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Old 18th December 2016, 20:32   #16
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Default re: Tow Truck Advice: Can a mini truck pull hatchbacks & sedans?

Based on your experience (past and current),
what is the average tow distance?
what is the car most likely to be towed?
can you avoid expressways?

Regards
Sutripta
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Old 19th December 2016, 10:23   #17
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Default re: Tow Truck Advice: Can a mini truck pull hatchbacks & sedans?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ashutoshb View Post
Dear friends,

A few of you know that I operator a fleet of thirty vehicles for Uber in Delhi-NCR region. More often than not, my staff wakes me up, in the middle of the night, when one of my car breaks down and needs a tow.

I have tried the traditional methods, looking for a crane service on Google or Just Dial, calling them up, haggle for the price. But, at 2 am, either no one picks up or the asking price is way too much.
Since you have sufficient number of vehicles, why not try towing using one of your existing cars? If you don't need to lift the wheels off the ground, even smaller cars can tow each other. I think that will be more cost effective than investing in a dedicated tow truck.
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Old 19th December 2016, 10:41   #18
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Default re: Tow Truck Advice: Can a mini truck pull hatchbacks & sedans?

Check this:

Looks like this is made by Maniars - http://maniars.in/Towing-van-develop...ck-up-van-/b55
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Old 19th December 2016, 12:49   #19
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Default Re: Tow Truck Advice: Can a mini truck pull hatchbacks & sedans?

The payload even though is small for commercial vehicles, the operators always load more than twice the weight in the back of their vehicles. When I got mangoes transported for selling in market, they loaded a tata ace with 2 tonnes of mangoes and a bolero with 3.5 tonnes. Bolero pick-up can officially only haul 1.25 tonnes afaik. A car weighs upto 2 tonnes (sedans and hatchbacks) so any vehicle can be suitable. Even an ace. You just have to take care of the traction of the pulling vehicles because they are all rwd and there is no weight on rear wheels if you think of attaching a tow rope and pulling them.

Just a stupid idea but if the speeds are not that high, buy a used maruti 800 and weld-on a tow attachment to the back. It can pull cars in 1st and 2nd gear. I have a car at home and I am sure it can tow a vehicle.
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Old 19th December 2016, 13:04   #20
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Default Re: Tow Truck Advice: Can a mini truck pull hatchbacks & sedans?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ashutoshb View Post
Dear friends,

A few of you know that I operator a fleet of thirty vehicles for Uber in Delhi-NCR region. More often than not, my staff wakes me up, in the middle of the night, when one of my cars breaks down and needs a tow.

I tried to Google this as well. But couldn't find a clear answer. In the west, there indeed is a tow rating for all pickups. But, here, there is none.

All I could find in specifications was Maximum GVW (Gross Vehicle Weight) and Maximum Payload. Google tells me that GVW excludes the weight of the trailer and Payload is the maximum payload a vehicle can carry. None of this helps in knowing, how much can I pull.

There is a term called GCVWR (Gross Combined Vehicle Weight Rating), which is the maximum weight of a loaded vehicle and its attached loaded trailer. But, this rating comes from the manufacturer itself and is absent in my case.

I am not visiting a dealer yet, as my fear is that in order to make a sale, I might get misguided by the salesmen.

A Bolero Maxitruck Plus CNG costs 471,312 Ex Delhi. Its Maximum GVW is 2745 kg and Payload is 1150 kg.

A Mahindra Jeeto CNG costs 349000 Ex Delhi. Its Maximum GVW is 1485 kg and Payload is 700 kg.

There is a difference of a lakh and twenty rupees. This, off course, excludes the additional towing hardware to be fitted.

If, I can make do with a cheaper vehicle, then why not? But, how do I become sure that it will be able to comfortably do its job. Your thoughts?
My advice

1. Don't go for a smaller vehicle (Jeeto/Ace). These are not front heavy vehicles and hence though they can haul the load, they have immense trouble in towing vehicles (regularly).

2. Would recommend any of the bolero class vehicle (Bolero/Xenon/Dmax)

Personally, I would go for a Bolero Camper.
It is a double cab and hence can house basic maintenance stuff as well as a small crew if required.

Ideally, I would source a used one rather than going for a fresh one. I am going for a fresh vehicle I would source a chassis+cab only where I can build the rear myself as per my requirements.

Just for the idea of it-if it is pure towing you can think of getting a tractor.
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Old 19th December 2016, 13:17   #21
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Default Re: Tow Truck Advice: Can a mini truck pull hatchbacks & sedans?

I would suggest to go for a proper tow vehicle i.e. Bolero Maxi truck etc. From investment point of view it will be costly but it will serve you for long. Also it will open a new opportunity window for business i.e. Can provide towing service to others also.

Going for any other option i.e. less powered vehicle, bike etc will be cost effective for time being but will not be fruitful in long run.
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Old 19th December 2016, 14:09   #22
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Default Re: Tow Truck Advice: Can a mini truck pull hatchbacks & sedans?

You should contact recovery van/towing vehicle and equipment manufacturers. They will clarify all your doubts and help you get the vehicle registered. I have predominantly seen recovery vans either made by Babbar Wreckers or Aditya Equipment Corporation (both located in Mayapuri, Delhi). The following links might help:

http://www.babbarwreckers.com/

https://www.justdial.com/Delhi-NCR/A...P1800812_BZDET

Note: I have no affiliation with the aforementioned entities.
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Old 19th December 2016, 17:18   #23
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Default Re: Tow Truck Advice: Can a mini truck pull hatchbacks & sedans?

I could be wrong, but to me, it seems there are a couple of incidents a month that require towing, and is expected to go up significantly.Given that rates are higher at odd hours and haggling is not entertained, I'm not convinced it makes economic sense to spend 400k or thereabouts on towing equipment to save maybe 10k a month? I'd rather expand the fleet and buy another small car with that money. I understand this tow can be rented out to other operators while it is not in use, but that is not your core business. As others have suggested, maybe you can go in for some sort of understanding or agreement with towing contractors to get preferential rates? That brings more peace of mind than investing/spending(depends on the way you look at it) on a new vehicle that will increase the costs but is not going to contribute significantly to your top-line.
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Old 19th December 2016, 17:19   #24
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Default Re: Tow Truck Advice: Can a mini truck pull hatchbacks & sedans?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SRK View Post
OMG! Look at 1:05 sec. The imperio's front wheels are off the ground while driving. Not a nice view for potential buyers.
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Old 19th December 2016, 21:52   #25
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Default Re: Tow Truck Advice: Can a mini truck pull hatchbacks & sedans?

A Mahindra Imperio towing a "premium" car - Ssangyong Rexton by Mahindra, their most premium car in the market.

If this isn't bad marketing, what is?



And how the hell did the towing guy steer with his front wheels off the ground?

Last edited by Ramon : 19th December 2016 at 21:55.
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Old 21st December 2016, 02:30   #26
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Default Re: Tow Truck Advice: Can a mini truck pull hatchbacks & sedans?

Ashutosh: I would strongly recommend a full fledged tow truck if you are going this route or even a flat bed. Its always better to have the right tool for the job. Do not go down the tata ace or anything smaller route, as in the want to save money, you will waste a lot of time and effort. I would recommend a Isuzu Dmax with the towing attached to it.

Also you could hand out your information to just your close associates in the same business and that way you will not be putting your vehicle out in the market for anybody.

Good luck and do keep us posted.

Maddy
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Old 24th December 2016, 18:40   #27
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Default Re: Tow Truck Advice: Can a mini truck pull hatchbacks & sedans?

I have some experience in this business.

We bought a Tata 607 truck and fixed a sliding platform to it.
See video. It's not my truck or car. That is exactly how it works.

This is a confortable vehicle to drive even with a heavy merc on top of it.

The design was mine. The fabrication and construction was by a company in whitefield, Bangalore.
The business was closed and the truck sold.
So anyway the attached image is for representative purposes only.
Assume the front of the car is smashed. Rear wheels can move.

You park the truck 15-20 feet ahead of the car.
  1. Attach a winch to an appropriate non bendy section of the front axel
  2. The sliding portion which is the same width and length of the original truck platform slides back and at 50% backwards, tips to the ground - like a see saw (without the saw part!)
  3. The winch is then wound
  4. The car gets dragged up this sliding platform fully
  5. Then the sliding platform is slid back to its natural/original position on top of truck
  6. The car is now tied with nylon tie racks (some heavy plastic from China)
  7. It is tightened left, right, front and rear
  8. The tyres are half deflated
  9. Finished

Besides the cost of the base truck, the additional fabrication costed 5 lakhs.
Attached Images
 

Last edited by hangover : 24th December 2016 at 18:56.
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Old 5th January 2017, 19:33   #28
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Default Re: Tow Truck Advice: Can a mini truck pull hatchbacks & sedans?

Thanks for all the suggestions, brothers.

It took me some time to pursue this matter, as I got stuck in my primary work.

I did visit a Mahindra Showroom. There, I inquired about the Bolero Maxi Truck and the Jeeto CNG. And as expected, the sales rep said that any truck, even the Jeeto will do the job perfectly.

I also visited Babbar Wreckers. Since the additional equipment will be around 700kgs, they suggested me to go for the Bolero Maxi Truck. Though, they did build one tow truck on an Ashok Leyland Dost, they suggested not to go in that direction (Engine not powerful enough, front not heavy enough).

My research is still on.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aveemashfaq View Post
Just a stupid idea but if the speeds are not that high, buy a used maruti 800 and weld-on a tow attachment to the back. It can pull cars in 1st and 2nd gear. I have a car at home and I am sure it can tow a vehicle.
Yes, but it won't be road legal and cops would harass all the time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gansan View Post
I have seen Maruti Omnis easily towing sedans. My Maruti A.S.S. uses only Omnis to tow all cars. A CNG Omni is worth considering.
Yes, but it won't be able lift a vehicle, in case the front is damaged or the wheels are not operational.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sutripta View Post
Based on your experience (past and current),
what is the average tow distance?
what is the car most likely to be towed?
can you avoid expressways?

Regards
Sutripta
Average tow distance is 30 kms. The cars I have are Indicas, i10s, Xcents and Go Pluses.

The routes are all over Delhi and the NCR. Expressways are only in Noida.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dry Ice View Post
Since you have sufficient number of vehicles, why not try towing using one of your existing cars? If you don't need to lift the wheels off the ground, even smaller cars can tow each other. I think that will be more cost effective than investing in a dedicated tow truck.
There is the permit issue. Passenger carrying vehicles can not legally tow vehicles.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SRK View Post
Thanks, brother. But, I am looking for a local fitment option, so that technical support is always nearby.

Quote:
Originally Posted by smartcat View Post

So basically, rig up one of your cars to do the towing. Since they are FWD cars with engine at the front, it will have more traction than RWD mini-trucks (which have no weight on driven wheels)
There is the permit issue, my cabs can not legally tow another vehicle. They are passenger carriers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by auto_enthusiast View Post
One thing that comes to mind is that, are all these vehicles permitted to do the job of a towing vehicle. I think that you need to first check with RTO of New delhi and Noida. The bigger vehicles like bolero etc are surely approved but what about the smaller ones like the jeeto and the likes.
I checked with an RTO agent. He says, smaller pickups like Jeeto, Ace can be registered as tow vehicles. There is no issue there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skyline_GT View Post
So at odd hours(nights) you can always take help of any of your fleet vehicles to rescue the other. Since traffic would be minimal at late nights you can safely tow the stranded vehicle without much hassle or cop trouble.
The same cannot be said during daytime as you might face some cop trouble as using a normal sedan/hatchback to tow another vehicle is uncommon.
The cops do trouble at night time too. Its lesser, but it's there. And if one gets caught, I will end up paying more than what I intended to save. Besides, I try and stick to legal methods.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skyline_GT View Post
Am not sure if a vehicle running on CNG would be appropriate for the job of towing simply because of the low power ratio compared to a diesel vehicle.
In my opinion if you opt for a pickup truck it would be best to go for a diesel one rather than fitting it with a CNG.
Like I said, CNG has the advantage of escaping from the Green Tax and as per my knowledge, Bolero's engine is a diesel engine, converted to CNG. Not a new petrol / CNG engine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Motard_Blr View Post
I'm wondering if it might be more economical overall if you just had a "subscription" like agreement with one tow truck operator. This would allow you to concentrate on your core business and keep capital available instead of locking it in a dedicated tow vehicle.
I am trying to test the waters here. If it goes well, I might put in more trucks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by maddy42 View Post
Ashutosh: I would strongly recommend a full fledged tow truck if you are going this route or even a flat bed. Its always better to have the right tool for the job. Do not go down the tata ace or anything smaller route, as in the want to save money, you will waste a lot of time and effort. I would recommend a Isuzu Dmax with the towing attached to it.
Thanks, Maddy. I wish the DMAX came in CNG.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hangover View Post
I have some experience in this business.

We bought a Tata 607 truck and fixed a sliding platform to it.
See video. It's not my truck or car. That is exactly how it works.

This is a confortable vehicle to drive even with a heavy merc on top of it.
That's the best way to go about it, @hangover. But, due to budget constraints, I shall stick to a Bolero Class vehicle.
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Old 5th January 2017, 21:02   #29
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Default Re: Tow Truck Advice: Can a mini truck pull hatchbacks & sedans?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ashutoshb View Post
I shall stick to a Bolero Class vehicle.
Given all that has been said, I do think it is the right solution.
However do check out the Imperio
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/commer...ml#post4112207 (Tow Truck Advice: Can a mini truck pull hatchbacks & sedans?)
for any ideas you might want to implement, even if not now, in future.
One thing I would want is the ability to fit a hydraulic pump, as in a tractor. Can come in very useful later on.

Regards
Sutripta
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Old 18th January 2017, 11:00   #30
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Default Re: Tow Truck Advice: Can a mini truck pull hatchbacks & sedans?

Hi Ashutosh,
IMHO a tow truck would make sense if you run it as a separate business or linked to your garage. (I am assuming a lot of things so let me know if I make sense)
Assuming 2 breakdowns per year per car, you would have close to 5 breakdowns per month across your fleet of 30 cars. From your first post I am assuming it costs more than 5 K per tow.
That translates to a cost of 25K per month.
Contrast that with own tow vehicle @ 6 L, (I am discounting small vehicles like Jeeto. I have towed a Dzire with a figo once for about 5 KM using tow chains and it was quite a painful experience. Proper dolly is highly recommended). Capital cost @ 25% (interest cost + depreciation) for that translates to 1.5L per year or 12.5K per month. Add driver cost of 10K to that and fuel cost of 1200 (4 Rs per KM and round trip of 60 KM per tow)
That also translates to a cost of around 23.5K per month. Not a sizeable savings by any account. Do let me know how my assumptions stand.
OT, I also wanted to explore the uber model. Can you pm me your contact details so that we can talk about it in detail?
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