Curious about the difference between a tow truck and a wrecker? Then you’ve come to the right place!


It’s understandable that if you’re not in the towing industry, your knowledge of different types of two trucks might not be as high as someone in the industry. For example, we often get asked what the difference between a tow truck and a wrecker is. It’s a common question. But, believe it or not, there are some significant differences between towing vehicles.

In the following article, we’ll check out the difference between a tow truck and a wrecker. Knowing the differences will make you better prepared when you call for assistance.

What Are the Differences Between A Tow Truck and A Wrecker?

People often use the names tow truck and wrecker interchangeably. However, there is a difference between the two, and it’s important to know what you’re requesting when you call a towing company for help.

What is a wrecker? A wrecker is a type of tow truck with a large boom and additional cable winch, which allows it to recover vehicles from various locations. For example, a wrecker may be used to flip a car or truck that has rolled over, pull a vehicle from a precarious position off the road, or separate multiple vehicles which have become squashed together.

Wreckers are typically used when recovery is needed rather than just a straightforward tow. They are also used when heavy-duty towing is required in order to tow big vehicles like a semi, trailers, buses, or any commercial vehicle.

Tow trucks may also have a boom and winch, but they are typically a simple flatbed setup that makes it quick and easy to pick up a vehicle. So, if you just need your car picked up, and it’s not trapped off the road, or rolled over, then it’s likely that a flatbed tow truck is what’s going to show up to assist you.

Most tow companies operate a fleet of vehicles that are predominantly flatbed tow trucks because they’re incredibly versatile. However, they often have a wrecker standing by for serious accidents or recoveries. Therefore, if you’re calling for a tow truck, it’s essential to give the dispatch officer as much information as possible. The more information you can give them, the better they’ll be able to gauge what you need and get you the right vehicle sooner. The last thing you want is for the wrong type of vehicle to show up, only to have to wait while they get a bigger tow truck or wrecker dispatched to your location.

Heavy-Duty Towing Experts in Colorado

Now you know what the difference between a tow truck and a wrecker is! If you have a breakdown or had an accident in the Eagle County or Summit County areas, then Mountain Recovery and their professional towing team are standing by to assist you. Day or night, sunshine, or rain, they’ll be there when you need them most!

If you have been involved in any automotive accident in Eagle County or Summit County, Colorado, Mountain Recovery is only a phone call away at 970-476-1124. We operate 24/7, 365-days a year, to keep you moving and help get your vehicle back on the road.