used it in shifts. Always confirm the functionality of major systems, such as the brakes, transmission, speedometer, steering wheel, and fuel pump.
Consider a Breakdown Truck's Weight
The weight of a recovery truck depends on the manufacturer. Licences issued before mid-January in 2013 dictate that a truck cannot tow a vehicle that weighs more than the towing truck. In addition, a truck that weighs 3.5 tonnes or more requires an operator's licence. Choose the truck according to licence availability if you need one immediately, but consider whether it is capable of moving all vehicles. Weight also defines a truck's maximum speed, as UK legislation calls for speed limits on all trucks over 3.5 tonnes.
Look for Desired Recovery Truck Features
Regardless of the overall size of a truck, certain features make it suitable for recovery purposes. A truck with a flatbed or a vehicle that can carry more than one car is unsuitable. A transit recovery truck with a spectacle lift, an A-frame, or a tow dolly with no overrun braking system is ideal. In order to use a recovery truck legally, it is necessary to ensure the load does not pose a risk of danger or nuisance to other road users. Features like bulkheads, wells, chocks, lashings, and dunnage contribute to a truck's security.
Consider Different Breakdown Vehicle Brands
Although all brands share many defining features that make them recovery trucks, each brand comes with certain unique characteristics. For example, Mercedes recovery trucks are famous for their heavy duty balls and winches, especially the Mercedes Sprinter recovery truck, which also features LED lighting for high visibility. On the other hand, a VW recovery truck from the T4 range can only carry light vehicles and is mostly suitable for transporting racing cars.