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During the turnaround many vehicles support the aircraft on the gate. What are the name of those "vehicles"and their purpose?

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    $\begingroup$ there are a lot of different vehicles, list style questions like this are not a good fit for SE in general. $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 31, 2017 at 13:14
  • $\begingroup$ In my experience, almost all of them are referred to as "tugs", since they are usually pulling or pushing something (luggage carts, the aircraft, etc). $\endgroup$
    – Ron Beyer
    Commented Oct 31, 2017 at 13:50
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    $\begingroup$ I wouldn't say that @RonBeyer, there's follow-me cars, catering lifts, luggage ramps, etc. I agree this is a bit broad. $\endgroup$
    – GdD
    Commented Oct 31, 2017 at 14:28
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    $\begingroup$ Try this diagram $\endgroup$
    – TomMcW
    Commented Oct 31, 2017 at 18:46
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    $\begingroup$ I was about to post an answer with this information which provides names, but I see @TomMcW already provided a best one. See also on Wikipedia: Ground support equipment. You may also search videos for "turnaround timelapse". Come on, this question isn't "too broad" and it's actually a very interesting one. $\endgroup$
    – mins
    Commented Oct 31, 2017 at 19:14

3 Answers 3

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The most common vehicle seen is the tug.

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Tugs are multipurpose tractors that are used to tow around all sorts of things.


Several types of equipment are shown in this diagram:

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The tow vehicle at the nose is more commonly referred to as a pushback tug. They come in different sizes. Here is an example:

enter image description here source


The GPU is most often a unit that is towed behind a tug. enter image description here source


Belt loaders usually can be driven on their own:

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The wide loader is used to put cargo containers in the hold: enter image description here source


The cabin cleaning truck and galley service truck often have a lift built in:

enter image description here source


Luggage can be brought in baggage carts

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or in cargo containers which are brought to the aircraft on dollies enter image description here source


Another vehicle often seen is the people mover:

enter image description here source

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In general, you could refer to most of the vehicles and their attachments/trailers as ground support equipment (GSE)

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  • $\begingroup$ This does answer half of the question only. What is their purpose? $\endgroup$
    – mins
    Commented Nov 1, 2017 at 11:21
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The vehicle is usually called a ground tug.

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    $\begingroup$ There are many other vehicle types used too. $\endgroup$
    – fooot
    Commented Oct 31, 2017 at 17:25
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    $\begingroup$ Turnaround does not refer to physically turning the plane around ;) $\endgroup$
    – Sanchises
    Commented Oct 31, 2017 at 22:14

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