It is hard to imagine how something so simple in design and function can have such a big impact on the efficiency of loading and unloading passenger luggage, but choosing the wrong baggage tractor model can create these types of problems.
The typical baggage tractor is actually used for a lot more than just moving luggage, although at most terminals and airports that will be the primary job. It can also be used as a tow tractor, and typically this will be the tow-bar style that is used on both small and large airplanes.
As a tractor, they are used to move just about any other type of cart, wagon or wheeled unit or system around the airport facility. With multiple tow-bar options and configurations, the baggage tractor will certainly be used more than most ground support equipment at any airport.
Most of the top baggage tractor models are designed with operator safety in mind. This means the design of the cab allows for clear visibility when operating the tractor, something that is always a concern in a busy airport terminal. Depending on the size and design of the unit there may be a fully enclosed cab with a single front window or the option for a split front window. Either option should also provide clear visibility to the sides as wells the back of the unit.
For smaller sized airports, an open vehicle may be a great option and provide 360-degree visibility without any obstructions. Typically these smaller sized units do not double as pushback tractors or tugs, but they can be used to move other equipment mounted on carts or wagons with ease.
The size of the baggage tractor is essential as this will determine the load it can handle. While you typically won’t find that luggage will be an issue, if this tractor is being used for multiple purposes at an airport, particularly for moving airplanes, the capacity to pull will be an essential consideration.
While a new baggage tractor with all the latest in features and operator comfort options is a great investment, it may not be practical for every airport. This is also true if you want a secondary unit that will only be used during peak airport traffic and with seasonal influxes of additional flights.
Buying a refurbished or rebuilt baggage tractor, or even renting to get through the busy times of the year, may both be options that are more budget friendly that making a new purchase.
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