Toyota launches electric and diesel tow tractor product line for high-cycle operations

Toyota Material Handling, U.S.A., Inc. launches its electric and diesel tow tractor product line, designed to meet a growing demand within automotive assembly plants and general warehousing industries. The Toyota electric tow tractors, available in 3,300- and 4,000-pound drawbar pull capacities, are intended for ground support equipment operations where air quality or meeting government fleet average requirements are a factor. The diesel tow tractors, in 4,400- and 5,500-pound drawbar pull capacities, are designed to meet the needs of material handling requirements that call for long runs and high-cycle operations. 

Toyota’s new electric tow tractors feature an 80-volt AC drive system that provides multiple benefits, including quicker acceleration, higher top speeds and an extended peak operating time. An AC drive motor eliminates the need for motor brushes, a commutator and a directional contractor. Toyota’s Controller Area Network communication technology offers quicker, more reliable control from the operator to the drive motor with fewer components. The electric tow tractor line boasts MOSFET controller technology, which offers excellent acceleration and top travel speeds — loaded or unloaded — as well as smooth speed control. A power-keep function allows the electric models to maintain their battery charge longer than standard DC-powered tow tractors, increasing productivity. Three forms of regeneration have been built into the design of the electric tow tractors to recover energy for extended battery performance: an accelerator release system (coasting); a shift directional lever from the forward to reverse operations (plug braking) and a brake pedal depression system. To prevent unnecessary battery drain, an automatic shut-off feature turns the vehicle off after 30 minutes of idle time. An emergency battery-disconnect lever has been strategically placed to allow the operator to easily disconnect the battery while sitting in the operator’s seat.

An ergonomic layout of the operator’s compartment offers enhanced visibility of the meters and the gauges. A back-lit, liquid-crystal multifunction digital display monitor provides the operator with access to a broad range of programmable functions, including  password-protected performance parameters, a time and date feature, parking brake and battery capacity indicators and a brake fluid and overheating warning system. The strategically placed battery compartment in the electric series is situated low inside the chassis to allow increased rearward visibility to the tow hitch. Toyota’s hydraulic power steering system increases operator comfort by preventing shocks and vibration from being transmitted from the ground to the steering wheel. In order to streamline work operations, a single-pin drawbar quick-release hitch is standard and enables the operator to release carts without having to leave the seat, further increasing productivity. Other hitch options are available to meet specific application requirements. Toyota’s electric tow tractors offer a tight turning radius industrial front axle, making them ideal for operation around airplanes, bag rooms and other ground support equipment.

The diesel tow tractor lineup offers a powerful 2.4 liter Toyota 1DZ-II diesel engine to help overcome the challenges of hauling large loads at high speeds, over long distances and up steep ramps and grades. The diesel engine is Tier II emissions compliant and has been specially tailored in response to study statistics that indicate increases in both the amount of material being handled by towing tractors and the overall distance traveled. An optional steel cabin offers greater operator comfort and productivity for working in extreme weather conditions. A single-pin drawbar quick-release hitch is standard,enabling the operator to release carts without having to leave the seat and increasing productivity. Other hitch options are available to meet specific application requirements. Toyota tow tractors feature a unibody design with a bolt on counterweight that ensures the unit can withstand years of heavy use. Items such as inset headlights and high-mounted tail lamps for better protection and longer life are provided to keep impact damage to a minimum. The power steering cylinder and steering mechanism are mounted within the frame of the vehicle. Toyota’s diesel tow tractors offer a tight turning radius industrial front axle, providing long life to steering components.

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