Forklifts VS Electric Tugs: Which are better? 

Here at Tractive Power, we’re often challenged with creating alternative manual handling solutions. Whether these are for generic workplaces or for more specific manual handling and health and safety issues within businesses.  In a large proportion of these projects, our electric tugs alleviate the responsibilities of forklifts. 

This can be due to a number of reasons, as electric tug boasts a wide breadth of benefits. 


What are Electric Tugs? 


Whereas many warehouses, aerospace, textiles and construction industries are familiar with forklifts, electric tugs are not as commonplace. However, these battery-powered movers and pushers are an excellent and versatile solution to manual handling and health and safety issues in the workplace. Our electric tugs are chargeable and only require one person to operate them. Our tugs are capable of pushing, pulling and manoeuvring up to 50 tonnes of weight. 


What industries could benefit from electric tugs? 


Our range of powered movers and pushers have been put to use, and are continuing to be utilised in a range of industries. Including rail, automotive, aerospace, dairy, food production, warehousing, and logistics. Their versatility has also seen them used for anything from moving stock cages to transporting aerospace engines.


How are Electric Tugs better than Forklifts? 


Due to our years of experience in the industry, we have built up a wealth of knowledge regarding manual lifting and handling solutions for businesses that need to move heavy loads. We have encountered many occasions where electric tugs have come out on top, over forklifts. 


The benefits of using electric tugs include: 



The versatility of our electric tugs is second to none. Whether you’re looking to move trolleys and bins or giant aerospace engines, our Tractive range can help. Thanks to our in-house designers, we can also alter our existing models or even innovate a brand-new product to specifically suit your needs. One example of these alterations would be when our team supplied dairy leader Arla with stainless steel versions of our products.


Improve productivity 

Our electric tugs can boost productivity in a number of ways. For example, you may find that when you currently move significant weights, multiple people have to be involved. However, our electric tugs can move up to 50 tonnes with just one single user. Thanks to this, staff can be freed up to carry out other tasks elsewhere whilst the electric tug gets to work. Meaning as a business you can better utilise your employee numbers, as fewer staff are needed to complete the same tasks as before. But now they would use an electric tug to manoeuvre. 


Improve overall health and safety of employees 

Tractive Power has often been challenged with projects where there is a manual handling solution required for pedestrian areas. Where before a bulky forklift would have been used. However, by reducing the need for heavy machinery such as forklifts in these areas, the risk of injury to staff is significantly reduced. Not only that, but our electric tug range provides much better visibility when being operated.



Depending on your business set-up and layout, you may often need to manoeuvre through tight spaces. Forklift trucks can often struggle with such precision. As they find it difficult to operate in such environments. This isn’t a problem with our electric tugs as their compact nature and high maneuverability make the hardest-looking jobs the easiest.


Operator licenses aren’t necessary for electric tugs 

To be able to operate an electric tug, the user isn’t required to have an operator license. Unlike forklifts. Rather, we recommend that when businesses invest in a Tractive Power tug, all employees take part in our full operator training when the products are delivered. This route is much less time-consuming than and saves money when compared to paying for staff to be put through forklift operator license training. This training will ensure that all of your employees that are likely to use the tug will be competent operators with a good knowledge of how the product works.


Single Operator 

Electric tugs can be used by just one operator. This reduces the need for additional staff and allows workers to be redeployed to other areas of the business. This can help to boost productivity and improve efficiency, saving businesses both time and money.



Our electric tugs are environmentally friendly as they produce zero emissions. Plus, they produce zero noise pollution, which makes them ideal for use in a range of indoor business environments. Especially for those companies that have strict emissions regulations. 


Ideal for small-scale businesses 

Electric tugs are a great choice for businesses with limited floor space. Unlike forklift trucks, which require a significant amount of space to operate safely, electric tugs are compact and highly manoeuvrable, allowing them to navigate through small spaces with ease. This makes them an ideal solution for businesses that need to move heavy loads in tight or confined areas, such as warehouses or production facilities.


Bespoke options 

At Tractive Power, we have a wide range of electric tugs to suit different applications. From moving small loads to transporting heavy machinery. Our in-house design team can also modify our existing models or create bespoke solutions to meet the specific needs of our customers.


Replacing forklift trucks with electric tugs in the Aerospace industry


Tractive Power has worked with many companies to replace their bulky forklift without agile and versatile electric tugs. Especially in pedestrian areas. One of our most notable collaborations was with aerospace company UTC, which required a solution to move engines from the factory entrance to the required destination without the need for bulky forklift trucks. Tractive Power designed and manufactured a bespoke skate system that could be used to mount the engine’s trolley, eliminating the need for large machinery in pedestrian areas and improving the safety of UTC’s staff.


Forklifts VS Electric Tugs 


Electric tugs offer a wide range of benefits when compared with forklift trucks. These include versatility, improved productivity, better health and safety, ease of use, and being compact in size. They are also environmentally friendly and suitable for use in a variety of industries, including rail, automotive, aerospace, dairy, food production, warehousing, and logistics. If you’re interested in finding out more about how electric tugs can benefit your business, contact Tractive Power today to book a free consultation with our experienced and friendly team. Call us on 01538 360372, or fill in our contact form.