If you've been to an airport anywhere in the world there's a very good chance you've seen one of these awesome little vehicles. They're called tow tractors or tow tugs and are used for transporting your baggage and cargo, general transport of ground workers on the tarmac and sometimes for towing aircraft.
Toyota introduced the first towing tractor, the Model LAT 0.85-ton, in 1957 and is now the number one tow tractor manufacturer in the world.
The universal Toyota tow tractors are a part of the ground support equipment (GSE) that assist the large, sometimes cumbersome aircraft with the fuel, supplies and cargo they need to operate.
The tow tugs are quick, agile and versatile, making them the perfect link between terminals and aircraft. There's only so much you can do with a conveyor belt, and these machines handle the rest.
Surprisingly strong for their size, the three-and-a-half litre commercial vehicle engine in the TG/TD 25 Series boasts class-leading power and torque. You may see these vehicles looking a bit worn and battered on the runway, but the heavy-duty commercial vehicle engine and transmission ensures these little tugs will keep pulling for many, many years.
Next time you're taking a flight, whether it is for business or pleasure, take a look out the window and see if you can spot a Toyota tow tractor in action. It should make for a good conversation starter!
An Australian Air Express Toyota 2TD25 towing tractor with a special paint scheme for breast-cancer awareness