Terminal Tractors 101

What is a Terminal Tractor?

It’s simple… a Terminal Tractor is a specialty truck that is designed for fast, safe and efficient movement of semi-trailers or cargo containers.  A Terminal Tractor gives the operator the ability to “spot” trailers up to 3 or 4 times faster than a traditional truck tractor.  In addition to speed and efficiency, it can also lower your Worker’s Compensation Insurance exposure.  The operator can spot a trailer without leaving the cab platform area…that means less opportunity for the operator to sustain an injury related to moving trailers.  Terminal Tractors – or Yard Trucks as they are sometimes referred to – are available in several different configurations, depending on your company’s individual need.
They are available as follows:

  • Single Axle “Off Road”
  • Single axle DOT Certified
  • Tandem Axle DOT Certified

Terminal Tractors are known by many names…Terminal Tractor, Trailer Jockey, Yard Mule, Yard Dog, Spotter, Shifters, Hostlers, Yard Truck, Yard Spotter, Yard Jockey, Shuttle Spotter, Ro-Ro Truck, Sisu, Ottawa, Capacity, Kalmar, TICO, Shunt Truck…but no matter what you call them – we can offer ideas and suggestions as to what will best fit your particular need.

Do you really need a Terminal Tractor?

Are you moving trailers in a confined or restricted area?  Are you running a cross dock operation?  Are you working in a chemical plant or construction site?  Are you running  a  freight yard, intermodal ramp, container station, package or truck terminal, or any other type of facility where speed is of the essence?

If you answered “Yes” to any of these situations, then it will probably make sense to look at a Terminal Tractor.

What are the Benefits of Owning / Operating a Terminal Tractor?
Safety and Efficiency…but the real advantage to a Terminal Tractor is sending more money to your bottom line.  Whether it is increasing the number of trailers you can move in a day or the money saved avoiding Worker Compensation claims by providing a safe and reliable productivity tool for your truck operator, a Terminal Tractor is a smart choice for those who use them.

There are a variety of ways in which to take advantage of the savings that a Terminal Tractor
offers:

  • Rental – Only have a short term or seasonal need?  Rent a Terminal Tractor for a day, week or by the month.
  • Full Service Leasing – need a Terminal Tractor, but don’t want to own trucks?  Full Service Leasing offers flexibility on equipment and term, usually with no or low initial out of pocket investment.
  • Buy/Ownership – See the advantage of a Terminal Tracotr and want to own your own equipment?  Then purchasing a truck may be the right option for you!
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