Towable Refuelling Steps with Hop-Up

Towable Refuelling Steps with Hop-Up

The Challenge

Towable Refuelling Steps with Hop-UpRefuelling companies are experiencing increasing pressure to ensure that their customers’ planes are safely fuelled during the short turnaround times. 

For the aircraft refuelling operator to be able to move the steps from the fuel farm or ramp to the aircraft point of delivery meant the steps needed to be stable enough to be towed at workable speed but lightweight enough for one person to position the steps and safely park for operation.

Aircraft design will vary, resulting in different heights and positions for refuelling points so whilst the equipment could be fixed height, there had to be enough flexibility in the design to safely reach the critical points and cover a range of aircraft refuelling operators’ statures.

A robust design was built to allow for many years of use that would outlive other equipment on the market.

Solving the Problem

One piece of purpose built equipment was drawn up with an innovative design to incorporate the refueling coupling and access steps.  Safety features were included such as non-slip profiles on the steps and platforms, folding safety handrails, safety gates and rear stability jacks with additional parking brakes on the front axle.

A modular ­­­­design dealt with robustness by constructing a durable steel chassis with robust wheels and suspension on which was mounted a high grade aluminum frame with steps, platform and safety railing providing a weight reduction of 60% over steel.  In addition all the aluminum joints are bolted instead of welded for extra strength, ease of maintenance and longevity of in service use.  

Ease of handling was further addressed by ensuring that when the steps were moved from the refuelling depot to the point of delivery on the aircraft, they were stable enough to be towed at a speed of up to 30km/h.  Once at their location they were light enough to be manoeuvered into position by one person with the help of the 270° steering system on the front axle.

To cover the varying aircraft refuelling heights the fuel pipe was designed to be long enough to safely reach the coupling point with a unique hop-up step incorporated to cover the range of service aircraft refuelling operators’ heights.

The Benefits

By designing refuelling steps with an integral refuelling hose and nozzle system with appropriate coupling, not only is the aircraft refuelling operators’ time and effort saved with this smart design but there is a reduced cost of one unit rather than two.

The aircraft refuelling operators can be confident that Semmco has addressed all potential Health and Safety issues for their protection with these design changes and the steps are fully compliant with EN standards. 

The use of high quality, light weight aluminium mounted on a steel welded chasses with welded construction gives more strength to the structure and the modular design means that it is quick and easy to repair in the event of damage.  This method of construction extends the length of the operational in use life providing efficiencies and cost savings.

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