The jury spent many hours poring over the GrabCAD Lightweight Portable Trailer Challenge, and the top three designs for the Catfish trailer each spent some time as the top choice before discussions and debate changed the final order.
They are currently en route to take the Catfish to the annual SEMA car show. I'm sure they wish they could have the new trailer for a trip like this!Latest pics of the Catfish from Bauer LTD, above.
These trailers needed to be built for hard work and tough travel
One issue that Bauer LTD and team dealt with over the past month has affected the final order. We have been getting the car ready for the SEMA 2013 show (over 300 miles by trailer), which means our own standard trailer has been used frequently. More importantly, most of the work--even some painting--has been taking place on the trailer. They need a stable platform for this kind of work. Our regular trailer has a stable platform, but is bulky and the wheels are always in the way. The perfect solution would be to de-couple the trailer stand from the wheels and move them out of the way, which many of the designs accomplish.
The other overriding issue with the trailer design is safety. Would you use these trailer designs to take a one-of-a-kind car 375 miles from Southern California to Laguna Seca? This trip includes everything from cracked concrete that punishes the strongest trailer, to highway speeds that are admittedly higher than the law would allow. How did designs stack up to the challenge?
1st Place Winner
Catfish Challenge v.2 by thinkin3d-1
There are two points that the jury likes best about this entry. First, thinkin3d offered a fellow engineer his assistance with his renderings during the challenge. That to me is the essence of GrabCAD. The "no-ramp" design gets extra points, and the ability to remove the base gives options that standard trailers don't offer. Lastly, the stress analysis results were reassuring for those long trips to Laguna Seca.
2nd Place Winner
V3 and I think final for this project.... by neil.louw
Cord Bauer's favorite wheel suspension design. This wheel assembly drawing alone opens up options for other trailer designs. Mr. Louw seemed to have thought of every contingency and added it into his design. This ramp spent quite a while as the top ramp of the bunch.
3rd Place Winner
Bauer Drop-Down Trailer by luke.maselkowski-1
The 3° ramp angle alone makes this an interesting trailer, as is the fact that the majority of the suspension parts can be water jet from steel plate. The renderings make this trailer look like it's intended for a Ferrari.
We wish the Catfish and Bauer LTD a great time at the SEMA 2013 show in Las Vegas. See all of the winning entries on the Challenge page, now!