In spirit of car manufacturer Lotus' founder Colin Chapman, 'to increase performance, add lightness'. And so we did.
European Cargo Services (ECS), the launching customer and largest operator of collapsible VRR horse stalls, put us to the task of reviewing the HML. Although it was not overweight, the customer insisted the HML went on a strict diet.
The interconnecting aluminium extrusions used for the fabrication of wall panels, partitions, breast frames and ramps have now been replaced with composite sandwich panels - for now with the exception of the ramps. Trials with prototypes will have to demonstrate whether the lightweight composite sandwich panels also meet the operational challenges the ramps are subject to.
The maximum weight reduction is a very respectable 100 kg and cuts both ways. Obviously less fuel burn for the operator yet the main advantage - and foremost design goal - is found in the operation when assembling or collapsing the horse stall. The ground handling crew have far less weight to handle per item (and step in the process) which will be appreciated without the least of doubt.