TAMPA, Fla. — Autocar has unveiled a new yard tractor that has a uniquely Canadian connection.
The cab of the new Xspotter is based on one initially designed by Tor, a company better known for its mobile cranes and mining vehicles, says Eric Schwartz, Autocar’s vice-president, specialty vehicles.
But that was only the beginning. The tractor unveiled at the Technology and Maintenance Council is e-coated and includes greenhouse-like expanses of glass. “We can do a lot more with glass and less steel yet still have a durable cab,” says Schwartz. The windshield alone is 2,231 square inches in size, compared to competitive designs with 1,535 square inches windshields.
Yard tractors can hook up to a trailer four times faster than a traditional tractor, largely thanks to an opening facing the back of the cab and a powered fifth wheel that can lift a trailer without cranking up the landing gear.
Access to this particular cab is designed to be that much easier with a 72-inch-high roof and rear door that is 24 inches wide.
A wide-track front axle has been included to tighten the turning radius, building on Autocar’s experience with refuse trucks. (It has about 35 per cent of that market.) And the muffler has been mounted in the frame to protect it and the valuable Diesel Particulate Filters from abuse.
Power comes in the form of Cummins diesel engines offering between 160 and 220 hp, with the most popular designs expected to offer 160 to 180 hp and delivering between 540 and 620 lb-ft of torque. Ports dealing with shipping containers may opt for the heavier power options.
Power can also come in the form of LNG engines or lithium ion battery packs from Balqon Corporation.
The North American market for yard tractors consists of about 4,000 vehicles a year.
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