Sponsored by KNOTT
Is the build quality of dollies underrated nowadays?
Deciding between a multitude of different dolly makes can be a tough task. It demands a clever solution though. So, what to look for in a dolly? Is the common “going for the cheapest” really the right move?
What is the first thing that comes to your mind when one says “lifetime of airport dollies”? I guess a significant amount of answers to this question would be “short”. We all know the work conditions for dollies and all the ground support equipment in general during the ramp operations are really challenging. Harsh handling, if legitimate or unnecessary, has always been shortening the life of airport equipment dramatically and let’s face it, such handling style is not going to change anytime soon. Therefore, buying the cheapest possible and replacing the whole, damaged fleet of dollies quite often has been a well-known concept and it seemed to be reasonable. But what if the dolly just survived in those unfavourable conditions much longer? What if a GSE company didn’t design its products with promising spare parts sales in mind?
More and more companies are betting on quality products these days and it surely pays off. After all, a dolly damage is not only about the cost of the equipment itself. The subsequent bothers and hidden costs need to be considered as well. Somebody has to occupy himself by deciding, what to do next (Safe to continue using the dolly? Repair necessary? Scrapping inevitable?) and also organize things to make it happen. Not to mention, having a significant portion of a fleet stuck in workshops or laying aside unusable is highly ineffective. While repairs cost money and waste time, collected disabled units take up valuable space.
At KNOTT, we engineer our products according to this philosophy to let our customers choose a robust alternative with improved lifetime, while reducing their headaches and also their maintenance costs and the out-of-service time. And if something gets damaged nonetheless, we’ve even incorporated easily replaceable parts. Hence, the attempt to somehow repair a fully welded structure, or the replacement of the whole dolly, isn’t required.
We often speak with our customers, their technicians and even their operating personnel about the problems they experienced using different types of dollies in the past. We hear their valuable feedback and work hard to do better with our own products. Instead of inventing some sci-fi solutions and economically implausible novelties, we rather focus on smart improvements, that matter now. By solving the everyday hiccups, the operators undergo when handling GSE equipment, we try to make their work easier and thus, more effective.
Our unique system of sophisticated sidewall latching definitely speeds up the operation of baggage dollies as the locks on both ends engage automatically when the sidewall is shut. Ever heard about the problem with bending towbars on large ULD dollies when the tractor driver turns too sharply? Or the difficulties when trying to hitch some of them? We solved those issues too. We even managed to decrease the shipping costs greatly by adopting foldable design. KNOTT 10ft ULD dolly folds its side sections to reduce its width and make the transportation by standard lorry or shipping container possible. Similarly, all four walls of our baggage dollies can be folded to make them low-profile and stackable. And how to make them ready for use again? It’s as easy as tightening four simple bolts. In this manner, we proceed to bring in innovation, that really matters.
Tailor-made dollies? A matter of course!
Although, it would be a nice and convenient world to live in (at least for every GSE manufacturer), the truth is, that one product will never fit to every customer. Therefore, limiting the production range to a few standardized versions and believing the customer will have to adapt his requirements to these, is an illusion. That is why KNOTT never hesitates to use its long-time engineering expertise and develop a product tailored specifically to customer’s operation conditions. Be it a custom paint colour, hot-dip galvanized surface, altered dimensions, various coupling methods, handy solid cover for baggage dolly, alternative ways for parking brake activation or even some lower-cost component options upon request – there is plenty to choose from.
The experience of our customers has proven, that a clever solution to the tough task is definitely viable. Because tough airport equipment is made cleverly at KNOTT.