Warner Robins goes round with ODV tractors
Omni-directional vehicles (ODVs) have proven to be a valuable resource for maintenance operations at Robins Air Force Base, GA, and the Air Logistics Center there has recently ordered seven more ODVs from Houston-based Hammonds Technical Services. The Model G-30 ODV tractors, at an average price of $38,495, are being used for material positioning and mainte- nance support for C-5, C-17, and F-15 maintenance.
The G-30 tractors have a towing capacity of 30,000 lb (13,608 kg), and although designed as aircraft tow tractors they have supplemental capabilities in the positioning of large components such as maintenance stands used to carry engines, landing gear, and other heavy aircraft components. They also have been used to position ground support equipment used in military aircraft service.
The ODV is a round vehicle capable of rotating 360° and then moving in any direction. There is no need to back up, turn in an arc, or reposition, since at any point it can change direc- tions—all within the space it occupies. When used as an air- craft tug or baggage tractor, a radial hitch moves about the ODV’s circumference. The operator does not have to back up, look over his shoulder, or move without full view of his direc- tion of travel.
Hammonds delivered the first G-30s to the U.S. Air Force in 2005.
Model G-30 omni-directional vehicles are being used at Warner Robins to assist in aircraft maintenance operations.
“Other groups within Warner Robins now want ODVs,” said company President Carl Hammonds. “We believe these tractors have potential for system-wide use in our Air Force, since major maintenance is performed at a number of bases throughout the U.S. and foreign countries. While this was a one- time order, we are expecting many opportunities for add-ons.”
Kalmar to test hybrid terminal tractors
Kalmar will integrate three of its terminal tractors with hybrid systems in support of a project to help reduce pollution in ports. The West Coast Collaborative of the U.S. EPA is also par- ticipating in the two-year, $1.2-million project, as are the Port of Los Angeles and the Port of Long Beach, where the ter- minal tractors will be operated and tested for six months. The green hybrid equipment is expected to reduce air emissions by 93%, which equates to 19 tons (17.2 t) of nitrogen oxide and 200 lb (91 kg) of particulate matter.
As part of the project, Kalmar will help with the selection of the hybrid system, which will use either a hybrid-electric system
to combine a diesel engine with an electric motor, or a hybrid- hydraulic system to combine a diesel engine with components that use hydraulic fluid compression to store energy. Kalmar will also carry out the research and development associated with integrating the new system into the machines.
“Our customers are interested in terminal tractors with hy- brid systems because the new technology helps reduce fuel consumption, exhaust emissions, and maintenance intervals,” said Stefan Johansson, Vice President of Trailer Handling Product Development, Kalmar. “Strategically, it’s the right way to go. In the U.S., fuel is relatively cheap, but most people be- lieve the cost will rise, therefore increasing the need and ur- gency for alternative methods.”
Hybrid technology has the potential to reduce or eliminate emissions during idling, which can represent more than 50% of the terminal tractor’s duty cycle. “As it conserves the energy necessary for breaking, the hybrid system is ideal for a machine like the terminal tractor, which operates in a continuous stop- and-go fashion,” added Johansson.
Hybrid technology also allows operators to preserve their existing operations and maintenance infrastructure. No new type of fueling station is necessary because the system runs with a diesel engine.
This project is part of the San Pedro Bay Ports Clean Air Action Plan, a larger program that aims to significantly reduce emissions and associated health hazards resulting from port operations within the next five years.
Kalmar will integrate three of its terminal tractors with hybrid technology as part of a project to reduce pollution at ports.
Following requests from its customers concerned over yard trucks’ high emissions levels, Kalmar has been working toward development of more environmentally friendly terminal tractors since the late 1990s. Through its development work, Kalmar has produced a series of machines that could run on alterna- tive fuels such as compressed natural gas, liquefied natural gas, and liquefied petroleum gas.
28 SAE OHE March 2007