Linde compact tow tractor supports lean production

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Lean production is becoming the standard in more and more industrial sectors. Small and medium-sized businesses are following the examples of major automobile manufacturers and machine builders, and they are also adopting their logistical strategies of implementing lean manufacturing practices. Linde Material Handling now offers its compact Linde P20 tow tractor to ensure efficient production supplies. The new tractor has a towing capacity of two metric tons and expands Linde’s existing range of tractors, which previously covered a load range of between three and 25 metric tons. It is suitable, inter alia, for use in confined spaces.

Electric tow tractors have become increasingly important during the past 10 years – the market recorded an average annual growth rate of around 7% within this period. At the same time new fields of applications have been emerging. The new tractor takes account of these developments and has been designed as a solution specifically for loads of up to two metric tons. This means it can be used as a tow truck to transport up to five small load carriers (KLT). Such tow trucks are deployed in the automotive industry and many other production environments. Optionally the tractor is also available as a platform truck with a load capacity of 400kg, bearing the designation Linde W04.

With a width of 600mm, the new tractor is extremely compact and offers a particularly tight turning radius; it is very flexible to use and can be reliably maneuvered even in tight spaces. At the same time, the operator remains within the truck contours in every driving situation. Support wheels provide high stability during cornering. In order to adapt the tractor to the specific application requirements, the ground clearance can be increased from 40 to 80mm. This means that the electric tow tractor is also suitable for outdoor use. A maintenance-free 1.5kW drive motor and simple battery replacement ensure efficient operation. Battery replacement can be carried out both laterally and vertically.

The steering unit and backrest of the Linde P20 tractor can be individually adjusted to the respective operator. The ergonomic shape of the steering protects the operator’s hands and helps ensure that they remain safe within the confines of the chassis throughout the driving time. The backrest provides lateral support, which facilitates cornering and reduces the physical stress acting on the operator. A folding, height-adjustable seat is also part of the basic equipment and provides enhanced driving comfort during longer rides. The low boarding height of just 119mm means that operators can comfortably get on and off the tractor.

Various optional comfort and safety features are available to meet the wide range of different application requirements. These include, for example, a knee guard device in the tractor interior that protects the operator during heavy braking. In addition, various trailer couplings are available so that the tractor can tow different types of load carriers. LED position lights at the tractor front and rear form part of the standard lighting system and these can be supplemented with work lights upon request.

Due to its compact design and up to two-metric ton towing capacity, the Linde P20 tractor is suitable not only for the logistical requirements of a lean production – there are numerous other conceivable fields of application, such as the handling of luggage carts at airports, in hospitals or wholesale flower markets.

October 15, 2015

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Tom is editor of ivtinternational.com and iVT magazine. During his 20 year career in journalism Tom has worked for a diverse range of titles including Men's Health and Cosmopolitan. He also edits iVT's UKi Media & Events stablemate Traffic Technology International.

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