Material handling usually implies loads being moved on conventional pallets by electric pump trucks. An alternative to forklift rental, forkless solutions such as tow tractors can apply to an even wider range of applications.
But what is a towing tractor? These vehicles can pull one or more load carriers and provide the ideal horizontal transportation solution for delivering materials, such as pallets or items, throughout a facility and offer an efficient way to move many goods at the same time.
So what can they bring to your materials handling operation?
Efficient and lean movement of goods
Based on the proven Toyota Production System, Toyota Material Handling applies its lean approach principles to logistic processes, with the same goals – elimination of waste, maximum added value and quality. With this lean thinking everything is moved just in time, generating a smooth workflow. Tow tractors are perfect for this, transporting multiple loads in a train of carriers from station to station. Automated towing is then the next step in lean transportation, offering higher productivity with less waste and a more sustainable way of moving goods.
The right match for increased flexibility
There is a wide choice of tow tractors and carriers, allowing you to find the combination that suits your needs the best. Typical uses and applications include:
• Tow trains can move palletised and non-palletised goods – a great solution for order picking and item handling.
• With a load capacity ranging from 1 to 50 tonnes on a 3- and 4-wheeled chassis with rider-seated, stand-in and pedestrian models, both for indoor and outdoor use, tow tractors are a great solution for all your horizontal load movements in any application.
• Pedestrian tractors from the Toyota Tracto W-series are developed for pulling roll cages and trailers up to 2 tonnes to replace manual handling and improve ergonomics for the operator.
• The stand-in tractors in the N- and S-series (1 to 5 tonnes) can be used in a variety of applications such as towing and order picking for e-commerce and online orders, as well as for towing in light- to medium-duty industries and logistics applications.
A safe way of transporting goods
Tow tractors pull the goods, whether these are pallets or items. No need for forks, making this safer for people in the workplace and decreasing the risk of damage to any goods or infrastructure. Towing a train of goods also means there will be less traffic in the warehouse or production area, further increasing safety.
Less movements, less cost
Towing vehicles can move multiple loads at the same time, meaning less operators and equipment are required. This coupled with the savings you can make thanks to less damage, makes towing a great solution for reducing costs.
Supports the shift to electric
Consisting of only electric-powered vehicles, tow tractors are clean solutions that can help you move any load to the right place in the right time. Equipped with lead-acid or Li-ion batteries, with the right tow solution you’ll get the power and speed you need.
Easy to get on and off, all models are easy to operate. The larger tow tractors feel quite similar to driving a car. Comfortable seating position, good all-round view, intuitive controls, and a closed cabin option when needed, the tow range offers great comfort in any working condition.
Thanks to our long and proven experience in lean manufacturing, we know Toyota towing solutions can make a difference in how materials are handled. Benefits such as reduced human effort, increased safety and saving time and money are strong arguments to consider forkless material handling.