A hostler is an individual employed to move trucks and trailers within a terminal or warehouse yard area. Hostlers may also be referred to as tractor drivers, yard drivers, or spotters. Their primary responsibility is to ensure that freight is delivered to its correct destination in an efficient and timely manner. They must also keep track of the location of all vehicles within the facility in order to minimize congestion and optimize traffic flow.

In general, there are two types of hostlers:

  1. Tractor-trailer.
  2. Straight truck.

Tractor-trailer hostlers are responsible for coupling and uncoupling trailers from tractors, while straight truck hostlers move only single vehicles. Hostlers may also be classified by the type of freight they transport, such as dry goods, liquid bulk, or refrigerated cargo.

Hostlers are an important part of the logistics process and play a critical role in the movement of goods throughout a supply chain.