9 Ton Hi-Lift Truck
The nine-ton hi-lift truck is used for loading and unloading the KC-10. To increase the capability to handle wide-body aircraft, the 9-ton Hi-Lift was added to the Air Force inventory. This unit is best suited to lift loose items and baggage to floor height but it can also be used to lift pallets to floor level. Maximum single pallet weight depends on the maker but is less than 5,000 lbs. The trucks were manufactured in 1983 or later, equipped with outriggers, and have a 17-foot or greater reach capacity.
By the mid-1990s the KC-10 Extender was undergoing modification to improve movement of cargo into an austere environment. Onboard loaders were being installed on KC- 10s, equipping them with a self-contained loading platform. The KC-10 Extender was limited by its dependence on specialized MHE, required at each serving airfield to facilitate cargo handling. The modification permits far greater flexibility to airlift planners, especially to the theater commander. In the event that inbound KC- lOs must be diverted for download at a different airfield than originally planned, a greater confidence will prevail that the cargo will be deliverable to where it's needed without the need for specialized equipment.
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