david b.
Posts: 2894
Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2001 7:18 pm

Tugs

Mon Jan 28, 2002 5:46 am

Are tugs hard to handle? WHat kind of training is needed to operate one and what kind of engine do they use? GOing to need a lot of power to push back a 747.
Teenage-know-it-alls should be shot on sight
 
DC10Tony
Posts: 991
Joined: Tue May 29, 2001 9:51 am

RE: Tugs

Mon Jan 28, 2002 6:49 am

David B.

The pushback machines used to push the planes have BIG diesel engines in them. We have 2 new FMCs and 2 old ones at our airport. The newer FMCs have a Caterpillar (CAT) V8 Diesel which probably makes around 1,500 ft-lbs. of torque @ about 1,000rpms and around 300 horsepower.

It takes weight and traction to get the plane moving though, and the small pushback machines weigh in at around 50,000 pounds and has big, 5' tall tires on them and a VERY TOUGH transmission. Their top speed is about 35 mph in high gear and in low gear, it doubles the engine's rpms and makes some awesome raw torque for moving planes a slow speeds.

The Tugs (brand name) that you see hauling the baggage carts have the Ford 4.9L 300ci I-6 in them geared very low with Ford's industrial transmission. Some will top out at around 30 but most have a top speed of about 20-25. Their power is about 130hp and about 240 ft-lbs. of torque.
 
CPH-R
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Joined: Thu May 03, 2001 5:19 pm

RE: Tugs

Mon Jan 28, 2002 8:16 am

What's the main differences between the "old" tugs and the new superTugs? Apart, of course, from the latter swallowing the nosegear.
 
DC10Tony
Posts: 991
Joined: Tue May 29, 2001 9:51 am

CPH-R

Mon Jan 28, 2002 10:14 am

Do the Super Tugs pick up the plane's nosegear and just back it out?

One advantage I can see with the Super Tug is you don't have to go searching for the correct towbar to push the plane back with.
 
Goldenshield
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Joined: Sun Jan 14, 2001 3:45 pm

RE: Tugs

Mon Jan 28, 2002 10:38 am

also, with the pushbacks, The transmission gears down the engine, at least 8 times, so there is a LOT of power, but also A high fuel consumption.

Most of the puchbacks around only have 3 piston deisels, and produce the same power as a Passenger van.
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EssentialPowr
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Joined: Wed Sep 06, 2000 10:30 pm

RE: Tugs

Wed Jan 30, 2002 1:31 am

The brandname "Tugs" is a product built by Stewart & Stevenson headquarted in Houston, TX.

As with just about any product in the airline industry, these tugs and push tractors are offerred in a range of sizes with a variety of powerplant options; most are diesel from John Deere, Deutz or Detroit Diesel.
 
Metwrench
Posts: 715
Joined: Fri Aug 17, 2001 11:25 am

RE: Tugs

Wed Jan 30, 2002 3:22 am

When "Pushing Back" you must alternate your scan between the tail of the A/C, your "wing walkers", the "turn limits" on the nose gear, "Flight Crew" dialog from your headset and the environment around you.

The "mechanics" of "pushing an aircraft back" are rather straightforward. If you want the tail to go left, steer left, when the angle you want is achieved, over compensate to the right, then steer left again.

Practice makes perfect. Just scan everything and don't forget that the brakes will stop everything, the Flight Crew can aid this if you tell them to.
 
TERRA
Posts: 208
Joined: Wed Aug 18, 1999 2:37 am

RE: Tugs

Wed Jan 30, 2002 3:35 am

The 2 p/back tugs used by DHL in EMA both have a four stroke, six cylinder Deutz diesel engine with a max speed of 17-20 mph and around 300 hp. The heavier tug is also fitted with a turbo charger.

The nose lifting types are a lot lighter and the smaller of these have less hp. However the largest types have larger engines, 10 cylinder, and have a hp of 500+. One problem with noselifter is that they cannot tow all types. Another is there is no fail safe if you go past max tow angle. I prefer to have a tow bar which will brake before the nose oleo gets damaged. One advantage of a nose lifter, however, is that they can move aircraft quickly which is handy when operating at larger airports.

Rich
 
Ratzz
Posts: 196
Joined: Mon Sep 27, 1999 6:58 pm

TERRA...

Wed Jan 30, 2002 11:47 am

Couldn´t agree with you more,towbar´s preferred by me as well,but we here at ARN use both towbarless tugs as well as conventional ones.The towbarless ones are made by Douglas GSE or Goldhofer and have sensors mounted in the cradle that lifts the nosewheel to warn the driver if he´s/she´s about to oversteer the tug and exceed maximum tow angel by means of monitoring the position of the cradle and overall nosewheel pressure to either side of it.
Works sorta like shearpins on a regular towbar.I´ve witnessed a few occations whereas the shearpins should have broken,and didn´t....

 Smile/happy/getting dizzy
 
TERRA
Posts: 208
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RE: TERRA...

Thu Jan 31, 2002 3:42 am

Not all towbarless tugs have this warning mechanism. I did my initial training on towbarless tugs in Brussels many years ago and just prefered the traditional method. In the past we have had aircraft receive severe damage to their nose gear as well as problems when the tug simpy won't let go of the nose wheel after the pushback!
I agree that shear pins don't always brake when supposed to but they can easily be replaced. I also find it easier to position a/c into a hangar with a bar as i can see where i'm planting the nose wheel. Important if i've got to get the wheels in a small box marked on the floor.

 
mikeclod
Posts: 270
Joined: Wed Dec 19, 2001 4:03 pm

RE: TERRA...

Thu Jan 31, 2002 9:57 am

There is a company called Lektro that supplies pushbacks for Horizan, they are completely electric and work with a scoop. They also make smaller models for ga. They are rear wheel steering, so you have to be VERY careful, or you'll spin way to fast. You can almost do a 360 on the spot. Quite a bit of fun.
 
srbmod
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Joined: Tue Mar 20, 2001 1:32 pm

RE: Tugs

Thu Feb 07, 2002 6:36 am

I love those Lektro pushback units. Those things are fun. When I worked for ASA, I took one of my friends at AirTran for a ride in one, and he got a little frightened, not by my driving, but by the speed and agility those things have. A little correction to an earlier post, in order to steel a planes tail left, you must steer the pushback to the right and vice versa. Having been a veteran of well over 200 pushbacks, I know the proccedure quite well.
 
Mr Spaceman
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Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2001 5:09 am

RE: Tugs

Fri Feb 08, 2002 8:39 am

Hi guys.

Here's a photo of one of those towbarless Super Tugs that was mentioned.


Click for large version
Click here for full size photo!

Photo © Jason Taperell



It looks like it's brand name is Goldhofer.

I have 2 questions....How long have these towbarless tugs been around?

Also, as asked by DC10Tony, do these tugs actually "pick up" an airliner's nosegear in their cradle, or are the nosegear tires always in contact with the ground?

Thanks.

Chris  Smile
"Just a minute while I re-invent myself"
 
acidradio
Crew
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RE: Tugs

Fri Feb 08, 2002 4:22 pm

Pushback is usually the time when the pushback driver and the crew make explicit comments about the flight attendants aboard the flight. Some pushback drivers require the flight crew to tell a dirty joke before they will disconnect the towbar  Smile

Lektros are not bad pieces of machinery, however they do take some practice (not like any other pushback equipment does not need practice...) to get used to because of the reverse steering. The drivewheels are in the front and the steering wheels are in the rear. My trainer compared it to a forklift, and in reality it almost is. After all, it uses similar parts. The only downside to the Lektro is when it is low on battery, it will just die and you can't do anything about it. You will have pushed back a plane partway, and then all of a sudden the thing dies. Not fun. Other than that, they are pretty good machines, especially for pushing back smaller props and RJ's.
Ich haben zwei Platzspielen und ein Microphone
 
CX Flyboy
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Joined: Sun Dec 26, 1999 6:10 pm

RE: Tugs

Fri Feb 08, 2002 4:47 pm

I remember a few years ago at Kai Tak HAECO received a couple of tugs to 'sample' and they were the new towbar-less type. It had McDonnell Douglas written on the side of them. Was this THE McDonnell Douglas? HAECO didn't buy them in the end and went with another brand that also has no towbar.
 
L-188
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RE: Tugs

Fri Feb 08, 2002 5:19 pm

Lektros suck.....

They are horrible on ice since they have no weight to them and you have to keep them inside when it gets really cold because the batteries will freeze.
OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
 
sudden
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Joined: Fri Jul 13, 2001 5:20 pm

RE: Tugs

Fri Feb 08, 2002 6:23 pm

When I lived in Sweden and worked at GOT we had a tug that had a weight of 30 tons and had 2 V8 diesel engines. The best tug I ever drove to be honest. Good view and very easy to handle, even if it was big. Never had any problems when it was icy conditions on the ramp either.
We had others, but that one was the best.

The tug you guys call supertug is very nice to. Don't have to drive around to find the correct towbar.
Also much faster response due to that you are "one with the nosegear".
But as stated above, it's horrible when the ramp is slippry.

My training for push was both practise, we pushed stairs and GPU's, and to study books.
After we had learned how to handle the stairs and GPU, we could push A/C's with our instructor.
When he saw that we had got a hang of it, we could chose to say "Ok, I make this next push my exame push".

The best pushback was when had the TU154.
Our tugs were to high, so we had reverse them out to the centerline. That was fun!

Have a great weekend!
Sudden
When in doubt, flat out!
 
mikeclod
Posts: 270
Joined: Wed Dec 19, 2001 4:03 pm

RE: Tugs

Fri Feb 08, 2002 6:33 pm

Yes, they do actually pick the nose gear up on a hydrallic platform. On Lektros, you steer in opposite directions when changing from push to pull. Really helps on taildraggers.
 
L-188
Posts: 29881
Joined: Wed Jul 07, 1999 11:27 am

RE: Tugs

Fri Feb 08, 2002 6:36 pm

I should add that the only saving grace of a Lektrocart is that there is only one pivot point.

A standard towbar pivots with the nosegear and at the pintle where it contects to the tug. At least on a Lektrocart you ony have to pivot with the nosegear.

I stand by my earlier comments.

A tug that was designed for use on a ice-free ramp in California is not a good design for Alaska when it is -10 below zero.
OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
 
sudden
Posts: 3934
Joined: Fri Jul 13, 2001 5:20 pm

RE: Tugs

Fri Feb 08, 2002 6:40 pm

Anyone of you guys that have heard of the "KALMARTUGS"?
A swedish company that makes tugs and other equipment for airport use.
When in doubt, flat out!
 
Mr Spaceman
Posts: 2723
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2001 5:09 am

RE: Tugs

Sat Feb 09, 2002 3:36 am

Great info guys about these towbar-less Super Tugs.

>Mikeclod, thanks for answering both DC10tony's & my question regarding whether or not these Super Tugs actually "pick up" the nosegear tires of aircraft.

Can anyone explain how these tugs lift an airliner's nosegear up off the ground? I suspect this feat only requires a few inches of ground clearance. What is the cradle made of, and how does it grab the tires?

Going twice...How long have these Super Tugs been around for? (on any ramp).

Thanks guys.

Chris  Smile
"Just a minute while I re-invent myself"
 
Dufo
Posts: 796
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 2:41 am

RE: Tugs

Sat Feb 09, 2002 6:37 am

These things are huge.


Click for large version
Click here for full size photo!

Photo © Jernej Verbovsek



Jernej
I seriously think I just creamed my pants without any influence from any outside variables.
 
Ratzz
Posts: 196
Joined: Mon Sep 27, 1999 6:58 pm

RE: Tugs

Sat Feb 09, 2002 4:45 pm

The towbarless tugs,regardless of size,lifts/drags the nosewheel up in it´s "cradle"by means of using a gate to lock the nosewheel in position.Either by dragging the tug&cradle undernieth the nosegear prior to closing the gate(Goldhofer and others),or by means of just locking the gear against the cradle prior to closing the gate(Kalmar Motors/Douglas GSE).
After that is done,the entire "cradle"assy.is hoisted hydraulically a few inches above the tarmac.
Upon pushback/towing ops.completion,the cradle is lowered to the ground,gate is opened and the tug moves away from the nosegear.
Most towbarless tugs have means of adjusting either the cradle position or the wheelbase of the tug or a combo of both for best possible traction.
 
Mr Spaceman
Posts: 2723
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2001 5:09 am

RE: Ratzz

Sun Feb 10, 2002 5:45 am

>Ratzz, Great information about how these towbarless tugs lift the nosegear of airliners. Thank You.

Do you have any idea of how long these tugs have been in service around the world?

Chris  Smile
"Just a minute while I re-invent myself"
 
mikeclod
Posts: 270
Joined: Wed Dec 19, 2001 4:03 pm

RE: Ratzz

Sun Feb 10, 2002 6:59 am

sorry, don't know how long. The elektro tugs have a strap you loop around the nose gear, and winch on to the cradle. It's a little different from the type where the whole tug goes around the gear.
 
mikeclod
Posts: 270
Joined: Wed Dec 19, 2001 4:03 pm

RE: Tugs

Sun Feb 10, 2002 7:00 am

Oh, 1967.
http://www.lektro.com

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