AgelessFeb 22nd, 2013 | By Editorial Staff | Category: Jack Schrock's Blog
Many years ago, it was not uncommon for a tower to remove his wrecker and install it on a new chassis because it was the truck, not the wrecker, that wore out first. In fact, I’ve heard of one tower who changed out his truck chassis whenever they reached 150,000 miles. Another successively moved his large carrier to ten new trucks over a 15-year period before it came time to also replace the carrier.
Now is this to say that T & R equipment is better built than the cab and chassis? No, I wouldn’t go there at all because trucks really take a beating in T & R service. Further, there was a time when wrecker/equipment technology changed very little from year to year, so there was little advantage to buying a new wrecker every time the chassis needed replacement. However, let’s look at that statement a little closer.
In today’s market, competition is driving T & R manufacturers to add new features, which translate to additional benefits for the tower. Sometimes in a single year a manufacturer will make a quantum leap forward with new technologies that greatly improve performance, which adds corresponding value. Consider the heavy-duty underlift or light-duty self-loader, for example. Beyond that, and on a regular basis, new features are added periodically by major T & R equipment manufacturers. So a five-year-old model is usually obsolete when compared to a current model of the same size and rating.
Fifty years ago moving a wrecker from a worn-out chassis to a new one was commonplace. Today it rarely happens because towers are paying more attention to advances in wrecker equipment as well as in the chassis — and that’s a good thing.
Except under rare circumstances, I would say it’s better to replace both the wrecker and truck at the same time. And that can be done through a trade with your T & R distributor or, selling your used wrecker outright “as is” because the wrecker and truck combined is often worth more than the sum of the two individual parts. Yes, it’s slicker and quicker — and gives the tower new features that add $$$ value while reducing maintenance costs.