FEBRUARY 16, 2016—With more and more towboat operators seriously considering incorporating Z-drive propulsion, Thrustmaster of Texas, Houston, TX, has signed a service agreement with McGinnis Inc. – National Maintenance & Repair that will extend its service centers to six locations in the heart of the U.S.
McGinnis Inc. – National Maintenance & Repair’s four service centers are strategically located along major U.S. rivers with 24/7 availability to service your fleet when you need them. Their highly experienced service technicians are trained and authorized to provide installation, commissioning, maintenance, repairs and upgrades on Thrustmaster’s propulsion and control products.
Thrustmaster of Texas will now have service locations in South Point, OH, Paducah, KY, Hartford, IL, Harahan, LA, Houma, LA, and Houston.
Thrustmaster’s will be able to provide a new level of service, with even faster response times and 24/7 service hotlines to customer requests.
Thrustmaster manufactures a complete line of Z-Drive azimuthing thrusters from 500 to 4,000 hp for the inland towboat industry at its factory in Houston specifically designed to endure the demanding conditions when operating in brown water. Using Z-drives on towboats results in substantially improved fuel efficiency, shorter trip times, decreased maintenance downtime and higher customer satisfaction when compared to traditional shaft and rudder installations.
Thrustmaster’s Z-Drives are inherently robust in nature and do not require a dry dock for servicing. Whenever major maintenance or repair is required, the complete Z-Drive is lifted out of the vessel while the vessel is afloat. A replacement Z-Drive can be dropped in and the boat is back to work within hours. Routine maintenance is limited to periodic replacement of filter elements for the lubricating oil and the steering hydraulic fluid.
Each Z-Drive is equipped with a husky stainless steel propeller running in a nozzle with stainless steel internals. The gears and transmission shafts are generously sized and are protected by a quick release coupling at the input shaft of the Z-Drive. This quick release coupling acts as a mechanical fuse whenever the drive line is blocked, for instance when the propeller ingests a log, a tire or a rope. The mechanical fuse can be reset manually after the obstruction is removed out of the propeller.