Electric tow tugs in the aerospace industry

What are the benefits of using electric tow tugs in the aerospace industry?

The aerospace commercial MRO (manufacturing, repair and overhaul) industry is a major contributor to the UK’s economy in terms of industrial activity and economic output. Considering the many on-going growth opportunities, there has never been a more important time than now to effectively face the challenges of new technologies and changing market dynamics in this industry.

In this article, we are going to talk about electric tow tugs and the main benefits of introducing them as a solution for the aerospace industry to face challenges. 

What are the challenges in the aerospace industry?

There are a number of major disruptors that have the potential to shift the competitive landscape for MROs in the aerospace industry. To name a few, these are: 

  • Game-changing advancements in technology and high demand for innovation at every stage of the aerospace manufacturing process
  • The repair and overhaul aerospace processes are highly time-consuming
  • High-value and high-maintenance items need to be safely moved all the time
  • Difficulty in transporting large items and material handling processes
  • Lack of accuracy and control of load vital 
  • Loads are often on dedicated trolleys (engine stands, wing frames, etc)
  • High costs 
  • Continuous safety concerns 
  • Multi-person material handling processes that take up too much time 

However, there is a simple solution that can streamline the movement of high-value items, make the assembly process safer, reduce costs and much more. And the solution is electric tow tugs!

How electric tow tugs can help the aerospace industry?

Well firstly, you might wonder what an electric tow tug can move:  

  • Engine nacelles
  • Wingtips 
  • Whole wings
  • Fuselages 
  • Engine trollies
  • Access staging 
  • Seating
  • Picking trollies 

… and much more.

While traditional diesel tugs have their place within most hangars, MRO require a specialised solution in the form of pedestrian electric tugs instead. They have many advantages, as well as comparable features, over alternative solutions. From the top of our head, the main advantages are:

  • Enable staged production processes (TAKT) 
  • Just In Time (JIT) delivery of materials and components to production lines 
  • Precise control and positioning of loads in metrology environments
  • Highly controlled movement of long and heavy loads
  • Reduced reliance on forklifts, ride-on tugs and overhead cranes 
  • Dramatic reduction in manual handling 
  • Flexibility and adaptability 
  • Easy integration of existing load trolleys
  • Strong and durable construction for industrial environments

While this option might not be the right one for everyone, we want to go in a bit more detail with some of these advantages to highlight the five main reasons why you should consider making the switch. 

1. Reduced fuel and maintenance costs

Electric tow tugs require less maintenance and cost way less over time when compared to traditional tugs. Electric tow tugs don’t require the services and repairs that are common for diesel tugs. At MotorMover, we offer cost-effective service and repair packages to make sure that your equipment is safe and functional for as long as possible. 

In addition, to keep your efficiencies high and your stoppages low, there are no requirements for formal licensing. Why? Because with us, operator training is offered at the point of installation with options for your entire team to train. This in turn will save you a considerable amount of time and money in the long run.

2. Contribution to corporate sustainability

We think that zero-emission means good for people, the environment and your pockets. Did you know that airlines cause 2% of the world’s CO2 emission? However, it seems that the air transport industry has a goal to cut this output in half by 2050, so fingers crossed for that. 

However, if sustainability is a big part of your company culture (which it should be), considering to start using electric tow tugs would be a great start. By doing so, you will cut down on pollution and help eliminate any potential health hazard for your staff and area residents. 

Same goes for noise, as electric motors are very silent. This will surely soothe everybody’s nerves and health!

3. Improved manoeuvrability and mobility

This key advantage seems to be overlooked quite often, and that is excellent manoeuvrability and mobility. Considering it’s an emission-free tug, electric tow tugs can be safely used on the tarmac and even inside hangars. 

It has a very compact size, uninterrupted torque and it can get into tight spots whilst maintaining precise and smooth movements. At MotorMover, our electric tow tugs have 180 degrees manoeuvrability once coupled and they are very helpful in pushing and pulling heavy loads with ease and confidence.

4. Versatility, adjustability and comfort

Good electric tow tugs are versatile in many ways. They produce no exhaust gas and can be used on any suitable floor surface – even on slopes by prior evaluation with a variety of trollies and trailers.

Electric tow tugs are the ideal compact solution for heavy loads as they rely on the principle of tractive effort, which allows them to move large and heavy loads easily. Another benefit is that easy-to-use cutting-edge lift technology is fun! 

5. Enhanced safety and control

Our Motor movers have a capacity of moving up to 20,000 kg and they are a highly safe and reliable solution for the aerospace industry. They can move seamlessly and effortlessly, whilst keeping both staff and material safe. 

Compared to overhead cranes, the risks associated with handling heavy loads is completely removed when using electric tow tugs. They offer full speed control, settable maximum speed and an automatic parking brake ensuring total load control throughout the movement. It also has a super-simple and intuitive interface, and the small footprint offers excellent operator visibility of the load. 

So by now, you may be wondering ‘should I switch to electric tow tugs? Our recommendation is yes! If you are looking to make the switch to an electric tug or simply want to add a few electric tow tugs into your hangars fleet, Motormover can help! Electric tow tugs are widely beneficial not only in the aerospace industry but also in the automotive, logistics, food and beverage, manufacturing and healthcare industries to name a few.

If you want to find out more about how the MotorMover electric plane tug can optimise your operations, contact our friendly team today. You can also give us a quick call on 0116 232 8799 because a simple, scalable solution is just a few clicks away!