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    Yard Trucks & Terminal Trucks – What are they used for?

    08 Feb

    Moving trailers in commercial and industrial settings requires specialised equipment. These trailers’ weight, size, and shape will mean that yard tractors and tow tugs can be required to get the job done right. If you’re looking to move commercial loads or trailers safely and effectively, you’ll want to know which option is right for you.

    Yard tractor: A yard tractor – also known as a yard truck or terminal truck – is a real heavy hitter. Ours are rated for a gross combination weight (GCW) of up to 200 tons and a 5th wheel capacity of 36 tons, making them ideal for large trailer loads in distribution centres, container terminals, freight yards and transport companies. Yard tractors have raised cabs in which the driver sits, providing increased visibility over road trucks.

    Tow tug: Tow tugs are a smaller towing option and are generally used for towing trailers in the transport and motor industries. Tow tugs have a capacity range of between 1000-40,000kg. Tow tugs tend not to have cabs and are open, with full 360-degree visibility.

    If you’re looking for a yard truck for sale or hire or a terminal tractor for sale or hire, understanding the different options available is a great place to start. Now, let’s have a look at the specifics of using these vehicles.

    Reasons to use a Yard Tractor or Terminal Trucks

    If your workplace involves regularly moving large trailers, acquiring a heavy terminal tractor or tow tug should be a priority. We’ve broadly outlined the uses of each; now let’s look at some of the specifics of why yard tractors are so valuable.

    Larger Cargo Loads

    If you drive a three-door hatchback, you’re not going to be able to tow a caravan. The vehicle’s power is insufficient to pull the load, meaning you won’t get very far. The same is true of commercial and industrial towing, just on a much larger scale.

    When considering a yard tractor or tow tug, remember that each style of vehicle has its own cargo capacity. Our yard tractors have a 5th wheel capacity of up to 36 tons, while our tow tugs have a nominal capacity of 1000-40,000kg.

    Minimise Workplace Injuries and increase safety 

    One distinct advantage of yard trucks is the cabin. With traditional style road trucks, drivers will need to exit the vehicle, walk around the back, and attach the cargo. The cabin and platform on a yard truck means that drivers can stay in the vehicle, even when loads are being attached. There’s less time spent outside the vehicle, limiting driver exposure, while the increased line of sight from the cabin means a greater chance to avoid collisions.

    Low Maintenance Costs

    Yard tractors are built for dealing with multiple trailers every day, and the unique working environment of commercial and industrial worksites. Traditional road trucks are ideal for paved roads and streets, but are more difficult to manoeuvre in tight spaces and prone to damage in places like distribution centres and freight yards. A yard tractor or a tow tug is a much more efficient choice for the environment and will lower maintenance costs.

    How to know if a Yard Tractor is right for you?

    How do you know if you need a yard tractor? Asking yourself the following questions is a good place to start. 

    How many loads do you need to move per day?

    If your business requires moving multiple loads every day, you’ll understand the appeal of a yard tractor. The ability to accurately move trailers into tight spaces and around a potentially busy working environment can save substantial amounts of time. A road truck might be fine for one or two loads per day, but if things are constantly being moved around, a yard truck can move up to four times the amount per day.

    Are you mostly moving trailers?

    Yard tractors are built to move trailers. If you’re moving other types of loads (individual palettes, for example), you might consider a forklift instead. If trailers are a common feature on your worksite, the next step is to consider the average weight and size – this will help determine whether a yard tractor or a tow tug is appropriate.

    Is your workplace a safe environment for a Yard Truck?

    Yard tractors are often safer than road trucks, but it doesn’t mean they suit every environment. If you’re planning on moving loads long distances or driving on roads, using a road truck can often be safer. Let the requirements of your job dictate the type of vehicle that’s best (and safest) for you. 

    Our Yard Tractor features and specifications

    Let’s consider the features of our yard tractors and tow tugs:

    Yard tractor: Our yard tractor has a nominal capacity for the 5th wheel of 30,000kg, and GCW of 200 tons. It features a cab with great visibility and an inboard door for safe entry and exit. The cab and inboard door provide an easy means of viewing and accessing the rear of the vehicle without having to get out onto the ground. Our yard tractor is ideal for large and frequent towing requirements. 

    Tow tug: Our range of tow tugs have a nominal capacity of 1000-40,000kg. The range is available in both diesel and LPG fuel options. Though a smaller towing capacity than yard tractors, our tow tugs provide excellent 360-degree views, ideal for ensuring the safety of the driver and those around. Our tow tugs feature a rugged steel plate construction and heavy-duty axles.

    Enquire about a Yard Truck today!

    If you’re unsure about the right vehicle for your job, please get in touch today. Our range of yard trucks for hire is well-suited to various requirements, and our team is happy to help you find the right one. Whether your job is big or small, you’ll find the right yard tractor at Waverley Forklifts.

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