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New Lease on Life


That was four years ago. The ongoing partnership has seen the complete zero-time refurbishment of more than 60 tugs and 30 belt loaders for US Airways, which the airline has expected will bring at least another 20 years of service life to each unit. "We're hoping that we can get the same life out of them as what we had/' [Dennis Jancart] says. "We've found it to be a good program and cost effective and probably as close as you can get to a new vehicle."

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									 COVER STORY

                      In a partnership with US Airways, Hercules
                       Engine Components transforms aging GSE.
                                                                               By Lisa Haddican

 F          aced with an aging fleet of diesel tow tractors and belt loaders, fleet
            managers at US Airways searched for a more economic alternative
            to simply replacing the equipment. “After coming out of bankruptcy
and the merger, we were looking at options — a better, more cost-effective pro-
gram,” says Dennis Jancart, vendor supervisor at US Airways.
     Hercules Engine Components LLC, which supplied the airline with parts for
the Hercules engines, offered an option in the form of engine repowering for
the tugs and remanufacturing of cradles for the belt loaders. But new, cleaner
engines didn’t remedy the external wear on the 20-year-old units. Responding to
a request by the airline, Hercules branched out into a new service — “zero-time”

                         1                                                       2                                        3
     Belt loader teardown process begins.                    The instrument panel will be replaced with   New cradle is placed into chassis.
                                                                an upgraded custom-designed unit.

14   GROUND SUPPORT WORLDWIDE • December 2008/January 2009
                                                                                      Unit is ready for testing.

             4                                      5                                             6
Chassis is prepared for finish    All hydraulic hoses have been replaced;     New steering wheel and rebuilt driver’s seat
        coat of paint.          new electrical system and rebuilt steering                 with seatbelt
                                           column is instal
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