It's Tow Trucks All The Way Down (The Highway)

A tow truck towing a tow truck towing a tow truck towing a tow truck. Which raises a deeper philosophical question of just far this could go on and whether could there be an infinite regress—a never ending loop of tow trucks with no first tow truck. And also, how many tow trucks could a tow truck tow if a tow truck could tow tow trucks?

Thanks to Amanda for the picture and Julie for the tongue twister!

It’s been noted that these are technically tractor trucks rather than tow trucks. Functionally they are trucks that are towing other trucks (except, I guess, the last one) so that makes them tow trucks in a sense!

Your Thoughts?

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About Daniel Fincke

Dr. Daniel Fincke  has his PhD in philosophy from Fordham University and spent 11 years teaching in college classrooms. He wrote his dissertation on Ethics and the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. On Camels With Hammers, the careful philosophy blog he writes for a popular audience, Dan argues for atheism and develops a humanistic ethical theory he calls “Empowerment Ethics”. Dan also teaches affordable, non-matriculated, video-conferencing philosophy classes on ethics, Nietzsche, historical philosophy, and philosophy for atheists that anyone around the world can sign up for. (You can learn more about Dan’s online classes here.) Dan is an APPA  (American Philosophical Practitioners Association) certified philosophical counselor who offers philosophical advice services to help people work through the philosophical aspects of their practical problems or to work out their views on philosophical issues. (You can read examples of Dan’s advice here.) Through his blogging, his online teaching, and his philosophical advice services each, Dan specializes in helping people who have recently left a religious tradition work out their constructive answers to questions of ethics, metaphysics, the meaning of life, etc. as part of their process of radical worldview change.

  • Physicalist

    Two thoughts:

    1. Those look like tractors, not tow trucks.

    2. The mobile version of your site doesn’t work. Every page comes up 404. (I might be able to switch it to full webpage version on one of the other FTB blogs and the be able to see you, but I generally prefer the mobile format on my mobile.)

  • Madison

    Lest we forget the adjectives, “turtledove toned,” may affably augment to the alliteration.

    In Reason,

  • Madison

    Lest we forget the adjectives, “turtledove toned,” may affably augment the alliteration.

    In Reason,

  • Daniel Fincke

    1. Those look like tractors, not tow trucks.


    Sorry about the mobile problem, I’m hearing about it a lot and apparently our tech guy knows how to fix it (and how to get my pictures off my camera and onto Facebook).

  • Mike L

    No idea about the metaphysical implications of this sort of thing, but in my neck of the woods, it’s called “mating season at the truck stop.”

  • Physicalist

    Functionally they are trucks that are towing

    What? You’re a functionalist now?

  • peicurmudgeon


  • Art

    That’s how you get pickup trucks.

  • Carl Baker

    These are new trucks being delivered from the manufacturer for final setup/assembly/configuration before being put to work. Note that there’s “nothing” on the back of them and that the mud flaps and lights on the last one are set up on a piece of lumber. Clearly a temporary setup.

    Generally, the truck manufacturer just builds the “cab and chassis” with the engine and running gear and so on. The frame rails are left bare so that the company that buys the truck can set it up how they want – fifth wheel hitch or service body or tow-truck body or crane or whatever.

    So these trucks are probably on their way to the main shop for a trucking fleet operator. They’ll be outfitted with a hitch and lights and stuff so they can tow trailers or whatever they’ll be used for.

  • rutty

    This is almost certainly some form of Freudian slip, but am I the only one that is reminded of the Human Centipede?

    (I haven’t seen that. Honest)