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Old 03-21-2019, 09:48 AM
majuro15's Avatar
majuro15 majuro15 is offline
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Charlotte, NC
Posts: 670

I got the Best Tug because I'm 36 and have had two back surgeries. The Air Force won't like me having a third!! I looked at it as an investment as I hope it will be around just as long as the airplane will be. Even though I could push and pull it now I'd rather save my back for more important things like cleaning the gutters and digging holes!
Tim Huneycutt, Capt, NCANG
PC-12 Pilot
N1017H RV-10 Flying 2019
EAA #: 1106970
2021 VAF Dues Paid!
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Old 03-21-2019, 11:25 AM
rleffler's Avatar
rleffler rleffler is offline
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Delaware, OH (KDLZ)
Posts: 4,220

Originally Posted by TimO View Post
The best tug is definitely an awesome way to go. No argument there. And, if someone is going to need a tug for EVERY flight from their home base, or they have a real good slope, I would encourage people to check them out. It's not going to appeal to anyone who is a "it's gotta be cheap" kind of buyer, so don't even bother to google them if that's you. But as you said, I doubt people will find a better tug out there. For people needing a tug only occasionally, I'd look into the smaller ones. I probably only use mine less than 10 times a year, and generally only on the RV-10 when I want to go all the way from the fuel pump to the hangar. (200' maybe) The tail winch is simple and probably 30x less expensive than a best tug, but if you're going to use it every day, I would not go that route. If you're only looking for wet days, then it would maybe be worth it, especially if those are rare in your climate. I'll put it this way...if you're willing to spend $2000 on a tug, I'd try to just up your spending limit and go all the way to the Best. But if there's no way in heck you'd spend $2000, then you're going to have to look at all the far inferior tugs, and that's when you really have to look hard to find what you want. (and realize you may not be 100% satisfied in the end)

Where I am now, I can't see spending that kind of cash, but add 10-20 more years to my age, or put me in a different hangar with a slope and I myself would absolutely fork over the cash for it.

Since I'm older and frugal (except when it comes to things on the panel), I'm hoping to build my own tug this summer from parts. I really like what Ernst Freitag did. The casters he added solved the problem with moving the single tire. Now I just got to find the time!
Bob Leffler
N410BL - RV10 Flying
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Old 03-21-2019, 11:29 AM
woxofswa woxofswa is offline
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Mesa Arizona
Posts: 631

I appreciate the input. I have two hangars. The home base one is flat with nothing more than a door track to negotiate. I’ve been using a simple tow bar there with little issue other than advancing age. The Airpark hangar has a bit of slope. I decided to give the Minimax a try, in part because I can actually carry it with me on occasion, and I can buy two for the price of the rest. If it can’t handle the Airpark hangar with the slope, I am intrigued by the winch idea. I may end up with a BestTug at the Airpark if the Minimax doesn’t cut it.
Myron Nelson
Mesa, AZ
RV-10 N24EV
KITPLANES Contributing Editor

Last edited by woxofswa : 03-21-2019 at 11:32 AM.
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Old 03-21-2019, 02:38 PM
dmaib's Avatar
dmaib dmaib is offline
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: New Smyrna Beach, FL
Posts: 1,339

I bought back in 2008 when I was finishing my airplane. Still working fine. I'm on my 2nd battery. When I replaced my Odyssey 925, the old one was still working fine, but was about seven years old, so I decided it was time to replace. I put the old Odyssey in the tug to replace it's seven year old battery, and it has been just fine. I had to modify the battery box on the tug a bit for the Odyssey. Happy customer.
David Maib
RV-10 N380DM
New Smyrna Beach, FL
VAF Paid 1/21/2021

"In '69 I was 21, and I called the road my own"
Jackson Browne

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Old 03-21-2019, 07:40 PM
bpattonsoa bpattonsoa is offline
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Indepenence, Oregon
Posts: 359

I wanted an electric tug for my -10 and did all the research and ended up with nothing. The problem is the wheel fairing not leaving enough room. Ones that work for the Cirrus don?t work for us. The one that is hard to steer is not an issue for some, but I need to do 90 and 30 degree turns. The track models are out because of the cost.

All my searching inspired a neighbor with a -6A to try and develop his own. With a used $190 wheelchair, some big scrap aluminum channel from a boat project, scrap metal, some small wheels, a bunch of welding, hardware store bolts and a lot of head scratching and rebuilding the result is amazing.

The stearing comrtol from the chair (a stick and speed control) is held in your hand. The two drive wheels and the caster wheels from the chair let it do a 360, the wheels steer by varying their speed, even turning in different directions in a tight turn. There is a platform with a wheel capture mechanism. You drive up to the nose, line up the platform, drive it under the wheel and drive away. The chair control has variable speed and is faster than you want. It easily turns as tightly as the nosewheel allows. Get it to your destination and push a button added to the controls to release the plane and backup the tug.

The only issue with it is going over obstacles, the platform is about 1/2 inch off the ground. His plane has the standard nose wheel fairing.

Would include photos if it were easier. I am keeping an eye on Craigslist for cheap working chairs.
Bruce Patton
Rans S-20 Raven 796S flying since 2019 (slowly)
RV-6A 596S flying since '89 (Sold)
HP-18 5596S flying since '83
RV-10 996S flying since 2014, quick build wing and slow build fues., - dual Skyviews with complete system, two radio and not much else. Interior completely finished with Zolatone. CF plenum. 1624 lbs, FLYING after a 21.5 month build.
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Old 03-21-2019, 07:57 PM
Kyle Boatright Kyle Boatright is online now
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 4,369

Originally Posted by bpattonsoa View Post

Would include photos if it were easier. I am keeping an eye on Craigslist for cheap working chairs.
Send a picture to and I'll post it for you.
Kyle Boatright
Marietta, GA
2001 RV-6 N46KB
2019(?) RV-10
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Old 03-21-2019, 09:38 PM
CDN CDN is offline
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Calgary, AB
Posts: 130
Default DIY Tug

I made my own with a 24v 350w scooter motor and related parts that I bought on Amazon. If I had to do it over again I would have used a 500w motor. It uses 2 odyssey pc680 batteries in series and has a thumb throttle. The motor has a gear reduction built in and has an output through a 9 tooth sprocket. A bicycle chain sends power to a 44 tooth gear attached to the wheel.
VAF Donation made Feb 2021
RV-10 C-GNCX flying since Oct 2016
500+ hours and counting
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Old 03-21-2019, 10:54 PM
ReidVaitor ReidVaitor is offline
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: SoCal
Posts: 179
Default RV-10 tug

Originally Posted by David Paule View Post
I ordered [url=""]

They are working on an RV-10 version, too. Apparently the low fairing clearance is the issue there. You'll have to contact them for info.

That was true, I think its been resolved. We tested it late 2018 and it clearly was hitting the front fairing, they had a way of sliding in and locking in and were going to go back and make the mod. Unfortunately, I haven't had time to go out and test the new version. It does work very well.
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Old 03-21-2019, 11:47 PM
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Seattle
Posts: 1,412

I use a Cubcadet ZTG 54" zero turn mower. 26 hp! ELECTRIC START! Hydrostatic drive! It perfectly positions my planes using a conventional tow bar strapped to the rear bumper (I could improve that a bit)
It's awesome. My wife won't let me mow the lawn anymore either. (Now THAT is a real benefit!)
I don't know what it is about Zero Turn mowers that cause wives to take over the mowing, I just go with it!
Scott Emery
EAA 668340, chapter 326 & IAC chapter 67
RV-8 N89SE first flight 12/26/2013
Yak55M, and the wife has an RV-4
There is nothing-absolute nothing-half so much worth doing as simply messing around with Aeroplanes
(with apologies to Ratty)
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Old 03-22-2019, 06:28 PM
Bavafa Bavafa is online now
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 3,488

I am considering one of these tugs, AC Air technology, pricy for sure but looks like a really nice toy. Wondering if anyone has used them.

This model works with the RV10
N825SM RV7A - IO360M1B - SOLD
N825MS RV14A - IO390 - Flying
Dues paid
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