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Super Diesel Tow Truck Pops Wheelie Pulling Farm Equipment

It’s another typical Tuesday in your big, badass truck. You know, climbing large mountains, crushing weaker trucks, and scaring small children with the sound of your beastly exhaust. Then, disaster strikes. You bite off a little more than you can chew and get stuck, your radiator springs a leak, whatever. Now what do you do? You call up a big, badass tow truck, that’s what.

Something like this one. Check out how that baby’s front wheels lift off the ground while it tows a huge tractor. Just two powerful machines in an epic game of tug of war. Kind of reminds us of Godzilla vs. King Kong. Let’s take this opportunity to talk a little more about the biggest and baddest tow trucks out there.

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Way back in 1916, a mechanic from Chattanooga, Tennessee named Ernest Holmes got a call from an old buddy who’d managed to flip his Model T after running off the road. Holmes was able to get the car upright – after eight hours and the help of six other men. That’s when he decided to: 1. Never talk to that friend again, and 2. Figure out an easier way of recovering wrecked cars.

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A Little History on Tow Trucks

He used poles to build something like a makeshift crane on the back of a 1913 Cadillac and used a system of pulleys to operate it. But it wasn’t until he added something to brace the truck that he was really in business. The first tow truck – and Holmes Wreckers* – was born.

Tow Trucks Today

Fast forward 100 years into the future and you arrive in our current time, where tow trucks are quite a bit more advanced than that classic Cadillac. To give you an idea of just how far things have come, let’s use the best of the best – the NCR Sliding Rotator 60/80 SR – as an example. With the boom (the arm of the crane) extended, this sucker can lift up to 50,000 pounds. That number jumps to an amazing 160,000 pounds when the boom is retracted.

How much is that exactly?

  • Cadillac Escalade = 7,000 lbs
  • African Elephant = 15,000 pounds
  • School Bus = 28,000 pounds

The tow truck itself tips the scale at 80 tons or 160,000 pounds. It also features two 50,000 pound winches. And a remote control with LCD screen to make kicking ass as convenient as possible. Now that’s heavy duty.

Tanks Towing Tanks

If you think that’s hardcore, wait ’til you hear about ARVs or armored recovery vehicles. When you need to tow something that’s sitting in the middle of an active battlefield, this is what you use. It’s essentially a tank with a crane attached, used to tow or repair combat vehicles while taking fire.

We’re talking tank treads, the ability to shrug off small weapons fire or even chemical weapons, a smoke screen generator, and even an M2 Browning .50 caliber machine gun – the works. The US military currently fields an M88 model – or M88A2 Hercules to be exact. These things have been officially tested and proven to tow anything up to and including a 70-ton M1 Abrams, the current tank of choice for the Army and Marines. And remember that the civilian tow truck we talked about above was capable of lifting 80 tons, meaning it could probably manage a tank too.

Pulling Things Around

We’re honestly not sure whether we should be scared or comforted right now. It’s nice knowing there’s someone to pull us out of almost any bind but at the same time, picturing our local tow truck driver with a mounted machine gun is probably going to give us nightmares.

Regardless, whether it’s that bad boy popping wheelies through the dirt or an ARV dragging a disabled tank through a war zone, it’s pretty safe to say that tow trucks are completely bad ass. That may be the last thing on your mind when you call a driver (and see the bill) because you blew your engine in the middle of nowhere, but look at the bright side. At least you and your buddies don’t have to pull it home by hand.

Below, you’ll see and International truck that has apparently been repowered with a two-stroke Detroit Diesel 12v71TT engine!

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He used poles to build something like a makeshift crane on the back of a 1913 Cadillac and used a system of pulleys to operate it. But it wasn’t until he added something to brac