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Can You Drive a Yard Truck on the Road?

Yard spotter trucks and terminal tractors boast a vast range of uses and can be used across many applications. A yard truck is a single-person cab offset to the side of the engine. Also called a terminal tractor, the yard truck is uniquely designed to efficiently and quickly move semi-trailers throughout a warehouse facility, cargo yard, or intermodal facility. This purposeful vehicle is engineered to accommodate a hydraulic lifting fifth wheel that allows operators to quickly move trailers without leaving the cab or cranking landing gear. After the trailer is positioned, operators can lower the trailer to the ground and uncouple the fifth wheel without leaving the cabin.

A yard truck increases driver productivity in most situations. Most research suggests a yard truck can move three units in the same amount of time that a standard tractor can move one. In addition to better productivity, yard trucks increase safety standards due to improved maneuverability and ease of use. Standard tractor rigs can be time-consuming, cumbersome, and unsafe in tight quarters, but yard trucks solve these problems while bolstering productivity, movement, and mobility. While yard spotter trucks boast many benefits, one common concern is whether you can drive a yard truck on the road. In short, the answer is yes, but not all yard trucks are highway or road safe. Continue reading to learn more.

What Are Off-Highway Yard Trucks? Are They Designed to Be Drive on the Road?

As the name suggests, off-highway yard trucks shouldn’t be operated on the road. Instead, off-highway yard trucks are designed to move semi-trailers throughout shipping ports, trucking terminals, warehouses, distribution centers, or anywhere else that doesn’t involve accessing a public road. Off-highway yard spotter trucks have a top speed of 25 miles per hour (MPH). These trucks can be programmed to operate at any MPH that is under 25.

What Are DOT Yard Trucks? Can DOT Yard Jockey Trucks Be Used on the Road?

While off-highway yard trucks do not have access to public roadways, DOT yard trucks do have legal access to public roads. DOT yard jockey trucks can’t legally operate on the interstate highway system. However, before a DOT yard jockey truck is operated on the road, it must meet specific criteria established by the DOT. These guidelines include meeting fuel efficiency and emissions standards. In addition, DOT yard trucks must include safety features like ABS brakes and a more powerful drive train.

What Makes a Terminal Tractor Street Legal?

For a yard truck to qualify for on-road use, it must meet the following yard jockey DOT requirements:

  1. The yard tractor has a higher top speed than off-highway trucks. While off-highway trucks have a top speed of 25 MPH, any street-legal yard truck has to have a top speed of around 35 MPH.
  2. It must have additional environmental features. The yard truck must include features like “clean idle” exhaust and systems to bolster fuel efficiency.
  3. DOT yard jockey requirements include a higher fuel capacity. Some DOT yard trucks can carry up to 65 gallons.
  4. The yard truck must be registered. For a terminal tractor to be street-legal, it must have a vehicle identification number (VIN) and title. The required information must be clearly displayed on a metal license plate.
  5. Yard jockey DOT requirements include an annual inspection. The on-road tractor must have a yearly inspection performed by a licensed DOT inspector. Afterward, the driver must keep the certificate with the vehicle at all times.

Looking for an On-Road Yard Spotter Truck? Contact Renew Truck

Deciding to add an on-road yard spotter truck to your fleet can be very beneficial to your operation — if it’s necessary. However, it can also be expensive. Because of this, it’s imperative to consider whether you actually need an on-road yard spotter truck. In either case, the seasoned experts at Renew Truck can and will help.

At Renew Truck, we offer an array of used yard spotter trucks for sale and remanufactured terminal tractors. At the same time, we can rebuild any yard spotter truck from the ground up, making it like new. We specialize in creating customized solutions to help you achieve your goals.

Contact Renew Truck today by calling 903-231-9002 or completing our online contact form.

About Renew Truck

Your trusty yard spotter truck is worn out, but it’s given you years of service and made you millions. Instead of buying a new truck and worrying about all the emissions, you’d rather keep the old yard truck.

That is where Renew Truck comes in. We are spotter truck specialists who can fix a yard truck so that it’s newly remanufactured. We repair or remanufacture trucks in LA, TX, MS, OK, AR, and AL.

Renew Truck is located at 150 Service Street, New Boston, TX 75570. You can contact us at (903) 733-7966.