What are Electric Tow Tractors?

Electric tow tractors are powered by a DC traction motor that gets electricity from rechargeable batteries. These tractors usually have a top speed that is below 20 mph, and their tow capacity ranges from 175 lbs to 2000 lbs. However, there are some models of electric tow tractors that have as high as 85000 lbs as their tow capacity.

Electric tow tractors have subtypes and they have been categorized according to the driving position of the operator: walkie, walkie rider, and sit-down rider.

Stand-in tow tractors are designed especially for order picking and horizontal transport in warehouses. These electric tow tractors have smooth acceleration that contributes to the increased productivity of workers as well as lean processes in applications.

What are Their Features?

Available options for electric tow tractors are a quick release tow hitch, a power steering option, and a front bumper. The quick release tow hitch enables the operator to be able to release the vehicle’s tow hitch without having to stand up and leave the seat. The power steering option allows for easy and effortless steering. The front bumper adds another layer of protection to the cover and drive unit.

What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Electric Tow Tractors?

When compared to internal combustion models of tow tractors, electric models cost around 70% less when in operation. Thus, there are more preferred than the other type. These tractors are designed for indoor use since they do not emit exhaust fumes. Because electric tow tractors do not produce any dangerous emissions, they are ideal for indoor spaces such as stock rooms, warehouses, and sales floors. Storage for fuel would not be needed as well.

Another advantage of using electric tow tractors is that electric tow tractors have the operating cost of about 10-15 % of an internal combustion tow tractor. These electric machines also have a longer lifespan and are more affordable in terms of maintenance.

As for the disadvantages, the cost of purchasing an electric tow tractor is higher when compared to purchasing an internal combustion model. It is also not suitable for outdoor use because of ground clearance as well as traction constraints. There is more battery consumption since batteries only last until about 8 hours. For charging the battery, these tow tractors need approximately 200 square feet of space for the charging space.

For charging the battery, these tow tractors need approximately 200 square feet of space for the charging space. The operator should constantly keep in mind that the charging area of the tow tractor should be ventilated and dry. Using batteries can have the possibility of producing sulfuric acid fumes. Lastly, the performance of the electric tow tractor downgrades as the battery comes near to a discharge of 80%.

What are their Applications?

Industries that make use of electric tow tractors are mostly those of general manufacturing, warehouses, and beverage industries. Some electric powered towing tractors are also used by airport logistics and baggage handling in aircraft industries.

Manufacturers of Electric Tow Tractors


electric tow tractor toyota

Model Number 8TB50
Load Capacity 10 000 lbs
Max Travel Speed Full Load 5.8 mph
Video on Toyota Towing Tractors: Click here


Yale Electric Tow Tractors

Model MO50T
Load Capacity 5 000 kg
Battery Capacity 24V/ 465-620 Ah
Weight 1018 kg / 1132 kg


Hyster Electric Tow Tractor

Load Capacity 10 000 lbs 15 000
Battery 24 24
Maximum Travel Speed 7.8 mph 8.4