There are several different ways of transporting non-operational vehicles from a to b. One of the safest and most versatile methods is to use a tilt tray. Here we provide some further detail on what a tilt tray is and what we use it for. We also discuss the benefits that using a tilt tray to move a vehicle can bring, as well as describe the problems that alternative towing techniques may present.
What is a tilt tray?
A tilt tray is a trailer that has a rear portion that can be dipped to reach the ground, then raised when the tow truck is moving. A tilt tray can be an integral part of a tow truck or hitched on as an alternative to a flatbed truck. The tilt tray is controlled by a hydraulic system located beneath the tray. This raises and lowers the tray. In addition, a tilt tray will also have a winch mechanism fitted at the front of the tray (behind the driver’s cab). This is used to pull a vehicle up the slope of the lowered portion of the tray (the tilted part) and onto the flat part of the tilt tray.
Once the vehicle is securely in position on the back of the tilt tray, the tilted section is raised and secured. The tow truck is then ready to be driven. At its destination, the process is reversed and the vehicle is unwound slowly, allowing the vehicle to roll down the slope onto the ground.
What are tilt trays used for?
There are several circumstances where a tilt tray is used. Some of these include:
Ideal for completely inoperable vehicles
Other forms of towing require the rear tires and axle of a vehicle to be intact. They may also require the steering mechanism to work effectively. A tilt truck can be used to lift a severely damaged vehicle onto the truck; there’s no need for specific pieces to be operational.
Suitable for heavy machinery
If you’ve got a JCB, excavator, digger, or piece of agricultural machinery that requires transport (whether it’s in operational condition or not), a tilt tray is ideal. Tilt trays can accommodate heavy and/or awkwardly shaped pieces of machinery easily and safely. Features such as the remote operation of the tilting mechanism optimise the safety of bystanders and the loading crew – an important consideration when dealing with large, potentially unstable loads.
Almost any type of load
One of the main benefits of a tilt tray is how versatile it is. Suitable for cars, trucks and motorbikes, a tilt tray can also be used to transport anything from tractors to boats. With a high weight capacity and the equipment needed to lift challenging loads safely, tilt trays are an adaptable method of transporting a wide variety of items.