Red Flag No. 1: Ground Support Equipment Is Inefficient
Ground support equipment for aircraft should be both work and fuel-efficient. But, as with anything, these metrics can and most likely will decrease with time. So, if you're noticing your GSE is burning more fuel than it once did or that its speed, startup time or strength aren't what they once were, your ground support equipment may be on its way out.
In order to determine how much work and fuel efficiency has decreased, it's critical that you record baseline data from when it was new. You'll then have a point of reference to see how things fluctuate over time. While equipment losing efficiency over time is normal, there is a point when aircraft ground support equipment can become too inefficient to justify using it. At this time, you'll want to replace it.
Red Flag No. 2: Aircraft GSE Needs Frequent Repairs
If your aviation ground support equipment is in constant need of repairs beyond regular preventative GSE maintenance, it's most likely operating beyond its useful lifespan. In general, repairs made on aircraft ground support equipment should last a pretty long time. So, if a piece of GSE is always breaking down, there's most likely a more serious problem at play. And while technically you can continue to keep repairing the equipment, the costs of repairs will soon outweigh the worth of keeping the equipment in your fleet.
A good way to determine if repair costs are rising is to always set a budget for your repairs. This way, you'll be able to quickly determine which aircraft tug, vehicle or piece of equipment is experiencing consistent issues and, thus, going over budget. If aircraft GSE is having the same issue over and over, it may be due to a flaw in the design or a product of its operating conditions. If it's seemingly suffering from a variety of problems, it may be a sign that the aircraft tow tug or tractor is just too old and needs immediate replacement.
Red Flag No. 3: Ground Support Equipment and Vehicles Are Difficult To Use
As good as older aircraft GSE equipment once was, compared to modern advances, they're typically not very user-friendly. Old GSE aircraft equipment can be complicated to use and require expensive training and certification. While this isn't usually a death sentence for old aircraft towing equipment, it might be one of the first indications that it's time to begin looking at your options.
Newer ground support equipment offers improved ease-of-use, reducing the need for costly training and the risk for accidents. Typically, equipment that is easier to use is also safer to use. Whether you're dealing with an aircraft towing tug or an aircraft hydraulic system, user-friendly equipment helps accomplish the job more efficiently and potentially with fewer employees. For example, our innovative electric aircraft tug is simple to maneuver, allows users to brake instantly and is virtually silent. Plus, it gives off zero emissions, cutting down on pollution and eliminating health hazards for employees and residents.
Red Flag No. 4: Current Aviation GSE Is No Longer Supported by the Manufacturer
A very real and concerning red flag that your aircraft ground support equipment is outdated is that the manufacturer no longer supports it. In many cases, the equipment can still be repaired by MRO or GSE maintenance facilities. However, it can often make repairs more difficult and more expensive in certain situations. If the manufacturer no longer supports the equipment, manuals and service information can be harder to find and parts that used to be supplied by the manufacturer now have to be fabricated.
If you have aircraft GSE equipment that is no longer supported by the manufacturer, it might also be an indication that it's experiencing other issues. This is why it is usually in your best interest to simply upgrade to newer ground support equipment instead.