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NUTS AND BOLTS: AN EVOLUTION IN DESIGN

NUTS AND BOLTS: AN EVOLUTION IN DESIGN

- March 09, 2017

AT FRONT RUNNER, WE LIVE AND BREATHE OFF-ROAD ADVENTURE.


Our engineers push the limits of product design because, frankly, our customers (you people!) have a nasty habit of playing hard. Very hard.

(Want to see what kind of havoc our gear can survive? Check out the next GEARZETTE to find out!)

We take R&D seriously because we?re in the strength, durability and longevity business. We have given our team of engineers a mission: Don?t just think outside the box, throw the box away. Think bold. Think smart.


CASE IN POINT: THE FRONT RUNNER SLIMLINE II ROOF RACK.

With traditionally held beliefs about roof top carriers being stuck in the dark ages, we utilized breakthroughs in design, engineering, and manufacturing to create a revolutionary (or more on point - evolutionary) roof rack system. Here are a few of our unconventional accomplishments.

Almost all steel and aluminum roof racks available today are welded together. Sounds strong, doesn?t it? Here are some facts about welded racks that will blow your mind (*if you?re a gear head predisposed to technical talk!) The fatigue performance of welded joints is generally poor by comparison with the unwelded material. In steel, a weld can be made as strong as the parent material, but this is not the case with Aluminum. In almost all instances, an aluminum weld will be weaker than the parent material.

A welded product is rigid and as a vehicle twists and moves off-road, let?s say on a road trip through the Namibian desert, this rigid structure will start to stress the welds. The combination of vibration, time and load weight will fatigue even the best of welds. While we are not the first forward thinking manufacturer to make an aluminum roof rack (aluminum is lighter and stronger pound for pound / Kilogram per kilogram than steel), we are the first to eliminate this weakness inherent in traditional welded aluminum roof racks.

How the heck did we do that, you ask? By replacing welds with our patented slat in side rail interlocking technology and then bolting the rack together.


BOLTING? YES, YOU READ THAT CORRECTLY.

A common misconception is that a bolt together rack will rattle and shake apart over time. Consider this - How often do you tighten the lug nuts on your tires after driving on a rough road? Are you ever worried about your tires just flying off? Airplanes are not completely welded together, yet you don't think twice about flying in one because of it, do you? Where welds can fail, nuts and bolts create a stronger, lasting bond that allows for movement and strength to coexist.

By factoring in movement along the connections between the locking mechanisms and the structure of the rack our team of engineers created a product that can go to the extremes and live to travel another day. All our rack trays are rated to hold up to 660lbs/300kgs.

We have such confidence in the vision of our engineers and designers, the skills of our manufacturing team, and the attention to detail of our QC department, that we back each Slimline II Rack with a Lifetime Guarantee!

When you know all the facts, we?re the natural selection.

We look forward to helping you gear up for your next adventure.


SOURCES: 1. AN ANALYTICAL STUDY OF ALUMINUM WELDING C.O. SMITH, E.R. FUNK AND H. UDIN, 1952  2. ALUMINUM WELDING N. R. MANDAL, WOODHEAD PUBLISHING, 2002 3. FATIGUE DESIGN HANDBOOK, SOCIETY OF AUTOMOTIVE ENGINEERS, WARRENDALE PA, 1988.  4. FATIGUE DESIGN OF WELDED JOINTS AND COMPONENTS, RECOMMENDATIONS OF IIW JOINT WORKING GROUP XIII-XV, ABINGTON PUBLISHING, 1996
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