On-site vs Off-site Proof Load Testing Considerations for Aircraft Jacks

proof load testing airplane jack

When it comes to having your aircraft jacks proof load tested, where do you turn? Most maintenance facilities will ship the jack back to the original manufacturer or send it to a third party testing and repair shop. The down side to both of these options though is the overall investment of both time and money, especially for those facilities with multiple aircraft jacks that require attention. To avoid the inconvenience and cost of shipping the jacks out for testing, some facilities will call a company who can provide on-site proof load testing which can be a hassle-free and more affordable; but that does not mean it is the best option in every situation. Here’s how to decide which option is right for you.

Choosing your Airplane Jack Proof Load Testing Strategy:

Deciding whether to use on-site testing service or to ship your equipment out for service is one that should be made strategically after considering all of the following factors:

Shipping costs: Hydraulic jacks are expensive to ship due to their size, weight, and the cost of freight. For companies who have multiple jacks that require testing, this can really add up. Most tripod jacks must ship via freight carrier (not common carrier) and require significant effort to crate or otherwise prepare the jack for shipment.

Time and labor: The time and labor involved in scheduling shipment, prepping for shipment, and putting the jack back into rotation upon testing completion is arduous. From beginning to end the process can take hours to days when you likely have more important work to be done.

Service costs: Many manufacturers charge a testing fee that is likely 25-30% higher than independent calibration service providers who can provide on-site testing. While the fees are not astronomical either way, this again adds up when you consider how many jacks your facility has.

Down time:  You must consider the length of the entire process as you will be without your jack during shipping, testing, any necessary repairs, and return shipping.  Can your facility be without your jack for a month at the very minimum?

The cost of technician travel: If you opt for on-site testing you will not have to deal with excessive shipping costs, but you will need to pay for certain aspects of the calibration technician’s travel. In most cases, the travel costs for the technician will be considerably lower than the cost to ship your jack to an external calibration facility.

It is important to note that on site proof-load testing requires the calibration service provider to purchase and maintain expensive mobile fixtures. As such very few ISO 17025 accredited calibration service laboratories provide on-site calibration and proof-load testing services. We do, contact us to learn more and get a quote.

We discuss each of these points and more in our proof load testing white paper. Click below to get your copy.

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