Towing Glossary

 Unless you’re in the industry, towing terminology can be a little confusing. But don’t worry if you don’t know your hitch from your dolly or your trailer weight from your payload. We’re here to make things a little clearer.

 To help you makes some sense of the jargon, SC Pro Tow and their network of licensed affiliates has put together this glossary of towing terms.

Full Towing Glossary


A fastening device that connects the trailer / towing load to the hitch ball on the towing vehicle.


A metal frame on wheels that can be towed behind a car, van or truck. Designed to carry a disabled vehicle off the ground.

 Flatbed Tow Truck

A specialist tow truck that carries its load on a flatbed off the ground. Ideal for safe and secure transportation of vehicles.

 Gooseneck Hitch

A Class V hitch that is mounted in the bed of a pickup truck to attach to a trailer for towing.

 Hitch (or Trailer Hitch)

A fastening used to connect a car or truck to a trailer or other vehicle. Different class hitches are required for different weights as follows: Class I (up to 1,000lbs); Class II (3,500lbs); Class III (5,000lbs); Class IV (10,000lbs).

 Hitch Ball

A ball-shaped piece of steel located on the towing vehicle. Connects to the coupler.

 Hook and Chain Tow Truck

A tow truck with a hook suspended from a chain attached to a rear-mounted crane. The hook is attached to disabled vehicles.


A slang term for any cargo carried by a truck (including towed vehicles).


Found on a trailer, this V-shaped feature is used to connect the trailer to the tow vehicle. It is placed and pinned on the hitch ball.

 Tow / Haul Mode

Found on certain automobiles, the tow / haul mode is designed to make it easier to drive when towing, improving acceleration and braking.


Any wheeled carriage designed to be pulled by an automobile. Open trailers are generally towed by cars while closed trailers are most often pulled by trucks.

 Trailer Weight

The weight of the trailer before any cargo is loaded.

(NOTE: Gross Trailer Weight includes the weight of the trailer and its cargo.)

 Wheel Lift Tow Truck

A tow truck that uses a specialist yoke to lift a vehicle’s front or rear end off the ground, connecting to its wheels, before towing.

 Simply looking for help with a tow? SC Pro Tow and their network of licensed affiliates experts provide first class towing services in and around Fort Worth, Texas. Call us on: (682) 200-2405