We have 3 types of trucks at Retriever.
1. 10 light duty auto-grip wheel lifts.
2. One medium duty wheel lift with frame fork capability.
3. One flatbed carrier with a crane.
The light duty auto-grip wheel lift trucks operate from the cab and the bed. A driver lowers the lift from the cab and lines up with the front or rear of the car. The driver backs the lift under the car engaging the tread surface of the tires with the face of the wheel lift. The driver then activates arms that engage the tread face on the opposite side of the tire. The driver then lifts the car 8 to 10 inches off the ground. Now the driver exits the cab and puts straps over the wheels to keep the vehicle firmly planted on the wheel lift. safety chains are attached to the suspension and wheel lift in-case of hydraulic failure or collision to make sure the vehicle stays with the truck.
In most cases the end of the car opposite the wheel lift must also be lifted off the ground. A dolly is used to accomplish this. A dolly is a 4 part system that is stored in brackets on the truck and is removed and assembled under the vehicles. The driver activates the dolly with a metal bar that works on a fulcrum principal. This raises the vehicle completely off the ground. The vehicle rides on it's own suspension and the trucks suspension. In this way no damage occurs. The only part of the vehicle our equipment is touching is the tires and the suspension.
The medium duty wheel lift works in a similar way as above but the arms are manually placed rather than hydraulically activated. If a vehicle is too large for the wheel lift and dollies the a frame fork system is used that engages the suspension or frame of the towed vehicle and the drive line is disconnected.
The flatbed carrier is used for special requests and vehicles without tires and wheels. The driver lines up on the vehicle front or rear. The bed is slid back and lowered to very close proximity to the vehicle. A winch cable is run out and attached to a bridle. The bridle is attached to the suspension or a transport attachment point on the vehicle. It is then pulled up on to the deck of the truck. Once it is on the deck, it is strapped down and towed away. The crane is used on vehicles that are missing their tires and wheels or boats that are not on a trailer.