Anderson, Ohio

3 Surprising Facts About the History of Tow Trucks August 30, 2017

Anderson, Hamilton
3 Surprising Facts About the History of Tow Trucks, Anderson, Ohio

Tow trucks and the towing industry are an integral part of auto travel. Like any other specialized vehicle, these rigs have a unique and interesting history—although you may not think of it when you see one on the road. Check out a few informative and surprising facts about this necessary piece of driving culture.

1. It’s Over 100 Years Old

The first tow truck was invented in 1916 by mechanic Ernest Holmes. After being called to help pull a car out of a creek by hand—an act which took 8 hours—he returned home and began exploring a solution to the problem. After failing several times, Holmes created a successful crane system that was able to hoist automobiles that were stuck or lodged in places. His hook and chain technology gradually developed into the modern tow trucks of today.

2. The First Tow Truck Was Built From a Cadillac

towingWhen Ernest Holmes built the first tow truck, he didn’t begin by creating a completely new vehicle. Rather than building from the ground up, he focused on the hoisting system which he mounted to the back of his 1913 Cadillac. Many people associate tow trucks with grease and grime, but their origins surprisingly began with a luxury brand.

3. The Original Design Is Still Used Today

Although there are have been adjustments and innovations in the towing industry, the hook and chain design created by Ernest Holmes in 1916 is still used today. Because of its simplicity and effectiveness, very few operation changes were needed. Spinoffs include the wheel lift and belt lift tow trucks.


If you’re in need of towing services, turn to the professionals at A1 Towing Cincinnati in Hamilton County, OH. They offer comprehensive towing and junk car removal services and are dedicated to helping clients in any scenario. Call (513) 602-5493 today to speak with their staff and visit their website and Facebook to learn more about their services.

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