Forklifts vs Electric Tugs: Why Are Electric Tugs Better?

Here at Tractive Power, we’re often tasked with creating alternative solutions to existing manual handling and health and safety issues. In a large proportion of these projects, our electric tugs alleviate the responsibilities of forklifts. This can be for a variety of reasons, with the electric tug boasting a wide breadth of benefits. However, in order to explore this in more depth, we’ll be comparing the two in our latest blog.

What are Electric Tugs?

Whereas you’re probably familiar with a forklift, you may not have encountered an electric tug in the past. Our electric vehicles are an excellent and versatile solution to manual handling and health and safety issues in the workplace. Our electric tugs are battery powered, only require one person to operate and are capable of pushing, pulling and maneuvering loads of up to 50 tonnes.

Our Tractive range has been put to use across industries as diverse as 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.

What Benefits Do Electric Tugs Have Over Forklift Trucks?

In our years of experience, we have encountered many occasions where electric tugs have come out on top over forklift trucks. To go into a few in more detail, we’ve made a list of what we see to be the key benefits for most companies:

  1. Versatility
  2. Boost Productivity
  3. Improve Health and Safety
  4. Navigate Through Small Spaces
  5. Operator License Not Necessary

1. Versatility
The best place to start would be with something that we’ve already touched on. 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 leaders Arla with stainless steel versions of our products.

2. Boost 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.

3. Improve Health and Safety
We’ve often been tasked with projects that eliminate the need for bulky forklift trucks in pedestrian areas. This will be explored in more depth later on in our UTC case study. 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.

4. Navigate in Small Spaces
Depending on your surroundings, you may often need to maneuver through tight spaces. Forklift trucks can often struggle with such precision, finding it difficult to operate in such environments. This isn’t a problem with our electric tugs as their compact nature and high manoeuvrability make the hardest looking jobs the easiest.

5. Operator License Not Necessary
The last benefit that we’ll touch on today is the fact that unlike forklifts, our electric tugs don’t require an operator license. Instead, we just recommend taking part in our full operator training upon delivery which is much less time consuming than pursuing a forklift operating license. This 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.

Replacing Forklift Trucks in the Aerospace Industry

As we touched on before, we have worked with companies before to replace the need for huge forklift trucks in pedestrian areas. One of our most notable examples of this was during our collaboration with aerospace company UTC. In 2013, we were tasked with providing a way to move their engines from the factory entrance to the required destination. In order to eliminate the need for huge forklifts and safeguard UTC’s staff, Tractive Power designed and manufactured a bespoke skate system that could be used to mount the engine’s trolley.

Thanks to this innovation from our in-house design team, the mounting of the engines now takes place outside the production area before the Tractive unit tows the engine safely to the desired work areas.

Book a Free Consultation Today

If you’re interested in reaping the benefits of an electric tug, you can book a free consultation today. Alternatively, if you have any questions, please contact us. Our experienced and friendly team will be happy to assist you with any queries you may have.

Full specifications of each of our products can be found on our website. However, if you feel like you need something more specific to solve your manual handling problems, our in-house design team will be happy to take on any new challenge. Having already innovated and engineered solutions for a wide variety of industries, such as the engine skates, they are well equipped to design a bespoke solution for your business. Operating out of the UK, our products are also sold through multiple sales distributors in Australia, Brazil, Ireland, Singapore, Switzerland and Turkey.