If you've ever parked your car in a tow-away zone just for a second, only to come back and find it gone, you may wonder how the traffic cops got it so fast. In Europe, they use a tow truck with a crane attached to simply pluck your car away.
EU-based Opponauts are probably very familiar with the speed and efficiency with which illegally parked cars are removed from the busy CBD's of the EU's largest cities. The rest of us might watch in horror as someone's car is literally disappeared in front of us in less than 60 seconds.
In June, while on a barge tour across the EU, I witnessed these guys in action just off of Stephansplatz in Vienna's CBD hauling away an illegally parked Peugeot 207 cabrio... In less time than it took for the tow truck operator to finish his cigarette, the car was rigged, lifted onto the bed of the truck, and they rolled away (I assume they tied down the car when they left the congested street, or maybe not). Bingo Bango. Wham bam, sorry about your luck, ma'am...
Has anyone seen similar trucks in use here in the US ? I imagine it would be tough to lift/move our generally larger/heavier cars in the US, but in at least two videos (below) these trucks lift an S-Class and a Volvo Wagon. Impressive.
Wheel hooks on:
Initial lift complete:
Swing the car over the bed:
Set 'er down, retract the outrigger, and roll away:
I shot stills of this madness, but there are several video examples on youtube:S-Class in Vienna:
Volvo Wagon in Prague:
VW Golf Plus [EDITED: thx eagle eyed commenters] Hatch in Paris: