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or climb to reach. The biggest benefit for most towing and transport companies in relation to these newer, low-clearance bodies shows up in the load angle. The bed height and chassis height are directly related to the decrease in the loading approach angle by several degrees. The lower load angle versions will help reduce the amount of cribbing or ramping needed to clear the front or rear fascias, or exhaust systems. This better approach angle will help with loading many lowered vehicles in the luxury market with limited suspension-height travel. If a carrier comes equipped with an air-ride system, then combining a low-profile deck with the air dump can lower the bed angle even more, and require almost no cribbing assistance for loading. (Note, too, the accompanying sidebar on “The Right Approach” option for Century carriers.) Attachment points are always an issue with these new model vehicles so the need for better loading angles is very important. Let’s not forget as well the electric vehicle market that is evolving rapidly. Electric vehicles naturally weigh more and have a lower center of gravity, and can have difficulty being placed into neutral. OEM companies will be changing their body designs in the near future and the chassis platforms will get wider and lower, which can be intimidating to a newer operator. So the equipment should be able to match the vehicle being towed and this is where the low-clearance carrier can offer the most benefits. Either model you choose will require fewer maintenance intervals as the manufacturers use new technology, with lessons learned from previous models, in order to make modern carriers more reliable with reduced wear areas, better hydraulic hose routing and better grease pivot pins. If a standard carrier is what you are using, then you know that sometimes a low-profile vehicle can be a challenge to load. Even so, some companies prefer the standard carrier due to the nature of their business. There are still standard models available as the technology from the low-clearance models is being incorporated into the standard versions, reducing loading angles which would not necessarily require a special chassis. The newer versions of standard carriers have taken some of the bed angles down from 11 degrees. This is not to say that a comparison when purchasing a new truck is not needed. As the angle of the bed is reduced, the easier it becomes to skate vehicles as well. The lower angle helps with this transition so even the standard carrier might be your option. Sometimes the manufacturer will build a unit that is very versatile and becomes the base for the industry, Work the non-traffic side - Stay Safe!

which is the direction the newer low-clearance models are going and becoming the industry standard. For instance, at a recent test in Detroit for Chevrolet, Century’s LCG carrier deck sufficiently reduced the angle so that loading a new 2023 model (as low or lower than the new Corvette) required very minimal cribbing to clear. Although it was only an inch or so clearance, it did clear and the exhaust made it as well. In marked contrast, using a standard carrier would have required about 5.5 inches of cribbing to reduce that load angle. The unique characteristics of our business can make it difficult to predict what or where the next call will come from. But having a unit that can be a little more versatile could mean keeping a call versus losing it to a competitor. Low-clearance models are here to stay and will likely become the industry standard in the future.

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AmericanTowman.com | November 2021 • 27