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AshUoB

Designing a UTV with modular rear

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Hello everyone,

I am a mechanical engineering student who is trying to design a UTV to be used by maintenance workers around parks and university campuses. One of our unique selling points was that the rear cargo area would be modular so it can be swapped out for different "rear modules". For example, it could just be cargo hold but also a cage, refrigeration, more passenger seats or carrying woodchip etc.

What would be an easy way of detaching the different rear modules and swapping with a new one? A way of securing it to the frame but also allowing it to be removed with ease. From what I've seen, most UTV bodies are directly bolted to the frame.

Thank you for reading.

Ash

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I would say using a quick pin system would be the best, that's actually how the bed of my Mule is attached to the frame. Have corresponding holes drilled into the frame, and the attachment.

image.png.2dca8296d7b5cd3a86df8158722ef464.png

 

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6 hours ago, AshUoB said:

Ah, great idea! Thank you. How do you get the bed on top of the frame?

The bed has 2 pieces of flat stock welded into a saddle shape that sits over the frame, like this., and depending if you  want the attachment to pivot or not, you could use 1 pin on each side and a latch, or 2  pins on each side if you don't want it to.

PIN.thumb.png.79d92a5ed94efbdbfd4ea32a18622efc.png

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Travis' idea is excellent.  I would like to offer a similar pin.  It's a quick release pin that doesn't use a spring clip on the back side that migh be difficult to access. Similar to a ratchet handle, you push on the center button and it releases the spring tension on the ball at the other end for easy removal.  However, the hole size must have a close tollerance.  Amazon has various sizes that might fit your application.  They're just over $30 each.

As for installing and removing the various attachments, you migh consider a design similar to a slide in camper found on the back of pickup trucks.  But you might want to reconsider bolting the modules to the frame from the top side of the floor especially for the passenger seat module if it is to be used.  Consider bolting seat belts to the frame (required) and not just to the module.

51AXf7nT0qL._AC_SL1440_.thumb.jpg.1cecda32b5842765a6e281dfd253d585.jpg

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@Travis Ah, I see. Very clever, thank you! Do you use a mini crane to get the bed on top of the frame?

 

@Dan B  Yes, I like that a lot! What do you think about using solenoid version of those quick release pins? So there would not be any manual effort. You would energize it and it would insert into the holes and when de-energized, it would lock.

I may just adopt the slide in camper idea. From what I've seen, they have an electric jack on each corner. Then you reverse the car underneath it and lower the jack.

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The more I think about it, the more I like using a bolt to secure the module to the frame.  Less rattling and moving of the module.  With the environment that the machine would be in, electrically operated solenoids might bind when dirt and dust get inside the plunger.

If you do go with an electric latch, I would go with a motorized version that operates a large hook on the frame that catches on a large pin on the module pin (similar to a car door latch).  But these types of locks have plastic gears that might be troublesome.  A cable operated latch could also work.

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@Dan B Hmmm, bolting the module to the frame would be the most secure but it would make assembly slow. We are looking for something workers can change quickly..

 

Would you be able to show an example of the electric latch and cable operated latch you described? Its a bit hard to visualize.

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