After seeing the Stair-Climbing Wheel Design for Handtrucks we posted, engineer Adrienne Clark wrote to us:
I am a mechanical engineer at Fikst, a mechanical engineering consulting firm in the Greater Boston area. I saw the Stair Climbing Handtruck post yesterday and I noticed that all of the handtrucks in the post use the same technology, the three wheel design, which is helpful for lighter loads but not for real lifting.
We developed a hand truck at Fikst that uses mechanical leverage to help you get really heavy items over a curb or up a set of stairs. If you are interested, take a look.
So we did, and the design seems fantastic:
Look more closely at the design and you'll see it's not just the levers down by the wheels that provide the assistance...
....but the handle placement as well:
Clark goes on to write "I, a petite woman, am able to get multiple reams of paper up a set of stairs using this thing!"
Now for the crappy part:
"Our hand truck is not currently available but is a totally different approach to a similar problem, so I thought that I would write in to share."
Sigh. Engineering FTW, Sales/Marketing/Business Reality FTL!
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Good Design, nice and simple. DC motor and a battery pack? plug that baby in and have it ready to assist going upstairs. We at Route 7 may be interested in that design.
In our design class at BU, five groups took on the challenge of rethinking the rolling shopping basket for the elderly. All groups chose the three wheel design, some added fold out chairs, but consistently the best performing units incorporated a slide out extending handle, and a brake or kickstand so the user could stop and rest while climbing the stairs...