Trailer Safety System (Braddan Structures Ltd)

Client:Carl Caddick, Director - Braddan Structures Ltd

Shaun MacKintosh – FS Design, Sunderland

Description of concept:
Braddan Structures are a steel erection company based in Darlington, part of their day to day business involves delivering and off loading trailer loads of prefabricated steelwork, much of the work is very dangerous and covered by stringent health and safety regulation. Braddan identified an opportunity to develop a modular, folding system to attach to the flat bed of a lorry that would provide a safe refuge or walkway around the load bed, allowing safe access to the load by site operatives and side access by fork lift trucks.

Target Market:
Having worked with several of the existing systems available to improve operative safety whilst off loading, Braddan Structures began developing a system that was easy to use, adaptable to several vehicle types and provided genuine safety benefits.

How design would make a difference:
Braddan had developed some initial concepts of their SAARS (Safe Access Area and Refuge System) but had reached the limit of their design capability.

Design Process Timescales:
September 2009 Exemplar funding granted
November 2009 Met and selected designers
Febraury 2010 Initial design concepts
May 2010 Design development
January 2011 Prototyping
March 2011 Product testing

Design Network North provided guidance and funding to help the project move to the next level. Braddan Structues chose FS Design to develop their product because of their extensive automotive experience, especially in the area of sliding and articulated mechanisms.

Carl Caddick, Director, Braddan Structures Ltd comments: "We had develop an initial concept for our SAARS system but really lacked the specialised skills and expertise to resolve some of the more complex design issues, especially those to do with material selection and the articulation of the unit."

Project success:
Braddan Structures are now testing a full size prototype, reviewing operational requirements and materials and are in talks with several haulage contractors to conduct road going user trials.

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