Photo: Dr. Jean-Paul Rodrigue, 2006.
A straddler is an important piece of equipment in containerized port operations. They are mainly used to pick up or drop off containers dockside to and from nearby container stacking areas and are thus the last (of first) link in a container terminal. The reason for their height is the capability to load, unload and carry containers over stacks, commonly up to three containers in height. The straddle carriers in the above photo are designed to handle stacks of two containers in height.