Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search

 

Quad bike design a potential lifesaver

November 8, 2012

Quad bike design a potential lifesaver

Industrial design student Tom Marshall wants to reduce the alarming injury toll from people riding quad bikes and believes a couple of key modifications he has made to the existing farm quad bike design could help realise that goal.

The 22-year-old has designed the Huntaway, a prototype model of a quad bike that features a roll-cage-type rooftop and a seat that locks in at what would otherwise be the bike’s tipping point.

More than 800 people are injured on farms riding quad bikes on farms every year in New Zealand. So far there have been five fatalities in 2012.

The Labour Group of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and employment has expressed a commitment to reducing the number of injuries and fatalities caused by quad bike accidents - something Mr Marshall wants to achieve with his design.

The Huntaway acts as an interim between farm ute and a farm bike, he says, and would be ideal for small jobs like fixing fences.

“The Huntaway bike has been developed specifically for farmers on their farms and has involved direct input from farmers within the design process,” he says using an online community of farmers for feedback.

Mr Marshall believes with its roll cage, and the potential to eventually be fully enclosed, the Huntaway would be of interest to users outside the rural environment including the military and Department of Conservation workers.

“The bike is a safer alternative to the quad bike whereby the Huntaway’s design enables riders to be enclosed, important equipment to be transported more efficiently and applies physical feed back when pushed in terrain it cannot handle.”

Its other key modification is the way it addresses the issue of weight distribution. Riders can be buckled into the seat, which allows their body weight to be shifted around to match the direction being driven - in a similar sensation to riding a motorcycle -, but the seat then locks when it senses the bike may overturn.

He has attempted to counter differences in industry opinion as to the merits or dangers of riders being buckled in by seatbelts to design his seat so that it does move from side to side.

“The seat is able to lean side to side to a point of 15 degrees each way. This swivel point is located near the base of the seat to enable effective movement of mass. This movement of mass improves the performance of the quad bike especially when cornering and moving along slopes.”

Mr Marshall’s design also lowers the centre of gravity, with horizontal engine pistons fitted that move from side to side rather than up and down, while the gap between the body of the quad bike and its wheels has also been reduced.

Other modifications include a light all-weather sail cloth-type fabric roof top and a ‘step-through’ design for the swivel seat, rather than the traditional design which involved the rider putting one leg over the seat before sitting down.

Mr Marshall, who is of Ngai Tahu descent, says he became interested in addressing quad bike safety after time as a casual worker on farms during his summer holidays. ‘It’s something everyone was talking about wherever you went on the farm.”

His design features from Saturday November 10 at Exposure an annual showcase of work by emerging young artists and designers from Massey’s College of Creative Arts, which traditionally opens the BLOW creative arts festival.

Fellow student, Nick Marks, from the Albany campus, has also worked on a quad bike design, specifically to counter control loss. His design, with the capability of shifting the vehicle’s centre of mass to keep a low centre of gravity preventing it from overbalancing, is part of is part of Design Exposure being held at Auckland as part of the BLOW.

Go to www.blowfestival.co.nz for more event information.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 
Obituary: Whānau Announce The Passing Of Bruce Stewart QSM

Matua Bruce was an award-winning builder before he embarked on a journey to build Tapu Te Ranga Marae in 1974... He built Tapu Te Ranga Marae from recycled material with just $25 and a dream. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The America’s Cup

The fact New Zealand now reigns supreme once again in the most sophisticated contest in the world’s most elite sport – yacht racing – can’t help but reflect the trajectory the country has been on since the 1980s... More>>

ALSO:

Howard Davis: Christopher Marlowe & 'The Tragedy Of Dr. Faustus'

Previous versions of 'The Devil's Pact' can be traced back to the fourth century, Marlowe deviated significantly by depicting his protagonist as unable to burn his books or repent to a merciful God in order to have his contract annulled... More>>

ALSO:

Gold For RNZ: Muslim Post-9/11 Series, Kim Hill Win In New York

The Radio New Zealand podcast series Public Enemy has won a gold award for excellence for its presenter, Mohamed Hassan, at the prestigious New York Festival Radio Awards announced in Manhattan today. RNZ National’s Saturday Morning host, Kim Hill, also received a gold award for Best Radio Personality. More>>

Human Rights Commission: Give Nothing To Racism

A campaign urging New Zealanders to give nothing to racism and refuse to spread intolerance has been launched by some of the country’s most well-known people. More>>

Louis Vuitton Series Win: Emirates Team NZ Will Challenge For The America’s Cup

By beating Artemis 5-2 they now take on Oracle Team USA in the America’s Cup match starting next weekend. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • CULTURE
  • HEALTH
  • EDUCATION
 
 
  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland