Vehicle Recovery - Recovery Equipment

Recovery Equipment

Modern recovery equipment is extremely sophisticated and manufactured in quantity throughout the world. However up until the mid-seventies a large proportion of the equipment in use was homemade, often just consisting of a ridged jib and a simple block and tackle. After both World Wars, a number of army surplus vehicles were purchased cheaply by operators and converted to civilian use. This was especially true for recovering trucks and other commercial vehicles.

In 1918, Ernest Holmes of Chattanooga, Tennessee patented the first American commercially successful vehicle recovery crane, and its modern descendants have changed little since. Around the same time, recovery cranes were being produced by Weaver Manufacturing and Manley. In Europe, Harvey Frost Ltd of Great Portland Street, London, started selling recovery cranes made by Ernest Lake, from around 1905. The first major change to these crane designs would take another fifty years and came surprisingly from Sweden. Olaf Ekengard designed and marketed under the name EKA, a crane that lifted from underneath the casualty. Nearly all lift and tow vehicles today use variations of his idea, and traditional cranes are kept for specialist work.

A typical modern recovery fleet will operate a great diversity of different types of recovery and support vehicles. This will include basic service vans, mobile workshops, lift and tow vehicles often called tow trucks, transporters and trailers. It is not uncommon for them to also operate mobile cranes, road going fork lifts, articulated tractor units and incident support vehicles.

In some locations they may also operate off-road vehicles and even boats. All will have specialised vehicle body styles, to best achieve the job they were designed to do.

The types of recovery they can achieve can be divided into five main areas:

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Famous quotes containing the words recovery and/or equipment:

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    Anton Pavlovich Chekhov (1860–1904)

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