Electric Tow Tug VS Forklifts

The difference between forklifts and electric tow tugs

Manoeuvrability and mobility are two of the most important aspects of material handling requirements, which many businesses struggle with. In this article, we are going to look at what are the differences between traditional forklifts and electric tow tugs, and find out which you should choose.

What are forklifts? 

Most likely, you are already very familiar with the traditional forklift, also known as a lift truck, fork truck and forklift truck. Forklifts are powered industrial trucks used to lift and move materials over short distances, and they come with both benefits and drawbacks. Throughout time they’ve become an indispensable piece of equipment in manufacturing and warehousing, however, they are not the safest way when it comes to handling every load. 

Forklifts are available in various sizes and load capacities (mostly between 1 and 5 tonnes), and they allow the operator to control the carriage to raise and lower its forks (also known as blades or tines). Operating such a machine requires training and successfully acquiring a license, and it can be quite challenging and costly at times. Forklifts can be powered by a battery or an internal combustion engine, and they’re widely used in construction, warehouses, transportation, recycling yards and dockyards for moving palleted loads. 

What are pedestrian electric tow tugs?

Pedestrian tow tugs are the most cost-effective solution in safely moving heavy loads (from 250kg up to 20.000kg) over distance, as well as moving in limited spaces. They are highly versatile and can be easily multi-purposed no matter the problems a business faces. Either by moving raw materials or distributing products and items, electric tow tugs can drastically simplify the entire process. They are widely used in industries such as: 

  • Food & Beverage 
  • Boatbuilding 
  • Cable and wire manufacturing 
  • Construction and mining 
  • Paper production 
  • Engine, pump & generator manufacturing 
  • Healthcare 
  • Retail & Logistics 
  • Warehouse & Storage 
  • …and more.

Our electric tow tug’s battery is maintenance-free and designed to give longer run times and coupling it onto the desired load is very easy and secure with our in-house designed couplings. Our MotorMover electric tugs allow effortless connection with any existing transport system such as trailers, trolleys, cages and jigs, and they are environmentally friendly as well, as they run on rechargeable batteries, without giving off any fumes. When used outdoors, electric tow tugs offset and even replace combustion engines or forklifts, being just one of the reasons why tow tugs are so great. 

Reason to choose electric tow tugs instead of forklifts

There are a lot of reasons why your business should choose electric tow tugs instead of forklifts, and let us tell you why! 

Electric Tow Tugs vs Forklifts

1. No requirement for an operator’s licence

Training for electric tow tugs is competency-based and is performed at the point of installation, typically taking no more than half a day. In this situation, all your key staff can be easily trained, and working sites can appoint ‘lead trainers’ to allow for in-house training for staff churn. 

2. You don’t have to lift the load 

Unlike a forklift truck or crane, an electric tow tug’s load stays on the ground. This dramatically reduces all sorts of risks, making the entire operation far safer. Besides, there is no risk of damaging goods from dropping or slipping, which would be reducing stock right off.

3. Good all-round visibility

Electric tow tugs have a compact footprint, therefore, the operator can see over the top of the tug without obstruction, reducing blind spots when in operation. When it comes to forklifts, visibility can become a challenging aspect, as operating a forklift is a far more complicated process. 

However, for both machines, drivers must have excellent judgement and fine motor skills to avoid damaging the equipment and to perform a smooth loading and uploading process. 

4. Compact design 

Electric tow tugs are very easy to store, easy to charge and easy to get close to the load. A compact design allows for easy storage on-site, and charging is performed from a household 13amp socket. Its small footprint also allows working in confined spaces, where a forklift truck couldn’t even fit into!

5. Reduced maintenance costs

With less complexity than a forklift truck, ongoing maintenance and servicing costs are significantly reduced when using electric tow tugs. Also, the service downtime is kept to a minimum to limit disruption, and the likelihood of accidents is also lower. 

6. Increased flexibility and productivity 

On-time sensitive lines, a machine can easily be swapped out in the event of a failure. Electric tugs are powerful machines that can tow heavy loads and heavy amounts of products throughout your workspace quicker than forklifts can. They can fit in narrow aisles and around tight corners, being able to carry heavy loads to their intended destinations way faster. 

Bonus? Electric tow tugs can deliver with little to no damage as they are less likely to bump into shelves in warehouses, or any other equipment in its way. 

We also have a whole blog on How to improve production line efficiency, so make sure to check it out!

7. Reduced downtime

Electric tow tugs have minimal service requirements, flexibility in the event of an issue, reliable, proven design and no need to wait for a licensed operator – all of these add to reducing downtime!

Are you not convinced yet? No worries! For more information on how our MotorMover can help your business, contact our friendly team today! Even better, simply give us a call on 0116 232 8799 as we are always here to provide you with any advice you need.