Frequently Asked Questions

How do you load the nose gear onto the tug?

SMARTug has an integrated winch system which will load and secure the nose gear onto the lifting platform and operates with the push of a button.

How do I unload the aircraft?

Unloading is as simple as releasing the winch tension, removing the ‘Yoke Hook’ or strut strap and backing the SMARTug out from under the nose wheel. The aircraft will set onto the floor or ramp gently. It is recommended that you choke the mains or set the aircraft parking brake before releasing the winch and unloading the aircraft from the tug.

Does the SMARTug come in other colors?

SMARTug is a canvas so to speak… we are happy to work with you to develop a design scheme that compliments your aircraft and or your business.

Can I use the GPU to start a turbine engine?

The SMARTug M4 – 28 VDC system is rated for turbine starts. The SMARTug M3 & M4 24 VDC GPU’s are capable of powering your panel for data updates and maintenance but not intended for turbine starts.

Can the 24 VDC GPU be used to power the panel for maintenance?

Yes, the SMARTug 24 VDC GPU can power the panel for maintenance or software and data updates as well as piston engine starts for 24VDC aircraft.

Why is the SMARTug so heavy?

SMARTugs are constructed from heavy gauge steel for strength and durability and carry several batteries, large motors, transmissions and hydraulic systems. These add up to substantial weight which is beneficial for traction necessary for maneuvering your the aircraft. Additionally, the weight of the SMARTug, when secured to the nose wheel, will help keep your aircraft right where you parked it and for those aircraft that are light on the nose, the SMARTug is a 630-1,200 lb. anchor helping to get the nose down.

Can I operate the SMARTug from inside my aircraft?

NO, never use the SMARTug to maneuver an aircraft with passengers on-board.

How long will the tug run before it needs to be charged?

The battery life is subject to many things. The amount of run time, the weight of the aircraft being maneuvered and any grade that might be present. Normal operation in a hanger or ramp area that is level with an average aircraft weighing 7,000#, the SMARTug should be operational over the course of a normal business day. It is advised to plug the SMARTug in whenever it is not in use and allow the on-board charger to keep the batteries at their optimum charge level until needed.

How do I know when the batteries need to be charged?

SMARTug has an on-board Battery Discharge Indicator (BDI) which displays the battery level when the unit is turned on. When the LED moves toward the small end of the scale, the charger should be plugged in. The battery charger is also design to remain plugged in for extended periods to maintain the batteries at peak performance.

What kind of maintenance is needed?

Virtually none, there are a few grease fittings that need to be lightly greased once a year. The transmissions have a maintenance free sealed lubrication system which will provide many years of service and the batteries are sealed AGM which will provide many years of service provided the charge level is maintained.

My hangar has a track in the floor for the door, how much ground clearance do the tug have?

The min. ground clearance is over 3.5″ on the M3 and over 4″ on the M4.

Does the SMARTug have a parking brake?

Yes, there is an integrated braking system that is automatic. Unless the tug is moving under the control of the operator, the brakes are set.

What happens if there are two tugs close by, can there be any radio interference between them?

No, our radios operate on a 2.4 Ghz secure frequency and each radio and tug are paired together. Additionally, if the receiver on a tug loses it signal from it’s paired radio, the tug will stop.