If you're unfortunate enough to need a recovery vehicle your towing company will send the right service for your needs. In the meantime, here are some fun facts about the not so humble tow truck
. Recovery lorries have been around for more than 100 years
The first towing vehicle was built in 1916 by the US Mechanic Ernest Holmes. After spending 8 hours recovering a car that had fallen into a creek, and needing the help of 5 other men to do it, Holmes realised that a specific solution was needed. He built a crane system onto the back of a car, added outriggers for stability and marketed the worlds first tow truck, as the 'Holmes Wrecker'. Holmes' basic design is still in use to this day
Though it's not the most popular kind of recovery truck. That honour goes to the flatbed which is also the type that carries the least risk of damaging the vehicle to be recovered. There's a tow truck museum!
If you fancy a visit to rather grandly named 'International Towing & Recovery Hall of Fame and Museum', you'll find it in Chattanooga, Tennessee. which is both the birth place of Ernest Holmes and the place where he invented the first towing vehicle. There are tow trucks for specialist purposes
Some of the specialist services available include towing trucks for commercial vehicles, others designed to recover lorries carrying horses or other livestock, and yet others for recovery from dangerous situations, such as getting vehicles safely away from cliff-sides or out of the water. Head to Asia to see the world's smallest tow trucks
Which strictly speaking aren't trucks at all because they're based on motorcycles. The tow bikes have collapsible towing gear on the back which can be hooked up to recover a broken down car. They're popular because they can move through very heavy traffic to get to an accident scene more quickly than a four wheeled vehicle.