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Tow Tractor

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(Redirected from Tow tractor)
Lifting and Material Handling Equipment
Sit-Down Rider Tow Tractor
For towing truck tractors, see truck tractor.

Tow tractors are materials handling vehicles commonly used to transport pallets of goods or raw materials in warehouses; they are also used in airports for transporting baggage and cargo, and to pull-out aircraft in preperation for departure.[1] Tow tractors can tow multiple trailers at the same time, forming a train.[2] Tow tractors are very similar to pallet trucks, except they don’t have front mounted forks.

Contents

[edit] How it Works/Features/Types

Tow tractors are broadly classified according to their method of propulsion; either an electric motor or an internal combustion engine.[3]

[edit] Electric Tow Tractor

Electric Tow Tractors are propelled by a DC traction motor supplied with electricity from rechargeable batteries. Electric tow tractors typically have a top speed below 20 mph. Their tow capacity typically ranges from 175lbs to 2000lbs; although it may be as high as 85,000 lbs[4]. Electric tow tractors cost 70% less to operate than comparable internal combustion models.[5] Therefore they are preferred when conditions permit their use (i.e., able to be recharged, smooth operating surface). Electric tow tractors don’t emitt exhaust fumes like internal combustion tractors, so they are preferred for indoor usage.[6]

Electric Tow Tractors are classified according to the driving position of the operator.  There are three types of electric tow tractors: the walkie, the walkie rider, and the sit-down rider.

[edit] Walkie:

A walkie requires the operator to walk alongside or infront of the tractor as it moves.[7] The operator controls the vehicle with handlebars which extend in-front or to the side of the tractor[8]. Walkies are lighter and smaller than other tow tractors, which make them easier to manoeuvre, able to turn in tighter spots, and able to ascend a higher gradient than any other electric tow tractor. They are also the cheapest variety. However since the operator has to walk with the unit, they are the slowest tow tractor and possess the greatest risk of injury.[9]

[edit] Walkie Rider:

A walkie rider is very similar to a walkie, except that it includes a platform for the operator to stand[10]. Walkie riders are more powerful than walkies. They are capable of higher top speeds, greater load capacity, and can travel longer distances. The downside of being larger is that a walkie rider needs more area to complete a turn; and can’t ascend as steep of a gradient as a walkie. [11]

[edit] Sit-Down Rider:

A sit-down rider allows the operator to sit-down while driving. These units are larger and more powerful than Walkies or Walkie Riders; allowing for greater top speeds and towing capacities, but even more limited turning radiuses and gradient climbing abilities.[12]

[edit] Internal Combustion Tow Tractor

Internal combustion tow tractors are powered by gasoline, diesel, or LP-gas (propane) engines. Gasoline is the most commonly used, with diesel used primarily for heavy-duty units. For owners intent on using LP-gas, there are conversion kits available.[13]

Internal combustion tow tractors are nearly always of the sit-down variety.[14] They are larger and more powerful than most electric tow tractors; but are also less efficient. Since internal combustion engines give off exhaust fumes, these tractors are designated for outdoor use. Smaller internal combustion tractors typically employ a power train with a friction clutch and a sliding gear mechanism, where larger units use light highway truck transmissions.[15]

[edit] Common Manufacturers

[edit] References

  1. Kulwiec, Raymond A. Materials Handling Handbook. John Wiley and Sons, Inc.: 1985.
  2. Mulcahy, David E. Materials Handling Handbook. McGraw-Hill: 1999.
  3. Kulwiec, Raymond A. Materials Handling Handbook. John Wiley and Sons, Inc.: 1985.
  4. Kulwiec, Raymond A. Materials Handling Handbook. John Wiley and Inc.: 1985.
  5. Kulwiec, Raymond A. Materials Handling Handbook. John Wiley and Inc.: 1985.
  6. Mulcahy, David E. Materials Handling Handbook. McGraw-Hill: 1999.
  7. Mulcahy, David E. Materials Handling Handbook. McGraw-Hill: 1999.
  8. Kulwiec, Raymond A. Materials Handling Handbook. John Wiley and Sons, Inc.: 1985.
  9. Mulcahy, David E. Materials Handling Handbook. McGraw-Hill: 1999.
  10. Kulwiec, Raymond A. Materials Handling Handbook. John Wiley and Sons, Inc.: 1985.
  11. Mulcahy, David E. Materials Handling Handbook. McGraw-Hill: 1999.
  12. Kulwiec, Raymond A. Materials Handling Handbook. John Wiley and Sons, Inc.: 1985.
  13. Kulwiec, Raymond A. Materials Handling Handbook. John Wiley and Sons, Inc.: 1985.
  14. Kulwiec, Raymond A. Materials Handling Handbook. John Wiley and Sons, Inc.: 1985.
  15. Kulwiec, Raymond A. Materials Handling Handbook. John Wiley and Sons, Inc.: 1985.