Wairarapa people are only too aware of the tragedies that can result from quad bikes rolling over, but a local engineering firm has devised a simple and effective safety-improving solution.
A group of from Loader Construction Engineering in Masterton has perfected the Quad Bike Safety Frame, and tests have shown to greatly improve a person's chances of escaping a quad crash unharmed.
With rounded Chromalloy frame extensions installed at the back of the quad, the device not only helps stop the vehicle rolling onto its back, but crucially, provides vital space underneath if the quad does roll.
In development since early 2011, the project is the result of collaboration between Loaders owners, Bruce Hargood and Keith Saywell, and staff, Ted Dalby and Don Saywell.
Using a crash-test dummy containing balloons, the team took videos of a quad bike with the frame installed crashing down a hill in several scenarios. During all of the tests none of the balloons popped.
Loaders have also developed a frame for the front of quads that also increases the protective envelope if the quad rolls.
This removable frame also doubles as storage space on the front.
Bruce Hargood has already got the safety frames installed on his two quad bikes.
"My wife wouldn't let me get a quad unless I had some sort of protection," he says.
He is an avid hunter and the removable front frame that he has developed is perfect for carrying carcasses.
Unlike some other roll protection devices on the market, the Loaders' safety frame does not inhibit the use of the rear deck of the quad.
Sheep dogs, hay bales or even spray equipment can easily negotiate the rear of the vehicle without impediment. The frame tubing is covered in upholstered foam padding and there are even accessories available.
They have developed mesh covers for the rear frames complete with storage pockets.
The mesh prevents limbs or items from going through the frame during an accident.
The product has a Registered Certificate of Design in both New Zealand and Australia.
Depending on the make and model of the quad bike, the safety frame costs around $1000 installed.
Look out for the quad bike safety frames at the Masterton A & P Show this month.
- Wairarapa News