Urban tractor units are relatively rare, as most operators of prime movers will want to operate at the maximum weight possible.
There are advantages of operating a small, lightweight 4×2 tractor unit with a single or tandem axle semi-trailer in urban operations.
The benefits boil down to volume of load possible and maneuverability compared to a long rigid truck.
Although it looks harder to drive an artic and trailer, they are actually easier to drive around a corner than a long rigid with a 28ft+ body.
You will usually find urban tractor units on low weight/high volume applications, especially those that require the use of loading cages that require plenty of floorspace. This means supermarkets – or their convenience store smaller siblings, such as a tesco Metro or Sainsbury’s Local.
These small tractor units are often used as race transporters for small motor racing teams in their second life.