Used Tractor Units for Sale

Tractor units are the workhorse of the UK transport industry.  They have been the biggest sellers in the UK for decades.  Unlike Continental Europe where there is a penchant for drawbar outfits, the UK has a love of the ‘big rig’.

To the uninitiated, a tractor unit is the front part of an articulated vehicle and semi-trailer combination. In the UK these trucks can carry a maximum train weight of 44 tonnes if they have three axles (more on this below…).  Most truck manufacturers have a range of tractor units – we list them all for sale here at Truckpages.  The exception to this is Isuzu that does not sell a tractor unit in its current UK line up.

Read more about Tractor Units

5
SCANIA R420 EURO 5 (SCR) 6 X 2 TRACTOR UNIT – 2011 – AY61 AZP

Types
Tractor Units
Body
Tractor Unit - Standard
Make
Scania
Model
R Series
Variant
R420 EURO
Drive
6x2
Transmission
Automatic
Year
2011
Condition
Used
Euro level
Euro 5
Distance
Scania R Series Sleeper Cab. Scania 420 Bhp Turbo Air To Air Charge Cooled Euro 5 Engine C/w Ad-Blue. Scania 12 Speed Opticruise Gearbox (No Clutch Pedal). Gearbox Driven Hydraulics (PTO Pump Only). Scania Single Reduction Drive Axle C/w...
View more
12
Scania r480 R480

Types
Tractor Units
Body
Tractor Unit - Standard
Make
Scania
Model
R Series
Variant
R480
Drive
6x2
Year
2007
Condition
Used
Distance
Hi line cab 6×2 480 bhp tipping gear
View more
5
MERCEDES ACTROS 2545 EURO 5 STREAMSPACE 6 X 2 TRACTOR UNIT – 2013 – AV13 CLX

Types
Tractor Units
Body
Tractor Unit - Standard
Make
Mercedes-Benz
Model
Actros
Variant
2545
Drive
6x2
Transmission
Automatic
Year
2013
Condition
Used
Euro level
Euro 5
Distance
Mercedes New Generation Actros Stream Space High Roof Twin Sleeper Cab. Mercedes 450Bhp Turbo Air to Air Charge Cooled Euro 5 Engine c/w Ad-Blue. Multi Position Engine Brake. Mercedes Power Shift 3 12 Speed Telligent Semi Automatic Gearbox. Single...
View more

 

5
VOLVO FH GLOBETROTTER XL 500 EURO 5, 6 X 2 TRACTOR UNIT – 2011 – BX11 BBV

Types
Tractor Units
Body
Tractor Unit - Standard
Make
Volvo
Model
FH
Variant
GLOBETROTTER
Drive
6x2
Transmission
Automatic
Year
2011
Condition
Used
Euro level
Euro 5
Distance
Volvo FH Series Sleeper Cab C/w Flat Floor. Volvo 500 Bhp Turbo Air To Air Charge Cooled Euro 5 Engine C/w Ad Blue System. Volvo Multi Stage Engine Brake (VEB). Volvo I Shift Semi Automatic Gearbox. Volvo Single Reduction...
View more
3
Scania p380 P380

£1 ,244 ,567
Types
Tractor Units
Body
Tractor Unit - Standard
Make
Scania
Model
P Series
Variant
P380
Drive
4x2
Year
2012
Condition
Used
Distance
380 4×2 in mot 12 trucks in total
View more
8
MERCEDES – BENZ Actros 25456

Types
Tractor Units
Body
Tractor Unit - Standard
Make
Mercedes-Benz
Model
Actros
Variant
Actros 25456
Year
2012
Condition
Used
Distance
Mercedes – Benz Actros 2546, Mega Space ,year 2012 , White , clean truck ! Ideal for export !!!
View more
5
MERCEDES ACTROS 2545 EURO 5 STREAMSPACE 6 X 2 TRACTOR UNIT – 2012 – AV62 UNX

Types
Tractor Units
Body
Tractor Unit - Standard
Make
Mercedes-Benz
Model
Actros
Variant
2545
Drive
6x2
Transmission
Automatic
Year
2012
Condition
Used
Euro level
Euro 5
Distance
Mercedes New Generation Actros Stream Space High Roof Twin Sleeper Cab. Mercedes 450Bhp Turbo Air to Air Charge Cooled Euro 5 Engine c/w Ad-Blue. Multi Position Engine Brake. Mercedes Power Shift 3 12 Speed Telligent Semi Automatic Gearbox. Single...
View more
5
SCANIA R420 EURO 5 (SCR) 6 X 2 TRACTOR UNIT – 2011 – AY11 AHL

Types
Tractor Units
Body
Tractor Unit - Standard
Make
Scania
Model
R Series
Variant
R420 EURO
Drive
6x2
Transmission
Automatic
Year
2011
Condition
Used
Euro level
Euro 5
Distance
Scania R Series Sleeper Cab. Scania 420 Bhp Turbo Air To Air Charge Cooled Euro 5 Engine C/w Ad-Blue. Scania 12 Speed Opticruise Gearbox (No Clutch Pedal). Scania Single Reduction Drive Axle C/w Diff Lock. Ecas Drive Axle Air...
View more
5
SCANIA R420 TOPLINE EURO 5 (SCR) 6X2 TRACTOR UNIT – 2011 – RX61 CXJ

Types
Tractor Units
Body
Tractor Unit - Standard
Make
Scania
Model
R Series
Variant
R420 TOPLINE
Drive
6x2
Transmission
Automatic
Year
2011
Condition
Used
Euro level
Euro 5
Distance
Scania R Series Topline Twinsleeper Cab C/w 4 Point Air Suspension. Scania 420 Bhp Turbo Air To Air Charge Cooled Euro 5 Engine C/w Ad Blue. Scania 12 Speed Opticrusie Automatic Gearbox (With Clutch Pedal). Scania Single Reduction Drive...
View more
9
2009 DAF XF105.460 6X2 SLEEPER CAB TRACTOR UNIT,MANUAL GEARBOX,AIR CONDITIONING

Types
Tractor Units
Body
Tractor Unit - Standard
Make
DAF
Model
Variant
XF105
Drive
4x2
Transmission
Manual
Year
2009
Condition
Used
Distance
2009 DAF XF105.460 6X2 DOUBLE SLEEPER CAB TRACTOR UNIT, MANUAL GEARBOX, AIR CONDITIONING, �6950+VAT
View more

Popular Makes & Models of Tractor Units

Whilst nearly every truck manufacturer has a tractor unit range, it is historically the Scania R-Series that has topped the shopping list for UK tractor unit operators – especially the Scania V8.  More recently, Scania has introduced the S-Series which will no doubt take over at the top of the list.

The Volvo FH – especially the Globetrotter/Globetrotter XL is a desirable truck which has started to see some competition with the improved Mercedes Actros in recent years since the launch of the Euro 6 versions.

Sitting centre stage are the DAF XF trucks – excellent value but are some put off by the ageing cab design, despite DAF’s efforts at modernising the 1990’s cab?

Joining DAF is MAN with their TGX and TGS range of tractor units with the less favourable brands in the UK of Iveco’s Stralis and Renault Truck’s Range T bringing up the rear.  These days this is less about the actual trucks themselves – nobody makes a bad truck these days – it is more about the reputation of the brand earned over the years.

The transport industry has a very long memory!

 

Tractor Units by Body Type

All tractor units are not the same.  Firstly, there is the size of the cab. From a small day cabbed tractor unit for local distribution to a small sleeper cab for occasional nights out, to a double sleeper, medium roof to a flat floor, high roof sleeper for long distance and international work that has up to 2.25 metres standing room – as much as a house!

You can also get tractor units designed for heavy haulage.  These giants can tow up to 150 tonnes gross train weight under s special license.

A specially equipped tractor unit is required to tow a tanker with flammables on bard.  These must meet ADR regulations – more commonly in the UK these are called ‘Pet Regs’ tractor units.

More popular on the continent, you can get ‘low rider’ tractor units that have extra small wheels and tyres which tow an overheight trailer.  As the bridges in the UK are higher than in mainland Europe, we see these less often here.

Tractor Units by Axle Configuration

4×2 Tractor Units

In bygone days and if you travel widely on the Continent, then 4×2 tractor units is all you would see.  These are basically trucks with just two axles.  The lack of a third axle means that they can legally carry just 40 tonnes when using a three-axle trailer in the UK.

In the UK these trucks are used only when the vehicle always carries such light, but bulky materials that they are physically full before they get to anywhere near their 40-tonne limit.  Picture a truck full of polystyrene blocks, for example.

In days gone by, many supermarkets specified these 4×2 tractor units – they are physically a little smaller and cost less in road tax than the tree-axled counterparts.  They were known in the used truck industry as ‘Supermarket Trolleys’ and were not very popular.

The problem is that these 4×2 tractor units are typically less desirable in the UK’s second-hand truck market.  For this reason, an operator may opt for a 6×2 tractor unit, (see below) as they are easier to sell on their second life.

Many canny truck dealers will take these 4×2 tractor units and stretch the chassis, removing the fifth wheel (the hitch on the back that allows the truck to connect to the semi-trailer) and will fit a rigid body – perhaps a beavertail or crane body.  This means that the operator will have a powerful truck for their application.

The other destination for these tractor units is overseas. Many trucks are exported to African countries where they drive on the left side of the road – therefore needing well-maintained right-hand drive used tractor units from the UK.

6×2 Tractor Units

Infographic - Tractro Unit Axle Configuration

With three axles to spread the load, a 6×2 – or three-axle – tractor unit is able to carry up to the legal limit of 44 tonnes gross trail weight in the UK.  There is still only one axle that does the driving in this example (the ‘6’ meaning six points of contact to the ground and the ‘2’ meaning the number of these that are powered and drive the truck forward.

Sure, the trucks are slightly heavier with the extra axle – let’s say an extra 1 tonne to 1500kgs, but this is more than compensated for by the additional 4 tonnes payload allowance.

These trucks should be better for the UK’s roads, as more axles means a better spread of weight.  With a three-axle semi-trailer in both examples, the weight across each axle of a 6×2 tractor unit is lower than that of a 4×2.

There are a number of options how to add the extra axle.  Check out DAF’s graphic which explains these.

You can have the axle placed before the drive axle, in the middle of the truck (Mid-axle) or it can go afterwards (rear axle).  When not required (in other words when operating empty or only part-loaded, many of these axles are designed to lift up. This means that they are not in contact with the road and not getting worn out unnecessarily.  These are called, somewhat unsurprisingly, ‘lift axles’.  In the adverts for used tractor units in Truckpages you will see written ‘Mid-Lift’ or ‘Rear-Lift’.

6×4 Tractor Units

These are less common sights on the UK’s roads. They are similar to a 6×2 tractor unit, but the third axle is also driven.  This makes the axle heavier, as it has an extra set of wheels and tyres plus a central differential and propshaft all adding to the weight.

The only reason to specify a 6×4 tractor unit is for added traction – in the case of building site operation – collecting excavators and loaders from construction sites.  It would be very rare to see a 6×4 tractor unit with a lift axle – but not impossible.

The other use for the 6×4 tractor unit is in heavy haulage mode.  These are trucks that have been designed specifically to be able to carry more than the 44 tonnes GTW.  Some of these trucks can manage as much as 250 tonnes, but these would require more axles again!

8×4 Tractor Units

These are specialist trucks, normally seen in heavy haulage operation or decked out in military guise.  If you see these trucks for sale in the used market, they will be expensive, as they are very expensive to buy new.

Latest Tractor Units News

Mercedes Actros Fifth Generation

Where are my Wing Mirrors on my new Mercedes Actros?

Take a look closely at the picture of Alan Davie’s brand new fifth generation Actros and you would have to agree it’s a great looking truck.  There’s something not quite normal about it, however. To the uninitiated, it simply looks like the truck has clean, aerodynamic lines.  It’s only when told that the tractor unit…

View More
Truck Registrations

The Best-Selling Trucks in 2019

There were more new trucks sold in the UK in 2019 than in the two preceding years.  With an impressive 48,535 registrations last year, we saw nearly 13% more new trucks appear on our roads than in 2018 after number shrinking for the previous two years. All this despite a series of stalled Brexits and…

View More
Renault Trucks Range T High Owner Driver

Owner Driver Buys Renault Trucks Range T High Tractor Unit

You would expect most owner drivers, when confronted with spending their own money might opt for a Scania, Volvo or maybe even a Mercedes truck.  Paul Irving had a different idea and opted for a Renault T520 6×2 rear lift tractor unit as his pride and joy. The top spec truck was supplied by Carlisle…

View More
Scania Boston Workshop

Got A Problem with your Scania?

The more complex the trucks on our roads become, the more difficult it becomes to diagnose issues with them immediately.  In the old days, when something broke, it looked broken and could be repaired or replaced. With software systems carrying out a lot of the heavy lifting on a modern truck, there is not always…

View More
Maritime Transport Volvo FH Globetrotters

Maritime Transport’s 20 New Volvo FH Tractor Units

There are twenty shiny new Volvo FH 6×2 tractor units heading to Maritime Transport – the UK’s largest container transporter. All sporting Globetrotter cabs and I-Shift transmissions and 460HP, Maritime specified the most fuel efficient options available, including Fuelmax tyres from Goodyear and bumper spoilers, whist getting rid of the external sun visors which add…

View More