How Power Tugs Improve Efficiency in Supply Chain Manual Material Handling

posted on: Friday March 21, 2014

In the world of manufacturing and warehousing, time and space are major factors in a product’s journey from inception to the customer’s door.

Time refers to the amount of time it takes to get things done, and space refers to both available space and the distance one needs to travel. Of course, time and space affect each other for the manual material handler.

Efficiently utilizing time and space keeps companies in business, so it is important to implement the best strategies to keep an operation running as smoothly as possible. For many manual material handlers, the power tug has been a secret weapon.

Specifically, power tugs are used to push and pull heavy items. These range from single items like large equipment to many multiples of items via carts. Carts can actually be linked together to exponentially increase the number of items moved in one trip. They are ergonomic, durable, energy-efficient, and safe. They are also famous for increasing productivity.


Power tugs literally cut multi-men operations down to a one-man job. One person can easily move tens of thousands of pounds in one trip. He can also transport multiple carts at once, so only one person is needed to deliver all available materials around a facility floor. Labor time is extremely valuable.


Linking carts together and pulling a train of material is one of the most efficient uses of the tug.  This has proven especially beneficial for reducing WIP and accomplishing first-in-first-out. Even carts that are designated for different areas can be pulled in the same trip. Some companies find it more efficient to have multiple tugs so that by the time one load is back to refill, another load has already begun transport.

Walking Time

Depending on the size of a facility, an employee can accumulate many hours of travel time just going back and forth for pick-up and drop-off.  By pulling multiple loads in one trip, he not only takes more at once, he can also strategize how to most efficiently cover the distance in the route.


Manual material handlers don’t only use tugs to move carts. They move equipment, vehicles, machine parts, paper rolls, garbage bins, breakables, and much more. Tug manufacturers like Load Mover Inc. can tailor attachments to fit any need. The variety of tugs themselves proves the diversity of tug applications. For the manual material handler, one tug can do multiple push/pull jobs. Tuggers don’t require any special training to operate, either, so anyone can grab a tug and go.

Less Fatigue and Injury

Pushing and pulling are the culprits of many different work-related injuries. These strains, sprains, tears, and dislocations can lead to lost work time and costly workers’ compensation. Power tugs take away the strain of these pushing and pulling tasks.

Even when workers are careful about pushing and pulling heavy items so as not to injure themselves, moving heavy stuff around all day is very tiring. A person’s physical capabilities decrease as he gets tired, so fatigue can significantly slow a person down. The power tugs keep employees from becoming fatigued, enabling them to continue working at their peak pace.

Space and Cost Saving

Moving material out more quickly is not the only way that power tugs save space. The tugs are small so they store easily and can fit through narrow walkways. Often times, manufacturers replace their lift trucks with power tugs. This frees up a significant amount of space and saves on costs, too. A tug is plugged in all night and holds a charge all day. Maintenance is minimal, and a battery, not fuel, powers it.

These are just highlights of how power tugs are used to optimize time and space as well as cost and manpower. When it comes to pushing and pulling, the tug seems to work for everything from the most standard job to the most unique. For more information on Load Mover Inc. power tugs, search this site, email, or call 952-767-1720.