How Much Does a Tow Truck Cost: Factors to Consider and Price Range

how much does a heavy duty tow truck cost

Tow trucks are vital in towing and recovery businesses, allowing them to effectively and efficiently transport disabled vehicles. If you are interested in starting a heavy-duty towing business, the first question that may come to your mind is, “How much does a heavy duty tow truck cost?”

how much does a tow truck cost

The price of a heavy-duty tow truck will differ depending on factors such as the make, model, features, and year. We will explore the various types of tow trucks, their buying costs, and other important factors to consider before purchasing.

Flatbed tow trucks

Buying Cost: On average new flatbed tow trucks can range in price from $50,000 to $200,000 in 2023, depending on the brand and any additional features included. Used flatbed tow trucks can vary from $15,000 to $100,000, depending on age and condition.

Key Features: Flatbed tow trucks, also called rollback tow trucks, are equipped with a flat and level bed that can be inclined hydraulically for effortless loading and unloading of vehicles. These trucks are highly versatile and capable of transporting various types of vehicles, including those with low ground clearance.

Well-known Manufacturers: Foton, Miller Industries, Jerr-Dan, Ford, Chevrolet, NRC Industries.

Hook and chain tow trucks

Buying Cost: On average, the price range for a hook and chain tow truck can start from around $10,000 for a used model to over $100,000 for a new, larger, and more advanced version. 

Key Features: Hook-and-chain tow trucks, also known as traditional tow trucks, utilize chains to lift the towed vehicle by its axles. However, these types of tow trucks are less common nowadays due to the potential for vehicle damage during the towing process.

Well-known Manufacturers: Century, Vulcan, Holmes, Hubei Fuya Vehicle CO. LTD.

Wheel lift tow trucks

Buying Cost: On average, you can expect to pay anywhere from $20,000 to $80,000 for a new wheel-lift tow truck. You may also find used wheel-lift tow trucks available at a lower price point, but inspecting their condition before purchasing is essential. 

Key Features: Wheel-lift tow trucks utilize a hydraulic lift mechanism to grasp the vehicle’s front or rear wheels securely. They have gained popularity over hook-and-chain trucks due to their ability to minimize the risk of damage during the towing process.

Well-known Manufacturers: Chevron, Dynamic Manufacturing, NRC Industries, Miller Industries.

Integrated Tow Trucks

Buying Cost: Generally, the price range for a new integrated tow truck can start at around $80,000 and can go up to $200,000 or more. There are options available to purchase used integrated tow trucks, which can provide a more affordable alternative.

Key Features: Integrated tow trucks are a game-changer for towing vehicles, as they offer the perfect combination of a towing unit and a boom. Whether you need to handle light-duty or heavy-duty towing jobs, integrated tow trucks are up to the task. One of the key advantages of integrated tow trucks is their ability to adapt to different towing needs. The presence of both a towing unit and a boom means that these trucks can handle many types of vehicles, from compact cars to large commercial vehicles. 

Well-known Manufacturers: Miller Industries, Jerr-Dan, Isuzu, Chengli Special Automobile.

How much does a semi tow truck cost?

Buying Cost: The new heavy-duty/Semi tow trucks are the most expensive, starting at $150,000 and reaching up to $300,000 or even more.

Key Features: A semi tow truck, also known as a heavy-duty tow truck, is specifically designed to handle larger vehicles such as buses, tractor-trailers, and construction equipment. Its impressive power, towing capacity, and advanced features make it an essential tool in the towing industry.

Well known Manufacturers: Rotator, NRC Industries, Holmes, B&B Industries, Kenworth

NOTE: The prices mentioned above are estimated averages for the basic features of respective tow truck categories. However, if you want tow trucks from reputed brands with the highest capabilities and maximum features, these prices can reach $1,000,000 or more.

Important Factors to Consider When Buying a Tow Truck

When considering buying a tow truck, there are several important factors that you should take into account. Making the right choice is crucial, as it will determine the efficiency and success of your towing operations. Here are some key factors to consider:

Type of Tow Truck

Different types of tow trucks are available, such as flatbeds, integrated, hook and chain, and wheel-lift. Each type has its own advantages and limitations, depending on your specific needs. Evaluate the type of vehicles you will be towing and select a tow truck best suited to your requirements.

Towing Capacity

The truck’s towing capacity is crucial, as it will define the size and weight of the vehicles you can tow. Consider the maximum weight you anticipate towing and choose a truck with a suitable towing capacity to handle those loads.

Additional Features

Extra features, such as winches, extended cabs, or specialized equipment for different types of towing, can increase the cost of your purchase. Evaluating your specific business needs is important to determine which additional features are worth investing in.

Condition of Tow truck

If you buy a new truck, you don’t need to worry about its condition. In the case of a used tow truck, ensure that the truck is in good working order and that all necessary repairs and maintenance have been performed. A well-maintained truck will minimize downtime and increase your productivity.

Total Cost of Ownership

Consider your budget when purchasing a tow truck. Compare prices from different dealerships to get an idea of the average market value for the specific type and model you are interested in. Remember to consider other costs such as insurance, maintenance, and fuel consumption.

Check the reputation of the manufacturer

Look for a reputable brand known for producing reliable tow trucks: research customer reviews and ratings to measure the overall satisfaction of previous buyers. A reliable truck will reduce the risk of breakdowns and costly repairs, enabling you to focus on your towing business.

Warranty and After-Sales Support

 It is highly recommended to ensure that the manufacturer offers a warranty on the tow truck and its components. A comprehensive warranty will give you peace of mind in case of unexpected issues. Additionally, inquire about after-sales support and spare parts availability to ensure you can easily access necessary services and repairs.

Local Regulations

 Familiarize yourself with local regulations and licensing requirements for operating a tow truck in your area. Compliance with these regulations will ensure your operation runs smoothly without legal issues.

By thoroughly analyzing and taking into account these crucial factors, you can make a good choice when purchasing a tow truck. Don’t forget to carefully assess your specific needs and choose a truck that is reliable, efficient, and suited to your towing requirements.


Please keep in mind that these prices are mere estimates and can vary significantly based on individual circumstances. Factors such as the seller’s location, market demand, and any special requirements you may have can also affect the final price.

If you’re considering purchasing a heavy-duty tow truck, thoroughly researching reputable dealerships, comparing prices, and considering any additional costs, such as insurance and maintenance. Additionally, consulting with experts or professionals in the towing industry can provide valuable insights and guidance in making an informed decision.

Remember, investing in a reliable and high-quality tow truck is crucial for your business’s success and ensuring safe transportation of vehicles.


1. What is the world’s most powerful tow truck?

A. When it comes to powerful tow trucks, several contenders stand out. One of the world’s most renowned and powerful tow trucks is the Rotator. Manufactured by a few different companies, the Rotator is known for its exceptional lifting capacity and advanced recovery capabilities.

2. Are there any additional costs associated with owning a heavy-duty tow truck?

A. Yes, there are additional costs to consider when owning a heavy-duty tow truck. These may include insurance premiums, maintenance and repair expenses, fuel costs, licensing fees, and any necessary upgrades or accessories.

3. Can I find used heavy-duty tow trucks at a lower cost?

A. Yes, it is possible to find used heavy-duty tow trucks cheaper than buying new ones. However, the price will still depend on factors such as the vehicle’s age, condition, and mileage. It’s important to thoroughly inspect any used tow truck and consider its maintenance history before purchasing.

4. Are there financing options available for purchasing a heavy-duty tow truck?

A. Yes, there are financing options available for purchasing a heavy-duty tow truck. Many dealerships offer financing programs specifically tailored for commercial vehicles like tow trucks. Additionally, you can explore options from banks or credit unions that provide loans for business purposes.

5. What are some reputable manufacturers known for reliable heavy-duty tow trucks?

A. Multiple companies manufacture reliable heavy-duty tow trucks. Here are a few options worth considering:

  • Jerr-Dan
  • Miller Industries
  • NRC Industries
  • Kenworth
  • Dynamic Manufacturing
  • Chevron
  • B&B Industries

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