Integrated Product Development
Jan – May 2022
Power-actuated step system to revolutionize safe and easy access to side-loading truck beds. Developed in a remarkable four month timeframe, this innovative solution embodies design thinking principles and the IPD process.
Patent Application No. 18/081,182 (Dec 14, 2022) | Publication No. US 2023/0114575 A1 (Apr 13, 2023)
Phase I. Identifying the Opportunity
Loading and unloading goods necessitates the truck operator to frequently access the truck bed. At these moments, maintaining three points of contact becomes crucial. However, current hardware on the sides and back of the truck does not effectively optimize time, safety, and effort. It is noteworthy that over half of truck-related injuries are due to slips and falls, resulting in sprains and strains.
Phase II. Understanding the Opportunity
We used a mixed-method approach combining secondary research, surveys, interviews, and site visits to gather comprehensive data. The following key takeaways were identified:
Time: Although acknowledged as important, not the primary concern for the operators.
Safety: Each operator values it differently, need to address their specific concerns and perspectives.
Effort: Given the repetitive nature of their tasks, operators experience significant physical effort.
Convenience: Operators often prioritize this, leading them to bypass safety mechanisms.
Convenience being hard to quantify, could be evaluated as a function of time, safety, and effort.