5 Ridiculously Heavy Towing Jobs

Towing Aircraft

Planes, understandably, are primarily built for use in the air -- the ground is not their forte. It turns out that on the ground, it's often more economical to have a towing vehicle pull them. The development of heavier planes like the Airbus A380 -- the world's largest passenger aircraft -- requires more powerful towing capacity as well.

When looking at a Aircraft Tow Tractor vehicle, however, you may never guess it could pull the likes of the Airbus A380, which can weigh about 600 tons (544 metric tons) at takeoff [source: Airbus.com]. Although they're small, these tractors pack a punch. Like watching an ant carry 10 times its body weight, watching a small towing vehicle pull such a massive airplane is a fascinating sight.

Conventional tractors can pull planes by connecting a tow bar to the nose gear of the plane. Another method uses the aptly named towbarless tractor which, rather than using a tow bar, cradles and carries the front wheel of the plane. Because a TLT can actually lift the nose wheel of the plane, it causes less wear on the aircraft.

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