When dealing with car issues or the need to move a vehicle, deciding on how to transport it becomes crucial, depending on its type and condition. It’s important to choose a towing service that fits your requirements. Wheel lift towing and flatbed towing are two techniques used for relocating functional, problematic, or accident-involved vehicles. Each approach comes with its benefits and limitations.

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What Is a Flatbed Towing?

Flatbed towing is a method where a vehicle is transported on a platform known as a flatbed or rollback. The disabled vehicle or machinery is loaded onto the flatbed using a hydraulic system or winch and then firmly secured in place for transportation.

What Is a Flatbed Tow Truck?

A flatbed tow truck is a type of vehicle equipped with a level bed at its rear. The flatbed can be angled hydraulically to ground level, allowing vehicles to be driven onto it or pulled using winches for transport.

Benefits of Flatbed Towing

Flatbed towing offers several advantages. This type of towing is widely recognized as one of the safest towing methods since the entire vehicle or equipment is securely placed on a platform, which minimizes the chances of harming the towed vehicle’s drivetrain, suspension, or wheels while in transit.

Flatbed towing is adaptable and can cater to a variety of vehicles, including luxury cars, sports cars, SUVs, all-wheel drive vehicles, motorcycles, heavy-duty equipment, and those with low ground clearance. With flatbed towing, there’s no need for any of the towed vehicle’s wheels to touch the road surface. This minimizes the risk of damage to the vehicle’s tires and suspension system.

Transporting a vehicle onto a flatbed tow truck is often quicker and simpler than using other towing methods. The flatbed can be lowered to ground level, making it easy to load the vehicle. This is particularly useful for cars with low clearance or cannot be towed conventionally.

When Should I Get a Flatbed Tow?

If your vehicle is extensively damaged, flatbed towing offers a secure way to transport it without causing additional harm. Vehicles with low ground clearance, like sports cars or customized vehicles, benefit from flatbed towing as it prevents contact with the road surface.

Opting for flatbed towing when moving your vehicle over long distances ensures its safety and protection throughout the journey. Additionally, if you need to transport a car to a dealership, auction house, or repair shop, flatbed towing is a way to ensure the vehicle arrives safely and without any damage.

wheel lift towing

What Is a Wheel Lift Towing?

Wheel lift towing is a towing technique where a tow truck employs a pneumatic or hydraulic system to lift the rear wheels of a car off the ground for transportation. This method is commonly used for cars that are not working, are parked illegally, or have been in accidents. Wheel lift towing is known for being more efficient and cost-effective in towing situations than flatbed towing.

What Is a Wheel Lift Tow Truck?

A wheel lift tow truck is designed with pneumatic mechanisms that elevate the back or front wheels of a vehicle for towing purposes. Unlike flatbed tow trucks that carry the vehicle on a leveled platform, wheel lift tow trucks only raise and transport vehicles by their wheels.

Benefits of Using a Tow Truck With a Wheel Lift

There are significant advantages to using a wheel lift tow truck. Wheel lift towing is typically quicker than flatbed towing because it involves raising the wheels of the vehicle, which speeds up the process and requires preparation time. Additionally, wheel lift towing often costs less than flatbed towing.


Wheel lift towing is suitable for a wide range of vehicles, including cars, smaller trucks, and SUVs. It can also be used in tight spaces where a flatbed truck might have difficulty accessing.


By lifting the rear or front wheels of a vehicle, wheel lift towing provides enhanced maneuverability in streets, parking lots, and other tricky environments. This is a perfect option for big-city environments.


In cases where a vehicle is parked in a tight spot or has limited clearance, a tow truck equipped with a wheel lift can often reach and tow the vehicle more easily than a flatbed truck.

When Should I Get a Wheel Lift Tow?

There are reasons to opt for wheel lift towing beyond the cost factor. If you encounter any of the scenarios below, you might want to think about choosing the wheel lift towing approach.

Car Accidents or Collisions

If your car is involved in an accident or collision, a wheel lift tow truck can safely and efficiently relocate your vehicle to a repair shop. However, either the front two or back two wheels need to be in good working condition to use this method.

Vehicle Retrieval

When your car gets stuck in challenging terrain like a ditch or mud, a wheel lift tow truck can help retrieve your vehicle and move it to a location. Your vehicle needs to be in a position where the truck can get to it in order to pull it out.

wheel lift tow

Key Differences Between Wheel Lift Towing Vs. Flat Bed Towing

The primary distinction between these two towing methods lies in the design of the trucks. Wheel lift towing involves using a lift to secure the vehicle by its wheels and raise it off the ground, whereas flatbed towing utilizes a platform.

Wheel lift towing is commonly used for vehicles with front-wheel or rear-wheel drive setups, and it offers a more cost-effective solution. Flatbed towing is usually the option for heavier vehicles or equipment, luxury cars, motorcycles, or all-wheel drive vehicles that need to be towed with all wheels off the ground. This method of towing is considered safer because the entire vehicle is lifted off the ground and securely fastened to the flatbed.

Flatbed towing also offers flexibility and can cater to a wider variety of vehicle types and conditions. Additionally, this method is best for long-distance towing.

flat bed towing

Professional Towing for the DFW Area

Using wheel lift towing or flatbed towing depends on your specific needs. If you’re searching for services in the DFW area, you’re in luck! Our team of certified professionals at Massey Towing & Truck Service is ready to help you with your transportation needs. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions about our towing services.