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Designed for a perfect fit: Vehicle transporter transports prototypes safely from A to B

Photo by Hubtex

When it comes to the in-house transport of pre-production series in the automotive industry – also known as prototypes – the focus is on two aspects: camouflage and safety. With its newly designed FTP 32 vehicle transporter, the Fulda-based special vehicle manufacturer Hubtex realizes these requirements within the framework of an intelligent system that transports the prototypes covertly through narrow hall gates. Thanks to the modular construction system, the vehicle can be individually adapted to the requirements and transport tasks in automotive plants.

With the FTP 32 vehicle transporter, Hubtex is presenting its new special vehicle for the in-plant transport of pre-production series in the automotive industry. The process is fraught with challenges: For one thing, third parties must not be able to see the prototype; for another, narrow passages must be safely passable. Hubtex has now solved these requirements as part of a pilot project. The individually designed transporter with three-wheel chassis impresses with its compact design and small turning radius. With a vehicle width of just 2.5 meters and a vehicle length of 7.1 meters, it also fits through narrow hall gates and can therefore be used far more flexibly than a trailer. However, this does not mean that the electrically powered special vehicle loses any of its power: it has a payload of 3,200 kilograms and a gradeability of 10 percent. In combined indoor and outdoor operation, the FTP travels distances of one and a half to two kilometers at a speed of 12 km/h.

Simple operation and safe transport

With the aid of an intelligent pull-on device, the prototype is pulled onto the loading platform of the vehicle transporter and automatically locked, so that no separate lashing is required. The platform can be lowered to ground level within the vehicle contour of the transporter, making it suitable for cars with low ground clearance. The van driver controls the pull-up device and the loading platform by radio remote control; he is also responsible for manual handling of the sliding roof. Various assistance systems support the driver during loading and transport: A line laser projects beams onto the ground and ensures precise positioning of the prototype in front of the FTP. Two ultrasonic sensors measure the distance between FTP and prototype and additionally protect against collisions. While driving, a rear view camera and two additional side cameras guarantee optimal visibility in all directions.

Sophisticated special solution for precise application

In this configuration, the vehicle transporter has been developed precisely to meet the requirements of a well-known car manufacturer. However, thanks to Hubtex’s modular system, countless variations of the special vehicle are possible: “Our new vehicle transporter can be individually adapted to the requirements of the automotive industry. This means that the complete portfolio from manual operation to automated vehicles is conceivable,” says Lars Beuel, Sales Manager DACH at Hubtex. “For us, special construction means a well thought-out and economical solution in which we put proven components into a new shell. This is also how the FTP proved itself in in-house testing, for which the Porsche Center in Fulda kindly provided us with two vehicles.” All in all, the result is a mature product that Hubtex develops in full from the design study to the finished vehicle in close coordination with the customer.

For more information, please visit: https://www.hubtex.com/en-us/company/news-press