What Tug to Get

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Soareyes

What Tug to Get

Post by Soareyes »

Take a look at the YouTube video ( https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=5BShoqQG2G8 ) that I did showing how I set up and use a Harbor Freight winch, with wireless remote, powered by a Harbor Freight portable power pack (so no electric AC is required), all for just over $100.

Another video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g_9e0gJt6bg
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ultraturtle
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Re: What Tug to Get

Post by ultraturtle »

An oldey, but goodey from the 2013 DAN post viewtopic.php?f=8&t=4206:
bcocheran wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2013 3:37 pm
Well...here is the answer from the Tech Support Group from Diamond in London, Ontario...
The tail tiedown is NOT intended as a winch point. He said it is attached with 6 screws and some sealant and was not designed for backward towing stresses of the aircraft (which really sucks! being that i rigged up a winch!).

He suggested a motorized nose wheel, preferentially one that lifts the nose wheel as that is what they use at the factory.

He did say that NONE of these options are commented on by Diamond as certified or approved methods of moving the aircraft....
As the tail tie-down is not engineered for horizontal forces, you need to take responsibility for risk of damage. Smooth, flat entry through a bifold door entry might be okay, but damage that may occur as you mangle it over 1" horizontal door tracks is on you.

A lightweight, powerful, reasonably priced folding tug that can easily fit in your aircraft for travel would be the Sidewinder: https://www.redlineaviation.com/diamond/

If you need more grunt, the easy (but more expensive) choice would be Best Tugs: https://www.besttugs.com/pages/b5-info

I own both, and they are both smart ways to spend thousands of dollars to protect hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of aircraft.

I too bought a winch thinking it would do the job of yoinking my future Diamond by the tail, but am repurposing it after being educated by a tug engineer on why that would be a bad idea.

Sidenote: I did thank that engineer for saving my "tail".
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NDCDA62
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Re: What Tug to Get

Post by NDCDA62 »

I am very satisfied with TowFLEXX which also doubles as a power source. I also carry a spare set of DA62 pin adaptors in case needed at other airports.
Attachments
TowFLEXX Tug
TowFLEXX Tug
150BA3A3-DC3C-4234-896D-C69851C9C4EA.jpeg (20.48 KiB) Viewed 2855 times
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soarer20
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Re: What Tug to Get

Post by soarer20 »

Diamond said not to pull it from the tail tie down. The person I bought my DA-20 from had been winching it from the tail tie down for years...

I would highly recommend a tug that the nose wheel sits in rather than the type that pushes on the the wheel faring tabs or wheel axle
Airplane tug IMG_5525.jpg
Don't buy this type, this is the one I have and it is very cumbersome and doesn't work very well.
Airplane tugIMG_5526.jpg
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Re: What Tug to Get

Post by Thomas »

I am using a tow TowFLEXX since 11 years.... its just perfect and easy to use.
We do have several units on our airfield, including the larger remote controlled ones ( for the PC12 / TBM‘s).
Thomas Bienz DA40-180 40.337 D-ENMA
Home Airport LSZC Buochs Switzerland
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Re: What Tug to Get

Post by Boatguy »

I use a Best Tugs Alpha 3. It's a well built unit and works well.

Pushing the trailing link nose wheel is an issue; I have to lift and rotate the tug when pushing. Pulling is easy and the tug has a pin which can be pulled to allow the nose wheel connection to articulate and easily turn the plane.

I don't know that connecting to the nose wheel axle is any different than having the nose wheel sit on the tug. Either way the force must go through the nose wheel strut. Sitting on the tug seems like it would make it more difficult to turn when pulling.
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Re: What Tug to Get

Post by Tommy »

658B91A6-EFF0-4B65-BF5C-4A045C33D7EC.jpeg
F099A87A-69D2-4512-A575-4E3FE392C30B.jpeg
2A1DB625-7948-4FA9-9799-375B0677D091.jpeg
You can’t beat this tug. It has a castering basket that literally makes it impossible to damage the nose gear. Variable speed, regenerative braking, senses the surface it is on 35 times a second and adjusts speed and torque as necessary. No, they are not cheap, however, how expensive is the aircraft you are towing. One damage event on my nose wheel cost me $6,000.00. That’s pretty much enough to pay for the tug. Believe me (and I know many of you won’t) you don’t want to be cheap here.
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Rich
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Re: What Tug to Get

Post by Rich »

I used the PowerTow 40EZ for about 17 years. Last summer bought Brock's ThunderVolt 12V. This is an electric motor battery-powered variant of the PowerTow and have used it ever since. I like it better for the quiet, minimal vibration operation and no engine maintenance/refueling. A couple of days ago was a good example of using a tug for in/out operation. In front of the hangar was about a 12-ft. long sheet of ice to navigate. Traction from the (fairly heavy) tug abetted a bit by pushing down on the handle made it a no-hassle removal.

Learning to use it is key. For the DA40, I've found that once it's lined up straight where I want it to go, I can make minor adjustments as needed to keep it straight by pushing downward on one side of the handle or the other. This causes the nose-gear to rotate very slightly and keeps the plane under control.

The battery-powered version does not move the plane as quickly as the gas-powered will. This max speed is a good thing for the main use, as I'm only moving the plane 50-ish ft. in or out.
2002 DA40: MT, PowerFlow, 530W/430W, KAP140, ext. baggage, 1090 ES out, 2646 MTOW, 40gal., Surefly, Flightstream 210, Orion 600 LED, XeVision, Aspen E5
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Re: What Tug to Get

Post by Don »

I have been very happy with my AC Air Technology robot tug. It has a wireless remote with joystick and speed control. You can walk around aircraft when in motion to check clearance. Also, the bright LED lights make hook up at night easy.
http://acairtechnology.com/
NEW TUG.JPG
Diamond Star XLS, N623DS, SN40.1076
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Re: What Tug to Get

Post by CBeak »

Don wrote:
Sun Jan 12, 2020 6:18 pm
I have been very happy with my AC Air Technology robot tug. It has a wireless remote with joystick and speed control. You can walk around aircraft when in motion to check clearance. Also, the bright LED lights make hook up at night easy.
http://acairtechnology.com/
TingNEW TUG.JPG
Interesting. There are several models on their site. Which one are you using?
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