What Is A Bobtail Tractor And Why You Should Consider One

So, what is a Bobtail Tractor? The term is used in several industries and means many different things, so you’re right to be a little confused. In the trucking industry, “bobtail” usually refers to a semi-truck driving without a trailer attached. This term can also be used to refer to a straight truck transporting propane gas. But in the aviation industry, a Bobtail Tractor is a high-speed cargo tractor.

You still might be thinking, “But what is a Bobtail cargo tractor used for?” Well, we’re taking a deeper dive into the world of Bobtail Tractors to help you determine if you need one (or more) for your hangar or airport.

Necessity: The Mother Of Invention

When the need for an all-weather, high-speed cargo tractor came about in the late 60s, Eagle Tugs took on the challenge. The company developed and created the Ford F-350 Bobtail for United Airlines at the Detroit Metropolitan Airport. This design encapsulated the longterm plans set out by aviation visionaries in the early stages of flight.

Over the next two decades, the Eagle Bobtail Tractor became the cargo towing standard for all North American and British airlines.

But What Is A Bobtail Tractor Used For?

A Bobtail Tractor can be used to haul baggage and cargo dollies over long distances around an airport at 25 mph, unlike traditional cargo tractors or industrial tractors. Bobtail Tractors can also be used for towing especially large, bulky items, such as boats and machinery. As long as what you’re towing doesn’t exceed the load weight—you can haul it. It’s important to note that these tractors are not considered street legal.

In the mid-90s, people began to attempt to use industrial tractors, converted for high-speed use, as a Bobtail replacement. But in the early 2000s, converted tractors had developed a track record of unreliability in terms of the drive shaft, wheel, drive hub and braking. Other issues also began to spring up, including exhaust backing up into the cab, excessive driver fatigue and general discomfort due to a lack of suspension. Because of the mounting issues and safety concerns, people began to switch back to the reliability and durability of Eagle Tugs, even increasing their annual purchases of Bobtail Tractors.

Eagle Bobtail Tractors: The Leader In High-Speed Cargo Towing

Eagle Tugs was the original designer and manufacturer of the high-speed cargo tractor. To this day, we remain the leader in the retail segment. Every one of our Eagle Bobtail Tractors is built on a Ford Super-Duty chassis, which is then modified to be even stronger and more effective. Thanks to the use of the Ford chassis, the Eagle Bobtail Tractor has a higher towing capacity and higher maximum speeds. In addition to this, it provides the operator more comfort and a vehicle lifespan three times longer than other cargo tractors. Plus, it comes with the Ford Factory Warranty.

Eagle Tugs’ Bobtail design, with its commercially proven Ford cab and chassis, offers an unparalleled reliable drive train and braking system. The following are a few more of the many beneficial features that come with owning an Eagle Bobtail Tractor:

  • Power steering and braking
  • Ventilated front and rear disc brakes
  • Heavy-duty wheels and radial tires
  • Heavy steel plant body
  • Front and rear bumpers
  • Ergonomic, comfortable and safe Ford cabs
  • Air conditioning (comes standard)
  • Rear sight tunnel for direct hitch visibility
  • Choice of gas or diesel
  • Factory-direct support

If your airport or hangar requires narrow- and wide-body cargo towing and you’re currently using a converted tractor for cargo, it’s time to consider investing in an Eagle Bobtail Tractor.

Browse Our Wide Selection of Bobtail Tractors and Airplane Tugs

When it comes to high-speed cargo tractor manufacturers, Eagle Tugs is an industry leader. Our mission is to provide our customers with high-quality ground support equipment that is safe, efficient and reliable. Browse our selection of Bobtail tractors, towbarless tugs, transit towing equipment and more. Reach out for a quote today. Have a question or need more information? Contact us.

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