As mentioned in our previous article about the pros and cons of on-site vs. off-site proof load testing services, shipping a hydraulic aircraft jack can be very expensive. The cost of shipping will vary depending on factors such as distance, jack type, and shipping service provider. In our experience, many companies wind up expediting shipping to reduce down time which can further add to the price. Keeping the variables in mind, let’s consider the cost of shipping an axle jack from your facility to the manufacturer or third party testing facility.
The average axle jack weighs about 75 pounds and can be shipped via FedEx or UPS. To overnight this jack via UPS from your facility, let’s say you are in Ohio, back to the manufacturer facility in California you’re looking at about $350 each way; a total of $700.00 in shipping alone.
A tripod jack on the other hand can only be strapped to a pallet or crated and shipped via freight carrier due to the weight of the equipment (a typical tripod jack used for aircraft maintenance weighs about 238 pounds) including the weight of the pallet or crate which is typically a 48x48x48 dimension with a cost of around $1,000 one-way or $2,000 round-trip. Even if your facility was closer to the service provider, cutting shipping to $500 each way- you’re still looking at freight costs of $1,000 and that’s before any testing or repair has been done.
Consider that most aircraft maintenance facilities have at least three tripod jacks per type of aircraft and the shipping costs can increase dramatically. For example, if you service two types of aircraft you would be shipping 6 axle jacks out annually for service. That’s a cost of $6,000 to $12,000 annually compared to the costs of bringing a qualified technician directly to your facility.
Shipping is not the only factor that must be considered as you think about whether you want to choose on-site or off-site proof load testing services. You must also think about the time and labor involved, service costs, shipping time, etc. We talk about all of that in more in the guide below.