Suvarnabhumi is a mystical place that was already mentioned in early Buddhist scriptures of the 5th century. They tell of seafaring Indian merchants who undertook long and dangerous voyages to the east, which are said to have brought them wealth and prosperity. It was most likely the natural gold deposits in the central and western mainland of Southeast Asia that inspired such legendary tales and eventually led to this area being known to Indians as Suvarnabhumi – the Golden Land. Today, most of this territory is occupied by modern Thailand.
It was the deceased King Bhumipol himself who gave Bangkok’s newly built airport, which only opened in 2006, this emblematic name. With an annual passenger traffic of 65 million, Suvarnabhumi Airport was one of the 20 largest airports in the world before the onset of the Covid 19 pandemic. Although there are other international airports in Thailand, long-haul flights land at Suvarnabhumi Airport, with a very few exceptions. This makes it the gateway to a paradise with temples, palaces and other cultural treasures; with dreamy sandy beaches and the glistening facades along the Chao Phraya River, but above all with the unmatched warmth of its inhabitants, which still amazes many foreign visitors today.
Not very many travelers who arrive at Suvarnabhumi Airport will bother to worry about how their luggage gets from the aircraft to the airport’s arrivals area. While the passengers are greeted by the hot, humid air once the doors of the aircraft are opened, the first suitcases are being taken from the hold and loaded onto the baggage trailers that are waiting on the tarmac. And when the crowd heads towards passport control, their suitcases are already on the way to the terminal. A fleet of 24 VOLK hybrid tractors makes sure that all the luggage arrives in the baggage basement on time. Once there, they are loaded on to one of the baggage conveyor belts, from which the passengers can finally collect them one floor up.
While the VOLK hybrid tractors move between the baggage conveyor belts as quietly and emission-free as an electric tow tractor, the powerful Deutz diesel engine can be switched on when it’s time to leave the basement, ensuring top performance on the tarmac. Just like a diesel tow tractor, the tractors there can be operated without interruption for 24 hours per day. This is an especially important point in Bangkok, because planes are permitted to take off and land even at night. In addition to continuous use in three-shift operation, the scorching heat particularly subjects the material to a severe stress test day after day. In Bangkok, temperatures of around 35 °C create a shimmering heat haze above the tarmac all year round. Even at night, it is only slightly cooler.
“One night in Bangkok and the tough guys tumble,” proclaim the lyrics sung by British musician Murray Head; certainly without thinking of the use of tractors under the harshest climatic conditions. For VOLK tractors, such conditions are hardly a challenge, though. They are built for that. The generous dimensioning of all drive components, high-quality parts and powerful, efficient cooling of the traction control and motors pay off not only under extreme conditions. Even in our milder latitudes, they ensure low wear, high reliability and long service life. So it is no surprise that Thai Airways relies on VOLK.
VOLK Fahrzeugbau GmbH
88339 Bad Waldsee
+49 7524 9709 0