Wrecker Booms

Feb 21st, 2014 | By | Category: Jack Schrock's Blog

Jack SchrockCommenting further on Peter Fuerst’s article “A Bit About Booms” which appears in the February issue of Tow Times magazine, the boom on a wrecker sets it apart from a winch truck.

As Peter points out, boom elevation changes the angle of recovery, which can be important, especially when the casualty is buried in mud, snow, sand, etc. A winch truck can only “drag” the casualty through the muck, which delays the operation and imposes unnecessary loads on both the wrecker and casualty.

Taken a step further, a wrecker is not a crane in that a wrecker cannot lift and swing like a crane. But that is not to say that a wrecker is like a winch truck either because a hydraulic wrecker can dramatically change the angle of recovery from time to time throughout the process, thanks to an adjustable hydraulic boom.

As author Fuerst points out, the booms on earlier mechanical wreckers could not be elevated under load during the recovery process. However, boom elevations can be changed during recovery on modern day hydraulic wreckers, which is a tremendous benefit.

So wreckers without booms are not wreckers at all — they are just winch trucks. But dragging alone is a tedious and time-consuming task that can result in additional damage to the casualty while pushing a lot of muck.

Hydraulics let us lift and drag, which can break the suction and expedite the whole process. Indeed, a modern heavy-duty twin-line wrecker with multi-speed planetaries and a few snatch blocks can accomplish amazing recoveries in the hands of a skilled operator because elevations, directions and line speed can be altered to save time and minimize damage.

Hydraulic wreckers are slicker and quicker and that’s the truth.