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  • 28

United Airlines turns to NASCAR pit crews for quicker turnover

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United Airlines is turning to NASCAR pit crews to learn their secrets of quick ramp turnarounds. (abcnews.go.com) More...

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sgbelverta
sharon bias 7
Every week you can see races lost due to pit problems. I love to see companies reach out to other businesses to find better ways to do things. If you look at the failure of many businesses over the years, it's because they didn't make changes and improvements as the technologies evolved and changed. NASCAR started in 1948, so they've outlived many companies. They have much to offer.
ah6oy
Jim DeTour 3
Any chance of asking the drivers for help in how to bump other planes on taxiways out of the race for number 1 for takeoff? If United does own all of there flight services it could help. Coordinating airport design for where baggage outlets are might help. Ground operations do turn into a jumbled mess at times coordinating multiple flights adding in delays leaving arriving planes waiting for gate parking. Which flights have priority involves communicating with other airports. Ramp ops managers can become good at it. First thing I'd suggest is build your own airport or terminals on already existing airports.

I think United got their main requirement done. That's getting in the news with a flashy header.
DaveIsaacs
David Isaacs 2
And will they smuggle moonshine in their fuel tanks?
wdhearrell
wdhearrell 2
Sell advertising in the Captain"s uniform?
sparkie624
sparkie624 1
LOL... Coors for United, Bud for Delta... Help to lower the cost of travel with Banner Advertisements!
albarron46
Al Barron 1
How "lost" is United Airlines ???....they need to hire an Industrial Engineer for such tasks!!
sparkie624
sparkie624 1
OMG... Sounds like SWA... In case someone has not noticed, there is a big difference between serving a plane and serving a car.... I fear safety concerns on this one.. Not a good idea... I can just visualize in mind of them fueling the plane and unloading and loading bags as they are taxing the planes.... UGH.. This will only lead to more A/C Damage.
MultiComm
MultiComm 3
It’s not about being fast, it’s aboht being prepared. Sure put. Reed also are fast but they all have one job and they all work together as a team and it accomplishes fast service as a result.

Ever pulled into a gate and everyone is actually in place? Ground power is hooked up and chalks are in and jet bridge is moving before the flight crew has a chance to start their shutdown procedures. Meanwhile, cargo doors are opening and bags are rolling.

It’s all about staging your workflow and being prepared for the aircraft to arrive (as long as gate changes and other hiccups are not at play but even then communication should take long and the process can get moved to the correct gate.
sparkie624
sparkie624 3
When I worked for Delta with Pinnacle Airlines in Memphis, that is exactly the way we worked... Everyone was ready and in place, and me got things done... Mechanic met the plane (we did Meet and greets). Had well trained people in place, and things worked well.... But that is not how I interpreted this news article.
MikePetro
Mike Petro 1
"NASCAR pit crews usually have just over 10 seconds to change tires, refuel and get their vehicles back on the racetrack." I'd say the pit crews #1 goal is doing it quickly.
rartac
Robert Artac 1
Try fixing the infighting and hatred between labor groups first? The culture is the problem, not the process.
ed7778
Marvelous, I see more baggage throwing in United's future.
bobinson66
bobinson66 1
NASCAR? Those pit stops take around 17 seconds. If United wanted to see what a fast pitstop is like, they should look at the F1 circuit. Those stops are typically done in less than 3 seconds.
WhiteKnight77
WhiteKnight77 2
Imagine if they had to use dump cans and only 2 tire changers and actually had to jack up each side of the car. I am sure it would take longer, especially if the fuel cells were larger and they had to use an actual jack instead of built-in car lifts.
WhiteKnight77
WhiteKnight77 0
Going slower to get things done faster works in more industries than just racing. I see where it is needed in all sorts of instances from the boiler tube place making panels on the sub arc machine to builders at the new waterworks resevoir building. Want to increase production? Slow down so rejectable indications that have to be repaired on the back-end do not happen. If you are spending lots of time repairing something, you are losing money due to man-hours and consumables.

There is no reason why United cannot do the "one and done" and do it safely in regards to aircraft turnaround.

pthomas745
Pa Thomas 0
Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahha

This is hilariously funny. A built in United commercial during this weekend's races.
sanukjim
For quicker and safe turnaround times of the airlines you must have crews that are dedicated and knowledgeable. Most of the crews working the flight lines are there by Seniority making them the somewhat older employees marking time until retirement.American Airlines in the 1980s or 1990s were awarding extra pay as the "On Time Performance" mark was obtained.The drawback in many times is the employees listening to the union creating slowdowns. Until the ground crews are paid for their performances and not just for their assistance the problem will never disappear.
leonkay
Leon Kay 0
Well done United, from an enthusiastic Nascar follower.
TWA55
TWA55 0
Does not say much for a company of that size that they cannot find someone from w/in. If I had to hire from outside for that, some heads would roll in a hurry. This comes from much experience in cleaning up ramp operations and improving on time performance. No airline can help w/ forced delays, metering eg. but getting a plane out of the gate on time should not require this sort of move. I suppose if NASCAR is successful in helping them, then it is time to begin w/ the pink slips at the top.
Highflyer1950
Highflyer1950 0
Let’s get so fast that we compromise safety for on time performance? What ever happened to Safety, Passenger Comfort then On Time Performance? without the first two, you don’t need the third!
medic350
Sean Sims 7
Did you read the article or just the headline? This isn't just about going as fast as possible. The training is teaching them that taking the time to observe your process and adjust your planning has a downstream impact of faster service. Pit crews are fast, but their main focuses are safety and efficiency and that is what they are teaching United.

"'I love how they set us up with a couple of unexpected surprises, like when our equipment wasn't in the right position -- that's what happens to us all the time,' Papineau said. 'I'm excited to get home and talk about it.'

Smooth operation and teamwork were key takeaways for Papineau.

'They said, 'slow is fast,' and that makes sense to me,' she said. 'You just have to be set up and organized and prepared and then you do what you know how to do. And you're always looking out for each other.'"
MikePetro
Mike Petro 2
Although speed is paramount; the goal is to also accomplish the task properly. This is exemplified by the time a F1 pit crew member didn't get the new wheel properly attached. Big, nasty surprise for the driver after he got back onto the track.
WhiteKnight77
WhiteKnight77 1
Doing it right the first time is key as I alluded to above.
MikePetro
Mike Petro 2
I agree with you. Speed with accuracy can be achieved with improvements in process and procedures, much of which happens well in advance of the actual event.

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