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The Tow Truck (also spelt Towtruck) is, as implied, a name for a series of hook-and-chain tow trucks featured in Grand Theft Auto 2, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, The Lost and Damned and Grand Theft Auto V. It is manufactured by Vapid in the HD Universe.

Design

Grand Theft Auto 2

The Tow Truck debuted in Grand Theft Auto 2 as a towing vehicle based on the chassis of a Chevrolet COE, and a cab design similar to certain large trucks in the game (including the Van, Ice Cream Van, Hot Dog Van and the G4 Bank Van); the vehicle is also available with yellow body color only. The vehicle also lacks any towing ability, unlike the Truck Cab and Truck Cab SX. It is only in Multiplayer, so most people who have GTA 2 have never driven it.

Grand Theft Auto San Andreas

In Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, the tow truck resembles a 3rd generation Chevy C/K. It is useful for stealing locked cars or cars that the player desires and putting them in property garages that CJ owns and keeping them and thus modifying them for performance when desired or for show, or for when CJ gathers GSF members and engage in a turf war.

The Lost and Damned

The Vapid Towtruck in The Lost and Damned shares its chassis with the Slamvan, which resembles a Chevrolet C3100 tow truck, but looks like a 1940-1950 Ford F-100. However, the headlights and grille look like they are from a 1975-'79 Ford Econoline van, and the windshield and door tops appear to be from a 1980's Ford F-Series. Like most vehicles in the game, the Towtruck does not feature reversing lights.

The Towtruck is mostly comparable to the Slamvan in terms of design, having almost the same front and cab, with some alterations in the headlights, the grille and the front bumper.

The vehicle can only be found in a beater condition, with rusty bodywork and faded "Native Engines" logos on its doors. Like the "beater" variants of the Emperor, Sabre, and Vigero, the Towtruck features a distorted horn. Like GTA 2, the Towtruck cannot be used to tow vehicles.

Grand Theft Auto V

The Tow Truck returns for Grand Theft Auto V. The vehicle looks the same as it did in TLAD. It always spawns in its beater form, with rusty paintjob and slightly dilapidated bodywork. This Tow Truck is capable of being customized in Los Santos Customs like any other vehicle, as well as capable of being stored in any garage owned by the player. It is capable of lifting and towing any vehicle it hooks to, including transport trucks and attached trailers, although these will require all available engine upgrades and a flat surface to make any progress with large vehicles. It is also capable of creating a chain and staying attached to other vehicles even if the player is not in it, meaning they can create large chains of tow trucks strung together without them de-spawning. These trucks can be found spawning in Paleto Bay coming in off the northern section of the highway, or in tow. For the first time in the series, the amber lights on the Towtruck's roof can be activated by tapping the horn button.

The second variant is the Large Tow Truck, which is larger than the regular Towtruck and has a more modern appearance. The Large Tow Truck is significantly less common than the regular Towtruck. It shares its name with the normal Tow Truck.

Current Design Gallery


Version History Gallery

Performance

Grand Theft Auto 2

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Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

Despite being a tow truck, the Tow Truck in GTA San Andreas is very fast, but has a tad understeer. It is perfect for off-road, because of its soft suspensions, great grip, and powerful V8 engine. It is also a durable vehicle, and can even survive a collision with a Rhino, which normally destroys weaker vehicles. This can be especially useful during the Los Santos Riots, as it can take a large number of bullets and survive close up explosions. It has similar handling to the Sadler, but has a stronger engine and higher top speed. Its overall performance is tied that of the Yosemite.

The Lost and Damned

The HD Universe rendition of the Towtruck is considerably inferior in performance, possessing average acceleration (owed largely to its light weight) and top speed, but possesses poor steering which requires the aid of brakes to corner sharply. Its rear wheel drive configuration also results in the Towtruck suffering from minor sliding after tight turns.

For a poor performance vehicle, it is powered by a decent V8 engine with four double barrel carburetors, similar to that of the Slamvan.

TLAD Overview

Acceleration
(0 - 60mph / 0 - 100km/h)
Top Speed
(mph / km/h)
Engine Details
(Layout/Type/Decal Detail)
Drivetrain
(AWD / FWD / RWD)
Gears
(Number + Type)
Mass
(Kg / lb)

n/a

Top Speed (Handling.dat)
n/a
Top Speed (Tested)
n/a

FR SOHC V8 w/ 4 Double Barrel Carburetors (In-game model)

Drivetrain (Handling.dat)
n/a
Drivetrain (Tested)
RWD

Gears (Handling.dat)
n/a
Gears (Tested)
5

n/a


Grand Theft Auto V

The Tow Truck in GTA V returns bad, if not worse, performing. Its traction has been dramatically reduced, so much so, that the lack of power from its V8 engine causes little-to-no wheel-spin when holding the brake and accelerator, or driving against a wall. This significant power reduction makes its acceleration rate incredibly slow, and its top speed has been majorly effected by this reduction. Handling wise, the vehicle has a short turning radius, meaning it is incapable of turning sharp corners without a risk of oversteer, however, the slow speed usually makes this impossible.

GTA V Overview

Source Acceleration
(0 - 60mph / 0 - 100km/h)
Top Speed
(mph / km/h)
Engine Details
(Cubic Capacity/Layout/Type)
Drivetrain
(AWD / FWD / RWD)
Gearbox
Number + Type
Mass
(Kg / lb)

Defined/Claimed
(i.e. Game data definitions, or claimed in-game.) (Claimed Top Speeds)

n/a 100 / 161 (handling.dat)

n/a

RWD (handling.dat)

4 (handling.dat)

5000 / 11023 (handling.dat)

Observed/Tested
(i.e. recorded/tested using in-game data.) (Observed Top Speeds & Acceleration Times)

n/a n/a

FR SOHC V8 w/ 4 Double Barrel Carburetors (In-game model)

RWD

4

Mass cannot be observed.


Modifications

Grand Theft Auto V

  • Despite sharing the same name with the Large Tow Truck in-game, these mods are unavailable for that vehicle.
Type Upgrade Cost (Story) Cost (Online)
Armor Armor Upgrade 20% $500 $4,500
Armor Upgrade 40% $1,250 $7,500
Armor Upgrade 60% $2,000 $12,000
Armor Upgrade 80% $3,500 $21,000
Armor Upgrade 100% $5,000 $30,000
Brakes Street Brakes $2,000 $4,000
Sport Brakes $2,700 $5,400
Race Brakes $3,500 $7,000
Engine EMS Upgrade, Level 1 $900 $1,800
EMS Upgrade, Level 2 $1,250 $2,500
EMS Upgrade, Level 3 $1,800 $3,600
EMS Upgrade, Level 4 $3,350 $6,700
Lights Xenon Lights $300 $3,000
- -
Loss/Theft Prevention Tracker N/A $2,000
Full Coverage N/A $
Respray - -
Sell Sell Vehicle N/A $
Suspension Lowered Suspension $500 $1,000
Street Suspension $1,000 $2,000
Sport Suspension $1,700 $3,400
Competition Suspension $2,200 $4,400
Transmission Street Transmission $2,950 $5,900
Sports Transmission $3,250 $6,500
Race Transmission $4,000 $8,000
Turbo Turbo Tuning $2,500 $30,000
Wheels - -
Windows Light Smoke $200 $1,500
Dark Smoke $450 $3,500
Limo $700 $5,000

Image Gallery

Prominent Appearances in Missions

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

Locations

Grand Theft Auto 2

  • The vehicle is only available in the game's multiplayer modes, as it cannot be found in any districts in Anywhere City or any single-player missions.

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

The Lost and Damned

Grand Theft Auto V

  • Spawns outside Beeker's Garage in Paleto Bay. It can sometimes be found with a unique black and green colour scheme.
  • Can also be spotted on highways
  • Sometimes spawns on the beach down the road from the Sandy Shores Tattoo Parlor next to Marina Drive, though a Rat-Loader may be found instead. 

 Glitches

  • On the PC, Xbox, and Mobile versions of GTA San Andreas, the towing cable and hook may sometimes disappear from the towing arm, especially when losing a towed car due to high speed and sharp turning. It will still be capable of towing vehicles without a visible hook, though.
  • In GTA San Andreas, towing a Dozer and turning the Tow Truck sharply in any direction will throw the two vehicles in opposite directions with great force. Also, if towing a Packer with some vehicles on its back, the vehicles may sometimes be thrown into the air with great force, and the Packer may catch on fire and explode. Similar glitches may also occur if towing a line of multiple Tow Trucks. The same applies to the Tractor.
  • In GTA V, towing a vehicle and storing the Tow Truck in the protagonist's personal garage will cause the vehicle being towed to enter the garage with the Tow Truck. However, the vehicle will remain attached to the Towtruck and may damage other vehicles in the garage.
  • The Towtruck could originally be obtained in GTA Online via the use of a glitch, but this has now been patched.
  • Using Franklin's special ability whilst towing a vehicle will cause it to glitch, resulting the vehicle flinging from the hook when turning sharply. 

Trivia

TowTruck-GTA SA-Daisychain

Three daisy-chained Tow Trucks, with the third towing a Hydra.

  • In GTA San Andreas, it is possible to daisy-chain multiple Tow Trucks together and create long, millipede-like trains of connected vehicles. However, these chains become considerably more unstable the longer they become.
  • In GTA San Andreas, the Tow Truck can tow aircraft as heavy as the Nevada.
  • Oddly, in GTA San Andreas, the Tow Truck shares the same horn with the Super GT.
  • The Towtruck in GTA V and TLAD shares its truck bed with the Bobcat but with a different bumper and tail lights and modified bed sides. This is a reference to the Chevrolet stepside trucks (which the Bobcat in GTA IV is based on) which kept the same basic bed design well into the 80s.
  • Unlike most vehicles, if a Clown horn is installed on the Tow Truck in GTA V and the player activates the horn, it will repeat the horn until the button is released.
  • In GTA V in the custom shops the tow truck does not demonstrate any horns after the clown one.
  • In GTA V, if you tow a car along muddy roads, the Towtruck will become dirty, but the vehicle that is being towed will remain clean.
  • In GTA V player can use a Towtruck to steal parked vehicles without getting a wanted level. Just pick up the desired car, tow it to a quiet place, unhook the car and then enter it and drive it away. It is an ideal way to steal a police car.

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