Mules. Yard tractors. Yard dogs. Switchers. Shunters. Yard goats.
Whatever nickname you give it, terminal tractors have been moving semi-trailers in freight distribution yards since 1958. And Kalmar Ottawa, originally Ottawa Steel Products, credits itself as the original inventor of the terminal tractor.
Lastweek, Kalmar Ottawa celebrated the sale of its 60,000th terminal tractor, a T2 model to Averitt Express in Cookeville, TN.
According to the company, the milestone comes three years after it hit the 50,000 mark. Besides being the original manufacturer of terminal tractors, Kalmar Ottawa said it was the first to offer machines with an automatic transmission, rear door entry, integral air conditioning units, power cab tilt, and ABS brake systems. The company also offers tractors powered by alternative fuels, such as compressed natural gas and liquid natural gas.
Averitt Express, a freight transportation and supply chain management company, operates more than 4,000 tractors and 12,000-plus trailers in its LTL business.
“The reliability and solid construction made the T2 an obvious choice for us,” said Gary Sasser, Averitt president. “Purchasing the 60,000th terminal tractor made by Kalmar Ottawa is a special honor. We know that quality and specifications are things we count on for many years to come.”
Kalmar Ottawa celebrated its milestone with a ceremony at its factory in Ottawa, KS. Assembly workers, research and development teams, engineering, sales and management team members will gather for an awards presentation and ceremony at the facility.
“Our people are like family,” said Dave Wood, vice president of sales and marketing for Kalmar Ottawa. “Many have been with us over several generations and provide the heart and soul of this place. Each and every employee takes special pride in the job they do, and I think the result is evident in the exacting detail and quality of our vehicles. We are committed to building the very best terminal tractor in the world for our customers.”
Kalmar Ottawa has been located in Ottawa, KS, for more than 70 years. The main plant, which the company just renovated, is approximately 130,000 sq. ft. And the more than 300 employees who work at Kalmar Ottawa support its yard tractor business, the company said.