Forklift Wrecker vs. Tow Truck Wheel Lift

If you’re looking for an on-site towing solution for your company, an option like the Forklift Wrecker might be new to you. Many companies are familiar with the traditional wheel lift, but a wheel lift installed on a forklift is a unique and affordable solution that can offer greater benefits to body shops, service garages, impound lots, and other businesses that need to move vehicles on-site. 

If you are looking for an on-site towing solution, but are new to the idea of a forklift wheel lift, this page will help outline the differences between the Forklift Wrecker and a more traditional wheel lift, so you can see at a glance which is the best solution for your company. Let’s start by taking a look at the Forklift Wrecker. 

Forklift Wrecker

The Forklift Wrecker is a little different than a traditional tow truck or wheel lift. While it functions similarly to a wheel lift, it’s attached to a forklift. This does two things: 1) significantly reduces the cost of the lift as a whole, and 2) provides a unique solution for vehicle storage lots, junkyards, and auto-shops who need to move vehicles that are often damaged or do not start. Here are some of the pros and cons of the Forklift Wrecker’s towing capabilities. 

Forklift Wrecker Pros:

  • Low Cost: The Forklift Wrecker starts at just $2,495. This makes it a fast, affordable way to move cars for any application, especially if you already have a forklift on site. 
  • Easy Installation: The Forklift Wrecker is easily installed on a compatible forklift in minutes. There are no special instructions, and there’s no need to send your forklift in to have the Forklift Wrecker attached. Simply unpack, follow the directions, and get towing. 
  • Simple to Maneuver: One of the Forklift Wrecker’s greatest benefits is that it allows you to maneuver vehicles anywhere on your lot. Since your forklift is small and compact, you can get cars in and out of spots that might be difficult for a truck to reach.  
  • Safe On-Site Towing Option: The Forklift Wrecker is the safest, low-cost option for moving vehicles on-site. You don’t have to call a tow truck every time a car comes in and won’t start, and you don’t have to worry about your employee’s safety as they try to push vehicles across the lot. 

Forklift Wrecker Cons:

  • Doesn’t Go on the Road: The clear drawback of the Forklift Wrecker is that it’s not for use on the road. This is an on-site solution only. If you’re looking for a true tow truck to pull vehicles in from off-site, the Minute Man is the better option. But, if you’re looking for an option that can improve efficiency on your lot, at a low cost, the Forklift Wrecker is for you. 
  • Limited Capabilities when Compared to a Tow Truck Wheel Lift: The Forklift Wrecker is not a full towing solution, so its capabilities are limited when compared to a full tow truck wheel lift. While it can perform most on-site light-duty towing actions, that’s where it tops out. It is not designed to tow vehicles for miles or to function as a tow truck replacement. 

Tow Truck Wheel-Lift

As you might imagine, a tow truck wheel lift is used for nearly any light-duty towing actions. We’ll be using our Minute Man XD Wheel Lift as an example. A slide-in wheel lift, the Minute Man is offered in both short and long-bed models and is installed into the bed of the truck. Here’s a look at the pros and cons of the Minute Man as a towing option. 

Minute Man Wheel Lift Pros:

  • Installed on Short or Long Bed Trucks: While the Minute Man requires more installation work than the Forklift Wrecker, it can be installed on either short or long bed trucks, which provides you with a versatile option to suit whatever your company can benefit from most. 
  • Long-Term Investment: The Minute Man is a highly-durable piece of equipment that’s designed to last. In many cases, the wheel lift outlasts the vehicle it is installed on. When that happens, you can simply reinstall the Minute Man XD on another truck of the same size. 
  • Great Maneuverability: Since the Minute Man XD wheel lift is installed on trucks that are much smaller than the traditional flat-bed tow truck, it offers your drivers significantly improved maneuverability. Easily lift and tow vehicles from tight spaces.
  • An On-the-Road Solution: Unlike the Forklift Wrecker, the Minute Man XD is designed for the road. This is the ultimate towing solution for repossession and municipal towing applications who must drive out, find, and then tow vehicles back to the lot. 

Minute Man Wheel Lift Cons:

  • Greater Upfront Cost: The Minute Man XD does cost more than the Forklift Wrecker, but it also has greater capabilities. While the Forklift Wrecker is an affordable on-site solution, the Minute Man XD is designed to be used for any light-duty towing application on the road or on your lot. It’s also important to consider the Minute Man XD’s longevity when evaluating the cost. 
  • More Involved Installation Process: Compared to the Forklift Wrecker, the Minute Man XD does take longer to install. While there is no need to modify the frame of your truck, an upgraded suspension system is recommended. 

In Conclusion: Forklift Wrecker vs. Tow Truck Wheel-Lift

A Forklift Wrecker is right for your company if you’re searching for an on-site solution that can help you get cars where they need to go in your own lot. If you’re working at a large auto-body shop or impound lot, the Forklift Wrecker is a great option, because you can move vehicles around easily, without having to search for keys or jump batteries. 

But, if you’re looking for a towing solution that can hit the road, like for a repossession company or municipal towing application, the Minute Man XD Wheel Lift is the better option. Though the upfront cost is greater, you’ll benefit from the increased capabilities, and you’re likely to recoup that investment throughout the Minute Man’s lifespan anyway. 

Whether the Forklift Wrecker or Minute Man Wheel Lift is right for you, we can help. We manufacture and install both the Forklift Wrecker and the Minuteman Wheel Lift, ensuring we can supply your fleet with all the tools they need to do their best job. For more information about either solution or to place your order, give us a call at 877-593-6959.

Legal Disclaimer: The material and information contained on this website is for general information purposes only. You should not rely upon the material or information on the website as a basis for making business, legal or other decisions.



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