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PRODUCT REVIEW: Ottawa 4x2 DOT/EPA Yard Truck (1 of 3)

Yard Truck Product Review: Ottawa 4X2 DOT/EPA


Yard trucks are essential at high-volume operations switching 10 or more trailers per day. Ottawa yard trucks are the most popular, but are they the best? Read on for the pros, cons, specs and pricing for the Ottawa 4x2 yard truck.

If you’re unfamiliar with yard trucks (also known as yard dogs, spotter trucks and terminal tractors), check out this article: What Are Yard Trucks and Why Are They Increasingly Popular?

Ottowa 4X2 DOT EPA Yard Truck Product Review

Kalmar Ottawa 4x2 Specs 

Manufacturer: Kalmar Ottawa

Product Page:

Capacity: 40,000 lbs. (see note below)

Top Speed: 45 mph with ABS brakes, 25 mph without

Engine: 200 hp standard, up to 250 hp

Price: $145,000 

Value for the Money: Excellent

Other dealers may try to sell you the larger 6x4 model, but that’s more truck than most operations need. The 4x2 can be modified to move loads greater than 40,000 lbs. If you move a lot of refrigerated trucks, we can order a 4x2 with a longer wheelbase to give the operator more room on the catwalk.


The 4x2 part of the name means this truck has two axles and four wheels. DOT/EPA means it's street-legal and EPA/CARB compliant. This yard dog has a maximum speed of 45 mph and comes with turn signals, lights and everything else the DOT requires. All you have to do is title it and tag it.

You don’t need a CDL to drive a yard truck. It’s designed for transporting trailers over short distances such as:

  • From a terminal to a nearby distribution center
  • Between local warehouses 
  • A few miles along a public road



Ottawa is the most well-known and most trusted yard truck manufacturer. They’ve been making these trucks for so long, many people call them “Ottawas” instead of their official name, which is terminal tractor.

The Ottawa 4x2 (aka a T2 terminal tractor) was entirely redesigned based on customer input. For example, the T2s have faster fifth-wheel lifting and lowering speeds than their predecessors, which allows them to handle more trailers in less time.

Every part of this yard truck has been optimized so the operator can shunt trailers as quickly and safely as possible. Ottawa yard trucks have:

  • Intuitive controls and a simplified gauge cluster
  • A large steering wheel for better control
  • User-friendly rocker switches for easy monitoring and operation
  • A tall, wide-opening door for easy entry and exit
  • Step-and-grab handle systems for safer mounting and dismounting
  • Superior visibility thanks to an XL windscreen and side-mounted mirror post
  • A spacious dashboard with room for yard management devices
  • Suspended control pedals for smoother, more responsive control

Ottawa yard trucks are also easy to maintain. The trucks have ground-level access for routine checks and tasks — including oil and transmission fluid monitoring. Electric cab tilt provides faster access to maintenance points.


All yard trucks (not just the Ottawa) are designed to travel 2-3 miles at medium to low speeds. If you need to transport a trailer five miles or more, an over-the-road (OTR) truck will get it there much faster. The 4x2 Ottawa can go 45 mph, but it takes a while to get up to reach its top speed. 

If you don’t need to move trailers on public roads, the Ottawa 4x2 Off-Road Yard Truck is a better option. It does the same thing as the 4x2 DOT/EP but costs less.

Lastly, if you need a yard truck with serious traction or higher capacity, you’re better off with a 6x4. Ottawa’s 6x4 can handle loads up to 60,000 lbs. and deal with muddy terrain, inclines and gravel.

Things to Know Before You Buy a Yard Truck

Ottawa has the best dealer network. If you’re looking at non-Ottawa yard trucks, ask about parts and service before you put any money down. With some of the other yard truck manufacturers, you have to go to a contracted auto shop for parts and repair. Customers have told us these auto shops don’t always have the time (or parts) to fix their equipment quickly.

Not sure if an Ottawa yard truck will be a good fit for your operation? Try before you buy. We rent yard trucks and can order whatever configuration you need. 

Be advised that the last three months of the year are a popular time for yard truck rental. FedEx, Wal-Mart and the other big guys ramp up for the holidays and our entire rental fleet can get snapped up by the end of October. 

The friendly and helpful experts at The Lilly Company will be happy to answer any questions you may have about yard trucks or other material handling equipment. We’re an authorized Ottawa/Kalmar dealer and service provider for Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee and eastern Arkansas.

Contact us online or by phone 844-LILLYCO (1-844-545-5926). You can also visit us at one of our 13 locations across the Mid-South.

Arkansas - Jonesboro
Alabama - Birmingham, Dothan, Irondale, Madison, Mobile, and Montgomery
Mississippi - Tupelo and Richland
Tennessee - Jackson, Kingsport, Knoxville, and Memphis

Further Reading:
Request a Rental Quote
Overview of T2 spotter truck features (13 min video) 
What Are Yard Trucks and Why Are They Increasingly Popular?
Product Review: Ottawa 4x2 Off-Road Yard Truck (2 of 3)
Product Review: Ottawa 6x4 EPA/DOT Yard Truck (3 of 3)

Yard Truck do it BETTER - Move 3-4x More Cargo Per Shift!