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Choosing the right electric tug or mover

1 Determine the weight and incline of the load being moved

The nominal towing capacity of our range of electric tugs relates to the weight that can be pulled on a flat surface (with a friction coefficient of 0.5 such as dry concrete or bitumen).

The practical rule of thumb to determine which tug is right for your application is to get the pull force (in kilograms) required to start your load moving (on the worst case surface of your application) and divide it by 0.04. This will give you the towing force.

Tug pulling power equation

So, for example, if it takes 30 kg of pull force to get your trolley moving on your intended surface, divide this by 0.04 to get a towing force of 750 kg, meaning that you will require a tug that can pull more than the Tug Compact (500 kg), and would need the power of a Tug Evo 1 Tonne, which will exceed your pull force comfortably.

Measuring the pull force required to start the load moving can be done with a weight scale—of the type used to weigh produce at the green grocers, or the more modern digital luggage scales such as those shown in the photo below.

It is important to measure the pull force required on the worst case of your application. Perhaps a linen cart will need to follow a route that includes the flat internal hospital passageways on carpet, as well as an outside bitumen area with a 6 degree slope. Make sure you measure the worst case scenario—in this example, the outside inclined area when wet (to simulate the added slipperiness that occurs when raining).

A final "top tip": measuring the incline can be done with a smart phone app. Go to your app store and search for "measure incline" or "measure slope" or "spirit level" and you'll have many options to choose from for both Apple and Android smart phones.


Tug pulling power diagram

2 Determine whether it will be used in confined spaces

Suitable for confined spaces

Tug Compact

Tug Compact

Very small footprint and turning circle

Tug Rise Tug Rise Designed for ramps such as basement driveways
Tug Evo Tug Evo 1T and 2T Ideal for moving heavy weights from 1–3.5 tonnes

Tug Classic

Tug Classic 3.5T

Tug Gzunda

Gzunda Bed Movers

Perfect for navigating hospital corridors

Transpak Powered Trolley

Transpak Powered Trolley

Great for moving multiple small objects

Suitable for open spaces
Tug Smart

Tug Smart

Perfect for moving very heavy loads over 4 tonnes, and up to 20 tonnes

Tug Tough

Tug Tough 10T and 20T

3 Determine if the load will have existing hitch points

Hitches to suit the most popular trolleys
pin hitch auto-latching hitch tow ball hitch

Pin hitch

Auto-latching hitch

Lock-tow hitch

Hitches that adapt to different trolley design
clamping hitch strap hitch

Clamping hitch

Strap hitch


For more information on hitches, visit out hitching and accessories page.

4 Determine the load's wheel configuration

Castor configuration will affect towing

Four swivel castors will not trail properly behind the towing unit— they will cut corners rather than follow the unit. They will also tend to 'whip'—to over correct any sideways displacement and sway from side-to-side as they travel.

These problems become more acute if more trolleys are linked in a train. We offer fixed wheel skate hitch (pictured) accessories to correct this problem for situations where it's not feasible to replace two of the four swivel castors on an existing trolley fleet.

If two fixed castors are used at the rear of the trolley it eliminates the whip, and improves trailing and towing.

An ideal configuration is to mount 2 swivel castors 1/6 of the length of the trolley from the front of the trolley and two fixed castors 1/3 of the length of the trolley from the rear. This gives little whip, and good trailing. Note though, that such trolleys should not have a heavy load concentrated at the rear end or they will tip backwards.

skate hitch
Direction of travel Trailing Whip Stability
4 swivel



Very good

2 swivel 2 fixed



Very good

2 swivel 2 fixed




Electrodrive is a member of the Fallshaw Group