Refurbishing terminal tractors, boosting productivity

Staying competitive

When DP World Aden Port decided to upgrade and refurbish their tractor fleet, they selected Portunus Port Spares and Service from Turkey for the job.

The aim of the upgrade was to ensure that the terminal was well equipped to service larger vessels, and that trailered cargo was handled efficiently. By doing so, they would increase their handling capacity, and meet the needs and demands placed by these vessels. Many terminal operators have seen the impact the larger vessels place on terminal equipment, and hence it is critical to have a fleet that is capable of operating in a tough time-sensitive environment. Raising the capability through performance and reliability of the terminal yard equipment can sometimes mean having the advantage over the neighboring competition.
 

The project at DP World Aden Port

The procedure involved taking 15 tractors back to the Portunus workshop in Turkey. Once the prime movers were dismantled into their components, all wiring and pneumatic hoses were removed, and hydraulic and fuel oil completely drained. They were then inspected to ensure thorough analysis and assessment of the full extent of the work required. This was to establish what was worn out or damaged. The other aspect was to determine whether the mainframe or structure had sufficient structural integrity to accommodate the necessary changes, and have years of good service life. Work began and repairs were performed on the following:

• Mudguards, mudguards holders and damages to bumpers
• Battery and battery holder brackets
• Cracks and dents on fuel tanks
• Platforms, ladders and cabin door locks
• Exhaust pipes.

The company replaced the wheel hub and universal joint bearings; as well as the hub, steering gearbox, cabin glass and door rubber seals, O rings, planetary cover O rings, king pin bushings and DPT spindle knuckles.

Accelerator cable and deteriorated wires or cable were replaced with appropriately sized wires in the electrical system, and secured in position with cable-ties and clamps. The engine’s rubber mountings and bolts were changed, as well as the unusable axle bolt; flexible plate, leaf spring, pin, bushings, steering linkage and ball-joint.

Air hoses in the pneumatic system, filter element and damaged fittings were all repaired or replaced too.

The Allison Transmission and Cummins 6BTA Engine were both completely overhauled. Brake linings were changed where there was excessive wear. Brake chambers, and differential and brakes assembly were reconditioned, as were the quick-release, drain and treadle valves; the driver seat cushion, the propeller shaft, radiator and complete air-conditioning system.

Water, oil and hydraulic hoses and hose clips were all replaced, as were the secondary water tank and radiator pressure caps. Fuses, relays, switches, lamps, faulty gauges, faulty horns, cabin roofs and interior heat insulation were all checked and replaced as necessary.

Finally, engineers checked the tires, replaced wheel bolts and nuts, checked the condition of rims and the exhaust silencer, cabin, spotlights and air tanks.

Upon completion, Portunus engineers went on to carry a function test on the operating system to ensure all was in working order.

These tractors are now equipped with enough power to handle these demanding handling applications. Terminal operators can take advantage of these modifications and upgrades, as they enable the use of the latest technologies to improve machine performance and reliability. This helps to increase the availability of spare parts, making them easily serviceable. Other notable benefits are savings in fuel consumption, and the reduction of emissions from the exhaust. This increases equipment availability, ensuring maximum uptime, minimum downtime and shor t mean-time-to-repair – boosting productivity.
 

Minimizing the total cost of ownership

For a growing terminal, one of the foremost factors and a critical element in the operation of these tractors is safety. It helps terminal operators comply with local and international operational safety regulations, and evaluate safety risks in. In order to achieve that, all systems and components must be fully functional to provide an acceptable level of operational safety for the machine, the dr iver, other workers and the terminal environment.

When all tractors are in unison, providing uniform performance, terminal operators also benefit from an economical low-maintenance fleet, which goes some way towards helping improve their profit margins in these slow economic times.

H. Önder Türker, Portunus Port Spares & Services, Istanbul, Turkey
Edition: Edition 48

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