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JX Truck Center has proudly represented Kalmar Ottawa Terminal Tractors for over 30 years. Ottawa shares the same traits of premium quality and reliability of our other product lines – Peterbilt, Volvo, Hino.

Ottawa has a rich history based on innovation and workmanship that sets them apart from the competition. The Ottawa terminal tractor is often called “The Truck that Invented an Industry”.  This is because Ottawa was the first to recognize the need for a purpose-built piece of equipment to address the specific needs of moving trailers around easily and quickly. Prior to that, only road tractors or “modified” rigs were used for such a task.  

Ottawa began in 1943 (in Ottawa, Kansas) by 6 local families of entrepreneurs which began by building and repairing construction equipment, tractors and cranes. They introduced designs for backhoes and hydra-hammers. A few years later and after overcoming numerous company challenges, they recognized the market need for Ottawa Terminal Tractors and went into production. 

image of old kalmar ottawa terminal tractor moving a trailer

When Ottawa introduced their Terminal Tractor in 1958, it was a new and innovative way to accomplish the task of moving trailers efficiently and safely.

The main features, still relevant today, are:

  • A moveable fifth wheel which can quickly attach and detach to trailers of differing heights. (hand-cranked originally, now hydraulically powered)
  • Quick access to air and electrical lines via the rear of the unit instead of climbing in-and-out, and up-and-down, via a side-door.
  • Short wheelbase for superior maneuverability.

older ottawa terminal tractor parking a trailer

Now, over 60 years later, Ottawa is still Made in America and has undergone significant evolutions related to operator comfort, emissions compliance, safety and reliability. That tradition continues with their latest product – the Ottawa T2.   

Ottawa celebrated the production of their 60,000th unit in 2015!

Check out the latest-and-greatest Kalmar Ottawa design with a demo from JX – contact us today!

new kalmar ottawa terminal tractor on display

For more about the rich history of this incredible product and company, check out this video!

Author: Darren Simon, Corporate Vocational Sales Manager

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The Truck That Invented an Industry
The Truck That Invented an Industry
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