OTTAWA, KS. Cargotec is in the midst of an anniversary party for its Kalmar terminal tractor. And while it might seem a bit odd to be celebrating a 53rd anniversary, what the company is really celebrating is the 50,000th terminal tractor unit to roll off its production line here.
Cargotec officials announced at a ceremony on Wednesday the company will have a Golden Anniversary Special Edition Kalmar terminal tractor available to dealers for order until June 30. The special edition is a version of the popular Kalmar Ottawa 4x2 unit. Special options on this model include a chrome steering wheel, aluminum wheels, stainless steel West Coast mirrors, LED roof and tail lights along with a special graphics package.
The 50,000th unit rolled off the line as part of an order for Safeway in Pleasanton, CA.
“Market leadership is not easy to achieve,” said David Wood, Cargotec’s director of terminal tractors in North America. “Our dedicated people, the quality of our products and Cargotec’s extensive dealer network has resulted in a winning formula.”
For Cargotec, releasing a product that includes more glitz, with additions like the chrome steering wheel, is a nice way to celebrate, but the fact remains the terminal tractor has the same important purpose in freight yards around the world.
“It’s a hammer,” Wood said. “For companies, this has to be the strongest tool in their fleet.”
While the golden anniversary model is the latest release for the Kalmar brand, there’s other products that have recently been released or have been in talks.
In January the company released a hydraulic hybrid drive terminal tractor for its Ottawa model. Currently the model is available for port application, but the company is working on a prototype for the distribution sector of its customer base.
There’s also work being done on a gasoline tractor that would run on a Ford V10 engine instead of the current diesel engine.
The desire for a gas model came from customer demands to help meet California Air Resources Board (CARB) standards.
“People here are focused on saying yes whenever a customer asks if something can be done,” Wood said. That applies to smaller individual request for a unit or something from a larger customer base, such as the case with the gas option.
The new creations accompany an uptick in orders for the company. The terminal tractor industry took a hit during the recession just like the rest of the trucking industry. After a slow 2009, the company saw an increase of 700 orders in 2010 for their products produced at the Kansas plant, which includes the Kalmar Ottawa 4x2 and 6x4 models.
“We are seeing more of a grassroots movement this year with some small quantities,” Wood said. “That’s a sign I believe that our industry is on its way up. The types of orders we are seeing are a good sign, they are our bread-and-butter type orders.”
Wood went on to say he was cautiously optimistic about the remainder of 2011.