Time to Get a Yard Truck?

Save Your Money and Their Back: Get a Yard Truck.

It may be time to get a yard truck.

If you’re moving ten or more trailers around your facility daily, your drivers are literally feeling the pain, and it’s probably time to think about buying a yard truck to help.

Yard trucks (also called terminal tractors, yard mules, yard spotters, yard dog trucks, yard goats, yard jockeys or switcher trucks) are semi-tractors that move trailers around throughout the yard.

Designed with safety measures, they reduce driver injuries and cut worker’s comp claims.

In this article, we’ll discuss:

  1. Are road trucks in the yard causing injury to your drivers?
  2. How using yard trucks ensure driver safety and eliminate hazards in the yard
  3. Can yard trucks increase efficiency and productivity?

Common injuries truck drivers experience can be avoided by using an Ottawa Yard Truck.

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  • Cranking the Landing Gear: The repetitive motion of having to crank the landing dollies will often cause injury to the elbow, wrist, and shoulder. These injuries are common with drivers who move trailers in a truck yard.
  • Disengaging the King Pin: Elbow, wrist, and shoulder injuries are common with truckers from disengaging the fifth wheel pin.
  • Frequent Climbing and Jumping: Using a standard truck to move trailers in a yard requires constant climbing in and out of the cab to crank and connect or disconnect the lines. Using a Yard Truck allows the driver to stay on the platform to connect and disconnect lines.

How Ottawa Yard Trucks increase driver safety

Fleet managers know turnover is costly and one less disability claim could pay for a yard truck.  Better working conditions including using the right truck for the job encourages drivers to stay with your company, reduces turnover, improves morale and increases productivity.

Here are three ways an Ottawa Yard Truck can help minimize driver injuries.


  1. Eliminates Jumpers Knee: Jumping out of the cab of a truck onto the ground to connect and disconnect lines is a thing of the past. With a yard truck, the driver never sets foot on the ground. The rear sliding door allows him to exit the cab directly onto the platform for electrical hookup and airline connections.
  2. No more risk of slipping out of the cab and busting an elbow, rotator cuff or wrist.
  3. Cranking Landing Gear is also a distant memory: Because these vehicles accommodate a hydraulic lifting fifth wheel, the operator can lower trailers and disengage the fifth wheel without getting out of the cab or cranking the landing gear.

How Yard Trucks increase yard productivity

Yard Trucks are explicitly designed for the task of moving trailers within freight yards with ease and efficiency, requiring far less time to operate than a typical semi-truck.

Four ways Ottawa trucks help speed up operations:

  1. In the time it takes a typical semi-truck to drop off one trailer, which is around six minutes and twenty-seven seconds, an Ottawa Yard Truck will have already moved three.
  2. A tight turning radius, short wheelbase, and solid mounted rear axle makes backing up, turning and moving forward a breeze with these simple-to-drive, and highly maneuverable off-road trucks.
  3. The 360-degree view reduces blind spots for yard dogs by ensuring maximum visibility in all directions. Mirrors also provide views of the trailer’s side and rear which helps with accurate placement and accident reduction.
  4. Yard drivers sit offside the engine in a cab surrounded by 12-gauge steel walls which protect him from dangerous working environments as he backs up, engages, and moves trailers.
    How to find the best terminal truck for your operation

Used Ottawa trucks last more than 20 years, and smaller operations can save money and thrive with used equipment.

Be sure your terminal truck is fully serviced to ensure all operating systems are working correctly.  Fortunately, Utility Keystone Trailer Sales performs a multi-point inspection to ensure the safety, reliability, and performance of your Ottawa Truck.

Now that we got you thinking call 717-205-8360 or send us a message at Utility Keystone Trailer Sales to learn more about how Ottawa yard trucks can work for you.