Yard mules are used in commercial and agricultural applications all over the world. They offer many advantages over similar methods of moving product and stock. So, If you need to move large or heavy items around quickly, a yard mule may be just what you need.
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What is a Yard Mule?
A yard mule is a semi-tractor designed to move around heavy loads and cargo trailers. A yard mule also goes by several other names such as yard jockey, spotter truck, yard truck, yard shifter, yard bird, and holster across the US.
Yard mules are typically used in warehouses, ports, and cross-docking terminals to haul freight, just like a switcher locomotive is employed to position railcars.
It features a fifth hydraulic wheel that allows the operator to lift and move the trailers without having to exit the yard mule and crank landing gear.
An increasing number of warehouse facilities are now using yard mules to achieve better efficiency and yard productivity.
Why Do You Need A Yard Mule?
Opting for a yard mule is a smart investment if your business is booming. The expansion of a business comes with various challenges, like moving more products more often. Your staff might spend more time hooking and unhooking the trailers than moving containers, which may cause them to become overwhelmed by the increased workload.
Getting a yard mule can help save money and time while boosting productivity and ensuring the safety of your employees. For more reasons why you need a yard mule, read below to learn its benefits.
Benefits Of A Yard Mule
A yard mule proves beneficial for your business in various ways. Let’s discuss a couple of them in detail.
Moves Cargo Quicker
A typical yard mule is capable of moving several units in the same duration a standard tractor takes for moving only one unit. The specially designed parts of a yard mule save a significant amount of time spent in hooking, spotting, and unhooking procedures.
Also, unloading the freight by hand takes longer and has the risk of job-related injuries. A sliding backdoor with an adjacent platform on the yard mule allows the driver to hook and unhook everything easily without the need to dismount.
Thus, a yard mule reduces the manual efforts of constantly getting in and out of the cabin, moving freight, or raising and lowering the gears.
Safer To Operate
Loading and unloading heavy loads on a daily basis can make the working staff prone to shoulder, elbow, knee, and wrist injuries. Also, cranking landing dollies to move trailers and frequently jumping in and out of the cabin can injure the legs and arms.
Using a yard mule minimizes the risk of such potential injuries. It ensures the operator does not have to get in and out of the cab, and activating the fifth hydraulic wheel would automatically lift or lower the trailer.
In general, a yard mule has a smaller 2.95-meter wheelbase which is relatively easier to maneuver around tight corners. Working with a yard mule gives superior visibility to the drivers by enabling a 360-degree view and reducing blind spots. Thus it reduces the chances of a crash or collision.
Low Maintenance Cost
A yard mule is designed to perform well in a rugged and harsh environment. It can withstand wear and tear, unlike standard trucks, which are more suitable for long hauls on smooth roads.
Hence, getting a yard mule saves on frequent and expensive maintenance costs compared to using a standard truck.
No CDL Required
A Commercial Driving License or CDL is required to operate road vehicles. However, it is not required for operating a yard mule.
Since yard mules are powered industrial trucks, the operators do not have to take professional driving lessons and pass driving tests. Simple training is enough to drive a yard mule.
Bottom Line on Yard Mules
A yard mule or a yard truck is a safe, cost-effective, and fast mode of freight transportation around warehouses and ports. The increased efficiency with low maintenance cost makes yard mules an excellent choice for acquiring high productivity and profits for your business.