Textron GSE Introduces the TUG Endurance Baggage Tractor

Sept. 13, 2022

Textron Ground Support Equipment Inc., a Textron Inc. company and a leading supplier of ground support equipment for the global aviation industry, announces its new TUG Endurance baggage tractor.

The TUG Endurance features a modular design that prioritizes performance, safety, ease of service, and sustainability. The CE-certified TUG Endurance is available in configurations with cab-forward or cab-aft driving positions, to fit the needs of customer operations. It is designed with operator safety and comfort in mind, with an ergonomic driving compartment to provide superior visibility and safety features that include an electronic parking brake.

The TUG Endurance is available with a lithium-ion electric powertrain featuring General Motors (GM) and Powertrain Control Solutions (PCS) technology. This powertrain was specifically designed in collaboration with Textron GSE to withstand the rigors of ground support applications. Leveraging high-capacity lithium batteries, the GM and PCS driveline can complete two shifts* on a single charge and utilizes the J1772 connector for level 2 AC charging, as well as being capable of DC fast charging. The TUG Endurance can rapid-charge when charged with a DC fast charger, and can be opportunity-charged as operations demand during the day. *Based on real-world data from two 8-hour shifts at a major cargo hub in a variety of conditions

TUG Endurance models feature electronic steering that provides superior maneuverability, and have a max drawbar pull up to 6,000 lbs. (2,722 kg.), ideal for handling busy baggage operations. Bolt-on panels, easy access to major components, and Bluetooth remote diagnostics make for easy serviceability. Options include inching controls, cab-door variants, LCD display, HVAC, and back-up alarm. It also includes autonomous control systems to position the platform for future technological changes. TUG Endurance models are also available with gas or diesel powertrains.

“Built on a foundation of customer insights and future-facing technology, the new TUG Endurance baggage tractor was developed to provide a new level of efficiency to customer operations,” said Matt Chaffin, vice president and general manager, Textron GSE for Textron Specialized Vehicles Inc. “The collaboration with General Motors and PCS has enabled us to utilize decades of proven leadership in high-capacity lithium technology and leverage its advantages for ground support equipment.”

The TUG Endurance’s lithium-ion drivetrain adheres to automotive-based testing and standards, and constantly monitors for conditions such as ground faults and disconnections. It includes a manual safety disconnect for lock-out/tag-out procedures.

“GM’s vision for an all-electric future with zero crashes, zero emissions, and zero congestion extends beyond our conventional lineup of Ultium based production vehicles,” says Travis Hester, GM vice president of EV Growth Operations. “Our ongoing collaboration with PCS and Textron GSE underscores GM’s commitment to extending the performance benefits of electrification to a wide range of applications, which is helping many other industries to achieve their own emissions targets in the process.”

“It is exciting to see the TUG Endurance bring advanced propulsion technology to the ground support industry,” said Dan Boucher, president of PCS. “This technology, after decades of refinement in the automotive space, was integrated with the focus of enhancing safety, efficiency, and reliability on the ramp.”

The TUG Endurance was designed with a focus on sustainability. Its drivetrains are designed to be interchangeable, so that operators can upgrade gas and diesel models to lithium power as electric infrastructure becomes more commonplace.

Textron GSE will unveil its TUG Endurance baggage tractor to customers at the 2022 GSE Expo Europe, Sept. 13-15 in Paris.