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20 Jan 2020, 17:19 [ UTC - 5; DST ]





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 Post subject: Best Tug Ideas (For the money)
PostPosted: 16 Dec 2019, 23:16 
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Location: Utah
Aircraft: MU-2B
No this thread isn't about "Best Tugs" but rather looking for good value Tugs that can pull a 10,000 LB aircraft with a double nose wheel (MU2). I'm not convinced a riding lawnmower will quite handle the load. So I would love to start putting together some additional ideas! If you have pictures of your tug contraption all the better!

Thanks! :cheers:


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 Post subject: Re: Best Tug Ideas (For the money)
PostPosted: 16 Dec 2019, 23:30 
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Joined: 11/20/16
Posts: 2558
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Location: Austin, TX area
Aircraft: F33A Bonanza
Get a small Kubota tractor.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Tug Ideas (For the money)
PostPosted: 16 Dec 2019, 23:31 
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Location: Utah
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Username Protected wrote:
Get a small Kubota tractor.

I've been looking but everything in my area for sale is 10k and up! I have a BX25 at home, I suspect I could use that for now, but long term I think I would like to have it around for home use :)

I had hoped to find an old John Deere that someone would sell cheap, but seems it's not a great time to find these used.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Tug Ideas (For the money)
PostPosted: 16 Dec 2019, 23:55 
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Joined: 08/12/10
Posts: 1488
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Location: Southern California
An old farmall super C. I bought one for $1100


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 Post subject: Re: Best Tug Ideas (For the money)
PostPosted: 17 Dec 2019, 00:02 
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Joined: 11/22/08
Posts: 1824
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Company: USAF Propulsion Laboratory
Location: Dayton, OH
Aircraft: PA24, Aerostar 680
You should be able to find a decent sized tractor for less than $5k or maybe even an older jeep. I have used my Ford 8N and 3000 to move my Aerostar. The 8N might be a little small for the MU-2. Those old tractors have plenty of weight.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Tug Ideas (For the money)
PostPosted: 17 Dec 2019, 00:21 
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Joined: 03/24/19
Posts: 340
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Aircraft: Glasair Sportsman
I'll chime in here with a differing opinion. Please bear with me and read to the end...

What you can use to tow a 10K pound airplane depends hugely on WHERE you wish to tow it and on what the weather conditions are in that area.

In days gone by I towed a BE90 with a Ford 8N. With even the slightest bit of snow on the ground that turned into a potentially disastrous situation. The 8N had very little front wheel traction, certainly not nearly enough to counter the pivoting moment caused when one main gear of the BE90 came up against a small obstacle like a hangar door track. I still remember the spike in adrenaline that I received when that King Air twisted sideways, dragging the 8N with it. For a teenager it was a feeling like seeing your entire future blowing up before your very eyes. Thankfully no damage was done. Whew!

If one were to use a tug which lifts the nosewheel of the aircraft, one can quickly gain sufficient traction to safely move a fairly large aircraft with a comparatively light tug. If one is to rely solely on a push bar, one wants a tug with some real weight. A Ford F150 would be more suitable than a Ford 8N.

Again, circumstances dictate the most appropriate tug. On flat, dry concrete one doesn't need nearly as capable a tug as on a slippery, sloped or contaminated surface. Choose your tug according to your circumstances.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Tug Ideas (For the money)
PostPosted: 17 Dec 2019, 01:50 
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Joined: 11/08/12
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Location: San Carlos, CA - KSQL
Aircraft: Mitsubishi MU-2B-40
Username Protected wrote:
No this thread isn't about "Best Tugs" but rather looking for good value Tugs that can pull a 10,000 LB aircraft with a double nose wheel (MU2). I'm not convinced a riding lawnmower will quite handle the load. So I would love to start putting together some additional ideas! If you have pictures of your tug contraption all the better!

Thanks! :cheers:

I have two of these for my Solitaire...

The lazy Susan won’t over turn the nose gear. And getting it on the tug generates lots of traction. If you have tight space it can maneuver easily and compactly. And if you have snow/ice you can order tire chains that’ll fit when you place your order.

You may find “cheaper” solutions. But this has a lot of “value”.

_________________
-Jon C.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Tug Ideas (For the money)
PostPosted: 17 Dec 2019, 02:02 
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Joined: 02/09/09
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Location: Owosso, MI (KRNP)
Aircraft: V35A, SS700 Aerostar
I’ve tried many different ways to move airplanes around..For years, I used a golf cart in the summer and a Polaris RZR in the winter to move my Aerostar and a customers 421C. Then they upgraded to a C-441 and I needed something heavier. I found an old military tug and have used that for two years. Now that I’m getting caught up financially after building a large corporate hangar, I started looking at tractors. Last month I bought an almost new 4WD John Deere 3025 for $11,500. It works as well as anything. I worked for a large 135 carrier, and they have used a JD 3220 for many years to tow everything from a Caravan to Metroliners to 1900’s in all weather conditions.
I now have the tug for sale... asking $4500. A friend has it all cleaned up and new paint. It could use new tires on the back. Located in Owosso, MI (KRNP)
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 Post subject: Re: Best Tug Ideas (For the money)
PostPosted: 17 Dec 2019, 02:16 
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Joined: 12/01/13
Posts: 153
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Location: Airdrie, AB
Aircraft: Cessna A185F
I have a hitch on the front drivers side of my F150 4x4. It bolts on using the same bolts as the tow hook. Best part: it always starts.

No additional capital costs. No additional insurance. Always at the airport when I’m there. :D Warmed up when I get to the airport, and warmed up for the ride home by the time the airplane is put away.
Hitch isn’t centred on the truck, it’s centred on the driver, so the driver is centred on the airplane. Easier to aim the airplane when I’m backing it in the hangar.

Heavy enough to have good traction for pulling and pushing, but also has better brakes than most tractors for stopping. Usually has good tread on the tires.

Has Power steering, stereo, a/c, heated and cooled seats, etc. :thumbup:


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 Post subject: Re: Best Tug Ideas (For the money)
PostPosted: 17 Dec 2019, 07:53 
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Location: Lexington, KY (KIOB)
Aircraft: G35 B95A Z526F SU26
Another idea is a pneumatic tire forklift. Concoct or buy a lazy susan attachment for the front end and you have a compact turning radius with nose gear lifting capabilities and enough mass to never have the tail wagging the dog.

An attachment like this:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Versa-Tow-Airc ... XQHO9RfkRC

Or something as simple as this:
viewtopic.php?f=7&t=86508

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Steven Morgan
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 Post subject: Re: Best Tug Ideas (For the money)
PostPosted: 17 Dec 2019, 07:55 
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Joined: 08/20/09
Posts: 1568
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Company: Jcrane, Inc.
Location: KVES Greenville, OH
Aircraft: C421
Here's an older Lektro for sale in Stockton...

Pics - http://www.wolfeaviation.com/aircraft_f ... P8600.html

Specs - http://www.wolfeaviation.com/aircraft_f ... AP8600.pdf

We have one of similar vintage and it works well in all weather. Looks like this one needs new batteries.

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Jack Stull
N421EE
C421 recurrent


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 Post subject: Re: Best Tug Ideas (For the money)
PostPosted: 17 Dec 2019, 09:11 
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Aircraft: Mooney M20J, C90A
If you have a smooth, level hangar and apron outside you can get away with a quality electric golf cart. Avoid the tractors (I'm a farmer) because the old ones 8n's jubilees etc. though cheap will let you down when you most need them no matter how well cared for. I tow a C90A with the golf cart and only have an issue when 100% full of fuel when making hard turns. The benefits of the golf cart is: easy to charge, always works, and most importantly cheap. Just throw a pinhook hitch on the front and a regular tow bar and you are in business. Worst that can happen is you have a bit of trouble moving it when loaded with fuel so you get someone to stand on the back to build up the initial traction. I find the steering is ok if you know its limits.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Tug Ideas (For the money)
PostPosted: 17 Dec 2019, 10:02 
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Location: Owosso, MI (KRNP)
Aircraft: V35A, SS700 Aerostar
Username Protected wrote:
If you have a smooth, level hangar and apron outside you can get away with a quality electric golf cart. .

He said the Mitz was 10,000#. A golf cart works great until you get a wet surface, then it becomes useless. If the hangar floor is painted and wet, it’s useless. If the surface is dry, you are correct that it works great.

I also used the hitch on the front of my GMC pickup. $150 on Amazon or EBay and it took 45 minutes to install. It works great, but you have to have a long towbar or you will not be able to see it over the hood. In my case I used it while my Aerostar was based at another airport temporarily.

A regular tug or newer 4WD tractor with hydrostatic transmission works about the best when combined with a Brackett or Tronair towbar. The only caution is if you don’t set it up right and take your foot off the pedal quickly (thing startled), you can rip the nose gear off the airplane. A friend had this happen by an FBO on his Commander 690.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Tug Ideas (For the money)
PostPosted: 17 Dec 2019, 10:47 
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Joined: 05/05/09
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Aircraft: MU-2, G44
I have an AC air tug for a Citation with a single nose wheel. I didn't want to drop 10K on a double wheel model. What I do is use the rollers on the robot tug to nudge the main wheel. So I'm holding the remote with one hand and the towbar with the other hand. It works just fine and you have an easy tug to use with any of your other aircraft.

A golf cart would work A OK also for $1,200.

Mike


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 Post subject: Re: Best Tug Ideas (For the money)
PostPosted: 17 Dec 2019, 10:54 
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Joined: 11/08/12
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Location: San Carlos, CA - KSQL
Aircraft: Mitsubishi MU-2B-40
Username Protected wrote:
Here's an older Lektro for sale in Stockton...

WARNING - a Lektro will not work on a short body MU2 because of the nose fairing. I am unclear whether they work on a long body MU2 but I kinda don’t think so... don’t buy a Lektro for a MU2!

_________________
-Jon C.


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