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  #21  
Old 09-27-2021, 07:32 PM
rockwoodrv9 rockwoodrv9 is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Meridian ID, Aspen CO, Okemos MI
Posts: 2,820
Default Trailer Dolly

If you dont mind a bit of work, this may be a good option. With the 2" ball already included it may be as easy as getting a tow bar that that connects to a hitch. It is quite a bit less expensive. I really like the BestTug but they are pricy.

I think I will give one of these a try. Any thoughts?

https://www.amazon.com/Tow-Tuff-TMD-...2696763&sr=8-6
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Williamston MI
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  #22  
Old 09-27-2021, 09:44 PM
Kyle Boatright Kyle Boatright is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Atlanta, GA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rockwoodrv9 View Post

I think I will give one of these a try. Any thoughts?
Please give one of those a try. Should be the basis for a decent tug at a reasonable price.
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Marietta, GA
2001 RV-6 N46KB
2019(?) RV-10
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  #23  
Old 09-27-2021, 10:54 PM
rv8ch's Avatar
rv8ch rv8ch is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: LSGY
Posts: 4,166
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyle Boatright View Post
Please give one of those a try. Should be the basis for a decent tug at a reasonable price.
I agree with Kyle - this looks great - I'm delighted to see some crossover from the non-aviation world to tugs.

I've "converted" an old electric wheelchair to allow it to grab the towbar as others have done, and the results are "meh". It needs more work, mainly because it is not heavy enough without me sitting or standing on it to maintain traction. Heavy batteries are not enough. Not sure if you will have a similar issue with this one - the tires look much better than mine. Please keep us posted!
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  #24  
Old 09-28-2021, 08:41 AM
MacCool's Avatar
MacCool MacCool is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2020
Location: central Minnesota
Posts: 712
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by rockwoodrv9 View Post
If you dont mind a bit of work, this may be a good option. With the 2" ball already included it may be as easy as getting a tow bar that that connects to a hitch. It is quite a bit less expensive. I really like the BestTug but they are pricy.

I think I will give one of these a try. Any thoughts?

https://www.amazon.com/Tow-Tuff-TMD-...2696763&sr=8-6
I have one of those that I recently purchased off Amazon for moving my -9A in and out of the hangar. It's very clever and works great for actually moving trailers because the trailer puts the entire tongue weight on the drive wheels. It has plenty of power for pulling my airplane around...no issues at all there. I use a Bogert nosewheel towing thing and replaced the handle with a rod and steel ring that I slip over the two inch ball. The power is sufficient, and the speed control is perfect.

The problem is the geometry. When pulling the airplane out of the hangar, it levers the thing such that it put a lot of weight on the wheels when I put down pressure on the handle, which is necessary for there to be enough traction. Pulling the plane is therefore not an issue and with some down-pressure on the handle, it pulls the plane pretty much without effort. Pushing the plane, however, is problematic...given the geometry of the device, when pushing the airplane, there's not enough down-pressure on the drive wheels to give sufficient traction and the wheels just spin even on no-slope concrete or asphalt. I did try adding a couple of 40-lb tractor suitcase weights, but even with 80 extra pounds of pressure directly over the wheels, it still has some traction problems.

Pulling the airplane is not a problem with this tug as-is. If I can solve the traction problem when pushing the airplane back into the hangar, it will work great. I've only had the thing a week have been out of town for 5 of those days. Haven't had a chance to contemplate the necessary changes.

If anybody comes up with a solution to modify this cost-effective and well-made device, please post.
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AFS 5400/3500, G5, 430W, some other stuff

Last edited by MacCool : 09-28-2021 at 08:47 AM.
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  #25  
Old 09-28-2021, 09:02 AM
Auburntsts's Avatar
Auburntsts Auburntsts is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Tampa, FL
Posts: 3,019
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I'm in the market for a tug and this solution intrigues me. To solve the "push" issue, my 10 sec analysis would be to weld a section of horizontal square tube to the front in order to create a receiver like on a typical tow bar on the back of a truck/SUVs and ditch the vertical one. That would lower the tow point to be more inline with the direction of travel and allow the use of regular receiver draw bar/ball that you can get anywhere or any variety of customized roll your own solutions.
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  #26  
Old 09-28-2021, 10:27 AM
rockwoodrv9 rockwoodrv9 is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Meridian ID, Aspen CO, Okemos MI
Posts: 2,820
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Auburntsts View Post
I'm in the market for a tug and this solution intrigues me. To solve the "push" issue, my 10 sec analysis would be to weld a section of horizontal square tube to the front in order to create a receiver like on a typical tow bar on the back of a truck/SUVs and ditch the vertical one. That would lower the tow point to be more inline with the direction of travel and allow the use of regular receiver draw bar/ball that you can get anywhere or any variety of customized roll your own solutions.
That is the modification I was thinking and lowering the angle of the handle. I will wait to hear back from Mr MacCool after he has a few more times to see if he can make it work before ordering.
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  #27  
Old 09-28-2021, 05:37 PM
6ato14a 6ato14a is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: longmont, co
Posts: 185
Default Pull it in

How about pulling the plane into the hangar and pushing it out?
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  #28  
Old 09-28-2021, 06:21 PM
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MacCool MacCool is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2020
Location: central Minnesota
Posts: 712
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Auburntsts View Post
I'm in the market for a tug and this solution intrigues me. To solve the "push" issue, my 10 sec analysis would be to weld a section of horizontal square tube to the front in order to create a receiver like on a typical tow bar on the back of a truck/SUVs and ditch the vertical one. That would lower the tow point to be more inline with the direction of travel and allow the use of regular receiver draw bar/ball that you can get anywhere or any variety of customized roll your own solutions.
Yeah, that's what I was contemplating. As it is, pushing the airplane with the tow bar attached to the 2" ball tends to angle the whole drive up, actually unweighting the wheels. Having the tow bar at or below the axle would mitigate that. Whether it would mitigate it enough to actually have enough traction...I don't know. If not...adding the tractor weights might overcome it. Anything below the axle will lever weight onto the wheels. Whether it's enough...we'll have to see.

FYI...the picture above has the 2" trailer ball at its max height. It's adjustable and I tried it using the lowest position, which is right flush with the up/down receiver tube.

I won't have time to work on this for the next week or so...will be out of the country...but I'm optimistic that this will work well eventually.


..
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RV-9A, 2011, bought flying
IO-320D1A
IFR certified
AFS 5400/3500, G5, 430W, some other stuff

Last edited by MacCool : 09-28-2021 at 08:13 PM.
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  #29  
Old 09-29-2021, 02:40 PM
N427EF N427EF is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 1,556
Default Another option

Here is another home brewed tug.
Works very well and the best part is you don't need to bend over to grab the front wheel axle. All is controlled from a standing position following the tug.
If you notice the linear actuator opening and closing the forks from a switch on the console. It also locks the fork so no danger of slipping out and tearing up your wheel pants. Total cost about $300, but you have to build it and I do not have a parts list.
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  #30  
Old 09-29-2021, 05:21 PM
Canadian_JOY Canadian_JOY is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 2,467
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by MacCool View Post
I have one of those that I recently purchased off Amazon for moving my -9A in and out of the hangar. It's very clever and works great for actually moving trailers because the trailer puts the entire tongue weight on the drive wheels. It has plenty of power for pulling my airplane around...no issues at all there. I use a Bogert nosewheel towing thing and replaced the handle with a rod and steel ring that I slip over the two inch ball. The power is sufficient, and the speed control is perfect.

The problem is the geometry. When pulling the airplane out of the hangar, it levers the thing such that it put a lot of weight on the wheels when I put down pressure on the handle, which is necessary for there to be enough traction. Pulling the plane is therefore not an issue and with some down-pressure on the handle, it pulls the plane pretty much without effort. Pushing the plane, however, is problematic...given the geometry of the device, when pushing the airplane, there's not enough down-pressure on the drive wheels to give sufficient traction and the wheels just spin even on no-slope concrete or asphalt. I did try adding a couple of 40-lb tractor suitcase weights, but even with 80 extra pounds of pressure directly over the wheels, it still has some traction problems.

Pulling the airplane is not a problem with this tug as-is. If I can solve the traction problem when pushing the airplane back into the hangar, it will work great. I've only had the thing a week have been out of town for 5 of those days. Haven't had a chance to contemplate the necessary changes.

If anybody comes up with a solution to modify this cost-effective and well-made device, please post.
My earlier post addressed this issue directly... Getting the weight of the nosewheel right over the drive wheels of the tug is critical to obtaining sufficient traction to have control over the aircraft and sufficient oompf to get it up over humps and bumps while pushing and pulling.

With this in mind, I would stay away from anything that doesn't support the nosewheel if one is planning to operate on anything other than perfectly flat, smooth, dry, hard surfaces.

In our location we have snow, rain, massive heaving of the asphalt and an uphill push into the hangar. The AeroTow tug really makes the task of moving the aircraft a breeze. Yes, it's massive over-kill, but just take the concept and build one yourself, one that fits your requirements.

Electric power (24VDC) is the way to go - having to worry about starting a small gasoline engine is a pain in the keester.
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