The construction of mountain bike trails can be an extremely difficult and tedious process at times. It often poses a range of logistical roadblocks, including the need to remove or add material to the trail site, as well as the need to transport heavy tools and equipment to move said material. The process of removing material during trail construction required a number of tools such as shovels, chainsaws, rakes, etc however these tools play a crucial role in shaping the trail and ensuring the trails safety. After completing a number of interviews with trail building companies and foreman alike, several apparent issues came to be known. But one recurring problem came to light: the access and maneuverability of fuel and tools.
The members of this team are active mountain bikers, and for the past two years have chosen to apply our engineering degrees into mountain bikes. Seeking out innovations for both bikes and the trails we ride on, have led to want to work on making trail construction easier for the companies and foundations that give us the trails we ride. The team determined a method worth exploring to address the recurring difficulty of accessing construction equipment: developing a trailer to haul all equipment from the staging area to the work site. The staging area is the nearest parking lot to the location where the trail is continuing to be built, as it is the closest to the work site that street-legal vehicles can usually reach. The work site is the end of the new trail where the land will need material moved next to continue building the trail.
Moving equipment from the staging area to the work site can be very difficult at times. When the trail is almost done, the builders have the longest trek to haul equipment, usually over a mile. When the trail is single track, it is no more than four feet wide, so no ATV could fit between the edges of the trail. Most mountain bike trails are single track, so it is common for builders to ride their bikes to the work site and carry tools in a backpack. The issue here is that you cannot comfortably fit all necessary equipment in a backpack, especially if something needs fuel such as diesel to power the equipment. There are some trailer products sold today that can connect to mountain bikes to haul more equipment, but they do not perform as well as desired, being difficult to pull them through single track trails. The terrain of a single track varies from trail-to-trail, so the trailer should be able to travel on all of it. For this reason, the team is designing a new, more efficient, equipment trailer. Below is a photo of the tentative CAD design for the Trailblazer trailer.
Figure 1: Trailblazer CAD Design