Authors: 
Adam Baldassare, Keegan Mcallum, Jacob Reeb, Nick Roberts, Brittany Sinclair and Ye Guan
Case revision date: 
2013-12-09
Length: 
5 pages (Case Study)
Summary: 

Approximately two million trucks are sold in North America every year, with the primary customers being tradesmen, construction workers, and motor-cross and/or truck enthusiasts. While the load capacity of these vehicles is usually at least 1000 lbs (1/2 ton), loading large items in particular is a challenge due to the height of the truck bed and tailgate. These large items often have wheels (All-Terrain Vehicles, ATVs), or are transported on wheeled carts (fridges and other large appliances), so some kind of ramp is beneficial. Figure 1 shows improvised ramps being used to help load an ATV into the bed of a pick-up truck. The ramps need to be transported in the truck with the load so that they can also be used for unloading, but the wooden ramps in Figure 1 are too long to be conveniently carried. Folding ramps are available, which vary in performance, complexity and cost. A group of mechanical engineering students identified this as an opportunity for a lower cost solution.

Adam Baldassare, Keegan Mcallum, Jacob Reeb, Nick Roberts and Brittany Sinclair, five third year Mechanical Engineering students at the University of Waterloo, identified this mechanical engineering opportunity and developed a solution as part of their ME 380 project course.
 
improvised truck loading ramp

Figure 1 - Improvised truck loading ramp (motivation for design improvement)
Learning objectives: 
This case study is intended to teach students the application of engineering design concepts with a real-life engineering problem. The primary teaching objective of this case study is to illustrate the engineering design process to form a conceptual design based on the given information.
Key words: 
Design; Marketing; Embodiment Design
CEAB attributes: 
Design; Problem Analysis; Individual and team work
Modules: 
Module 01- Case Study
Module 02 - Needs Analysis
Module 03 - Conceptual Design
Module 04 - Design Validation
Module TN - Teaching Note

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