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Terminal Tractor Rental: Your Guide for 2023

Terminal tractors are vital for the transportation of heavy loads across warehouses, distribution centers, and shipping yards. They play an important role in providing the necessary power and functionality to move containers and trailers with ease. If you’re considering a terminal tractor truck rental in 2023, it’s essential to know the factors that can make all the difference in terms of performance, safety, and cost-effectiveness.

This guide will help you make an informed decision and, together with Big Truck Rental, choose the right terminal tractor for your specific needs.

Review Terminal Tractor Specifications

When renting a terminal tractor, you need to consider these six specifications.


The engine’s power output plays a crucial role in the performance of a terminal tractor. The higher the horsepower, the more capability the tractor has to move heavy loads efficiently.

When considering horsepower, it is important to match it with the weight and size of the containers or trailers you plan to move. Higher horsepower provides better acceleration and towing capacity, allowing you to handle larger and heavier loads with ease.

Fifth-Wheel Capacity

The fifth-wheel capacity determines the maximum weight the tractor can handle when connecting to a trailer. It is the connection point between the tractor and the trailer, providing stability and distributing the weight evenly. The fifth-wheel capacity should align with the weight and size of the containers or trailers you intend to move.

Choosing a tractor with a fifth-wheel capacity that exceeds your requirements ensures safety and allows for future flexibility in handling different loads.

Axle Reductions

Axle reductions, also known as gear reductions or axle ratios, impact the tractor’s torque and pulling power. Lower axle reduction ratios provide increased torque, allowing the tractor to move heavier loads and handle challenging terrain more effectively. They are beneficial when dealing with steep inclines or rough surfaces.

On the other hand, higher axle reductions offer better fuel efficiency and smoother operation on flat surfaces. Choosing the appropriate axle reduction depends on the type of work environment and the loads you expect to move.

Axle Ratios

Axle ratios are closely related to axle reductions and determine the number of rotations the axle makes for each revolution of the tractor’s driveshaft. Different axle ratios optimize the tractor’s performance for specific applications. Lower axle ratios, such as numerically higher values (e.g., 4.11:1), provide more torque and are ideal for heavy loads and challenging terrains. Higher axle ratios, such as numerically lower values (e.g., 2.64:1), offer better fuel efficiency and are suitable for long-distance or highway driving with lighter loads.

Tire Size and Type

Tire size and type significantly impact the traction, stability, and load-carrying capacity of a terminal tractor. When selecting tire size, consider the weight and size of the containers or trailers, as well as the terrain and operating conditions. Larger tires generally offer improved traction and stability, especially when handling heavier loads or navigating uneven surfaces. Additionally, consider the tire type—whether it’s designed for highway use, off-road environments, or a combination of both.

Fuel Tank Capacity

Fuel tank capacity determines the range and operating time of the terminal tractor before refueling. The appropriate fuel tank capacity depends on the frequency and distance of your operations. A larger fuel tank capacity is advantageous for long-distance hauling or extended work shifts, as it minimizes downtime for refueling and allows for uninterrupted operations.

Conversely, smaller fuel tanks may be suitable for shorter or intermittent usage.

Off-Road/On-Road Capabilities

Most terminal tractors are designed for use within warehouse facilities, but some are suitable for on-road use. An on-road terminal tractor is specifically designed to transport trailers and containers on public roads to and from ports, rail yards, and other transportation hubs. Off-road terminal tractors often have larger tires and a higher ground clearance to navigate through uneven terrain or outdoor environments.

Custom Options

Customizing your terminal tractor can enhance productivity and safety. Features such as floodlights, motorized mirrors, and gladhand buckets can improve visibility, maneuverability, and safety. Big Truck Rental’s rental program also offers customizable options that can meet your unique needs.

Standout Autocar Terminal Tractor Features

Choosing a terminal tractor from a reputable manufacturer gives you confidence in the vehicle’s performance and that it will be less likely to experience mechanical issues or breakdowns that can lead to downtime and lost productivity.

Big Truck Rental partners with Autocar, a leading terminal tractor manufacturer. Top features of their trucks include:

  1. Cummins Engines – These engines are renowned for having completely integrated electronic controls, requiring little maintenance, and having excellent cold-starting abilities.
  2. Comfortable, User-Friendly Cab Environments – The cab environments have excellent insulation, superior noise dampening, comfortable seating, and ergonomic controls.
  3. Multiple Safety Features – Spacious windshields, large rearview mirrors, and heavy-duty bumpers are among the many safety features.

Save Money With Terminal Tractor Rentals

Buying a terminal tractor can be a significant financial commitment. At Big Truck Rental, our flexible and affordable rental programs are a popular choice for businesses looking to reduce costs and improve profitability.

Our experts can help you choose trucks for rent that match your specific needs and ensure that you get the most value from your rental while achieving your operational goals.

We hope this guide has provided you with useful information to help you make the right choice for terminal tractor rental. Contact us today for a free quote!

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