Changing a flat tire in the middle of the road is not a good experience for anybody, especially when they are forced to do the job with inefficient tools that are supplied by the manufacturer. Turtle Wrench is a concept tool that has been designed to change the paradigm of changing a flat tire easier than ever. The product minimizes the procedures of changing a flat tire by effectively undoing all the 4 studs at once of a wheel instead of doing it individually, through using the motion force of a car. Users don’t need to rely on their physical strength only anymore and since it reduces the repairing time, the danger associated with staying in the middle of the road reduces eventually.
Text from Fabiano :
There are over 25 million legally registered vehicles on the UK’s roads today. Car manufacturers supply the basic tools that are required to perform the task of changing a wheel with every new car; these tools should be sufficient to complete the task successfully but is this really the case? Research suggests that people are reluctant to perform this task themselves.
Flat Tyres were the AA’s 3rd highest reason for call-out in 2005, beaten only by flat or faulty batteries and Lost keys.
Several user centered analyses were performed with volunteers who matched our key user profiles most closely. Existing products available for purchase were used. Many problems were highlighted in particular:
• Safety, low posture is often required, particularly in removing wheel studs and jacking the car. If the flat is on the drivers sided, the task must be performed in the road as traffic passes. This posture hides the user from passing traffic and also makes it hard for the user to see the traffic approaching. This problem is increased at night.
• Visibility of tools is poor at night. Existing tools tend to be black or grey in colour.
• Clear instructions required, particularly for those who have never performed the task before. They serve to increase the users confidence in completing the task successfully and safely.
• Psychological issues were also a key factor, many users remarked that they fear of failure would likely prevent them even attempting the task.
In every case we found that it was not possible to complete the task using the tools provided by the car manufacturer, a telescopic wrench was needed to increase the torque applied to the wheel studs.
The design concept behind the product changes the paradigm of how the most problematic task of changing a flat tyre is performed. The product minimizes the steps of changing a flat tyre by undoing the 4 studs of a wheel instead of undoing individually, using the motion force of the car.
• Utilizes the weight and motion of the car to release the 4studs, reducing required effort
• Does not rely on physical strength of user
• Improves road safety in reducing time spent in path of traffic
The final developed product is an innovative solution to the problems witnessed when changing a wheel. By loosening all four studs simultaneously, using the forces generated by the turning of the car wheel, the task becomes less demanding for the user while also reducing the time taken.
Designer : Fabiano Pottes