Aircraft jacks are essential items for any aviation maintenance facility or other organizations that perform maintenance, inspections or repairs on aircraft or aircraft components.
In the past, those maintenance facilities would be required to ship their aircraft jacks back to the manufacturer or other capable third-party providers for the maintenance, load testing or repairs, if required. This has always been a very expensive, time consuming and inefficient process for the maintenance organizations.
Recently, more and more organizations are opting to have those services performed on-site. Having the maintenance services and load testing performed at the customer’s site allows maintenance organizations to save thousands of dollars in shipping costs and considerable downtime while the equipment is sent out.
A number of independent and full-service calibration and maintenance laboratories are capable of performing the load testing on-site while maintaining the same quality and industry standards required by the manufacturer and the appropriate airlines.
They are able to perform the load testing on many types of aircraft tripod jacks or axle jacks and from a wide range of manufacturers. Testing can be performed on jacks designed for smaller aircraft and business jets to jacks required for large commercial airliners that have capacities of over 100,000 pounds.
They have knowledgeable, insured technicians that will perform the load testing and will provide guarantees and warranties for their work. All of the documentation can be printed while the technicians are at the site.
There are a number of advantages to having the aircraft jacks maintained on-site.
Due to the size and weight of the jacks, most of the time they need to be shipped by freight. Those costs can be several hundred dollars to ship an axle jack to the manufacturer and back, where tripod jacks can run over $1000. Add in the additional cost of an employee’s time and the materials to properly crate the jack to prevent damage in shipping, and the full expense can be considerable.
Performing the testing on-site eliminates the shipping requirement and all costs, logistics, and the inconvenience associated with it.
While the jack is out for its service, the equipment is not available to the maintenance shops to use when providing ground support to aircraft.
Depending on the shipping locations, shipping by freight likely will take a minimum of 3 or 4 days to reach its destination. For round-trip shipping, essentially one full week of the jack’s use is lost just in shipping time. Including the time at the manufacturer, 2 to 3 weeks is the average downtime involved when shipping a jack.
By having the maintenance and load testing performed on-site, all of the testing requirements can be accomplished all at once, keeping the downtime to typically less than one day.
Original equipment manufacturers, on average, charge more for their services than the independent calibration and maintenance laboratories. Cost savings of 25% or more can be realized by using maintenance providers other than the manufacturer.
All of the above advantages are especially important for larger aircraft maintenance facilities that have multiple aircraft jacks that need to be tested. The cost and time savings for those facilities can be significant.
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