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Alternatives to shunters and terminal tractors in Trailer Manufacturing

Alternatives to shunters and terminal tractors in Trailer Manufacturing


How trailer manufacturers can save money and space, improve safety AND be more flexible with an electric trailer mover

For manufacturers of trailers, moving components through a production line typically involves a combination of fixed overhead cranes, forklifts and terminal tractors or tractor units. If the ultimate aim is to create a seamless, quick and efficient system, then introducing cost-effective alternative load moving methods to complement or replace existing systems can bring real benefits.

Alternatives can minimise downtime and ensure each stage of the process flows smoothly and continuously into the next.

What’s more, increased speed and better workflows don’t ever need to compromise staff safety.

When workflows aren’t as efficient as they could be, it then becomes difficult to alter production layouts or scale up to meet demand.

The good news is that by exploring different methods of moving, it is possible for trailer manufacturers to unlock greater operational efficiency and scalability – all while promoting improved staff wellbeing too.

Reducing the reliance on shunters and tractors

One common way to move the trailer once it’s on wheels between stages is to use a forklift. This isn’t always safe – especially when moving large components through production facilities.

Then there’s the additional problem of waiting around for a trained operator. It’s not an efficient way of doing things and it doesn’t exactly put lean manufacturing principles at its heart.

It’s the same problem with tractor units, terminal tractors or shunters – which also require a licensed driver. In addition, these are big, noisy and emit diesel fumes.

Manufacturers could also look at installing a conveyor system in the floor, but this is a big investment.

So, is there a different approach? One that is cheaper and opens up the possibility for greater workflow flexibility?

Electric tugs are manual handling aids that are used by a pedestrian operator to move heavy wheeled loads with very little effort needed.

Electric tugs are (by their very nature) moveable – and this freedom means that it’s far easier to adapt production layouts to changing needs.

Cost-efficient and flexible battery powered trailer movers

MasterMover’s Trailer Moving System (TMS) range of electric tugs offer other benefits too. The compact size of a tug – combined with excellent manoeuvrability – means that it’s possible to make the very most of available production space.

With full visibility right around the load, as well as superior turning capabilities, it puts the operator in full control. No license is needed. It’s simply a case of connect and go.

How does it work? A TMS attaches to a trailer’s king pin using a lockable fifth wheel attachment. This creates a secure connection that, alongside powerful braking and programmable speed control, offers a far safer method than an adapted forklift.

Another added benefit? TMS machines are electric. So diesel fumes in the main production areas are kept to a minimum. It’s a win win.

No wonder that MasterMover’s TMS machines are trusted by the world’s leading trailer manufacturers. From curtain siders to tankers, low loaders to flatbed units, it’s a great solution.

In one factory, managers were looking to reduce the reliance on forklift trucks and save time and money in what is a busy, pressured factory. Use of forklifts had previously meant high servicing costs and delay. What’s more, there was a high risk of collision when moving trailer bodies weighing up to 20,000 kg.

Today, after making the switch to a MasterMover Trailer Moving System, there are no hold-ups – and wasted time has been significantly reduced. Now a single pedestrian operator has complete all-round visibility when moving trailers, thanks to our powerful TMS that takes the strain and makes moving 11 tonnes look easy.

7 reasons to choose an electric trailer mover for your production line

Here are 7 reasons why trailer manufacturers choose MasterMover’s Trailer Moving System:

  1. Powerful trailer moving capabilities of up to 20,000 kg
  2. Cost effective when compared to other methods – achieve a higher production volume at a lower cost
  3. Highly manoeuvrable in confined spaces, allowing operators to turn a trailer within its own space
  4. Strong and robust steel manufacture, able to handle the toughest of manufacturing environments
  5. Inbuilt safety features
  6. Unlock greater flexibility and improve operational efficiency
  7. Easy to use and no licence required

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