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https://jalopnik.com/canadian-airline-uses-hacked-up-neons-as-baggage-tracto-1846034558

Canadian Airline Uses Hacked-Up Neons As Baggage Tractors

Photo: Cody / Twitter (Other)

Watching an airport operate can help pass the time while you’re waiting for a flight. As you watch the orchestra of people and vehicles prep a plane for its flight, a baggage tractor will certainly join the effort.

 
 
 

Bearskin Airlines at Thunder Bay International Airport in Ontario, Canada, has a very weird way to haul baggage around: It hooks baggage carts to hacked-up Neons, an econobox sold with Chrysler, Dodge and Plymouth badges — all the same car, though. These appear to be from the 1996-99 generation.

These pictures come our way from an epic Twitter thread from the airline’s passengers. If you need a good laugh today I highly recommend it. I’m used to seeing hacked up Dodge Neons doing stupid stunts on a Gambler 500, not doing serious operations at an international airport. Yet here we are.

 
Photo: Dave / Twitter (Other)

I love it! Aside from the Neon that’s clearly missing its roof and doors, the airline appears to have two others with golf cart service bodies grafted onto the back. Woah. Once I stopped laughing, I realized this actually makes some sense. Hear me out.

 
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A decent baggage tractor like this TUG MA-50 costs a lot of money. These are heavy-duty machines meant to withstand big loads, a lot of abuse and years of service.

 
Photo: Legacy GSE Sales (Other)

A Neon — especially a beat up one — costs a tiny fraction of the price of a baggage tractor. These are cars an airline can buy for $500. Wrecked ones are probably even cheaper. Take a reciprocating saw to the roof and install a tow hitch on back: Boom! You have a baggage tractor.

This is airline cost-cutting to the absolute extreme. A cut-up Neon isn’t nearly as strong or as robust as a real baggage tractor, but passengers of the airline have reported seeing a small fleet of the things over the years. So, apparently they do the job.

I love seeing regular passenger vehicles adapted for aviation use, though seeing a Neon haul around baggage is definitely a first for me. These sort of remind me of those 4x4 pickup trucks cut in half and adapted to tug float planes around.

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13 minutes ago, Specs said:

As long as they don't tip over and kill the kid what does it matter?  They have seatbelts I expect?

And hopefully a speed governor augmented by brakes  :)

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57 minutes ago, st27 said:

I posted a pic of years gone by on the Cargo thread.....do people realize how FedEx started?? An interesting read...

 

http://www.fedex.com/downloads/about/company-info/dassault-aviation.pdf

I remember it well. I've always believed that starting off small like that helped them to gain a foothold before the rest of the industry had time to react in a meaningful way. It really was a brilliant business plan.

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I had friends with Flying Tiger and they were quite concerned when it was announced that Fedex was going to buy them, however it certainly worked out good for most of them.

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Initially 50K to 100K , there are sites that are advertising a near $600.00 watch for $167.00 with the magic parts installed.

I bought 3 watches on EBay about 7 years ago, same company, but different designs, one of which is almost all rubber because of banging wrists and hands when working in the boat engine room.  

All three are still running, I have not replaced any batteries . My cost on EBay was $18.00 USD ($6.00USD/watch)

I guess these new "magic" watches are very accurate, a great conversation piece, but IMO in my entire life I have never looked at a watch I was wearing and said" Damn, I wish this thing was more accurate!"ScreenShot003.jpg.6928d483199a3bc724a42fc7b0207ef8.jpg

 

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On 1/16/2021 at 9:27 AM, Kip Powick said:

  ".... in my entire life I have never looked at a watch I was wearing and said" Damn, I wish this thing was more accurate!"

 

But I bet there isn't a man alive who hasn't gotten out of a nasty situation by saying "Huh.  Will you look at that?  My watch must be slow."

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On 1/15/2021 at 2:31 PM, J.O. said:

I remember it well. I've always believed that starting off small like that helped them to gain a foothold before the rest of the industry had time to react in a meaningful way. It really was a brilliant business plan.

I didn't read the whole article.  Did they Mention that the Business plan received a failing grade from his university professor because "It would never work'

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On 1/15/2021 at 3:34 PM, Guest said:

I had friends with Flying Tiger and they were quite concerned when it was announced that Fedex was going to buy them, however it certainly worked out good for most of them.

FedEx is an excellent company to work for.

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2 hours ago, boestar said:

I didn't read the whole article.  Did they Mention that the Business plan received a failing grade from his university professor because "It would never work'

No that wasn't mentioned.

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On 1/18/2021 at 10:58 AM, J.O. said:

No that wasn't mentioned.

The original idea for fedex was drafted as a business plan for a university course.  The very detailed plan was given a poor grade and the professor said something like would never work and the logistics would be impossible to manage.

Post graduation he started the company and could only afford to pay the pilots with shares in the company (Those guys are rich today) the rest is history.

I worked with FedEx for some time and I can tell you it is a great company to work for. 

 

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