Docking with the Mother Ship

Having bought a Segway with the idea of using it as personal transport while on my travels on the bus,  inshallah! I needed to get some way of carrying it around with me.  I have had great fun on it around town, sneaking up on old ladies in the high street (I now have a bell) and getting loads of smiles from almost everyone I meet.  The Segway Smile is a phenomenon that cannot be explained,  just the sight of one seems to brighten people’s days.  Riding one is just something else.

My big problem is, it weighs 50 kg and is 900mm wide.  This is too heavy for me to lift on my own, unless I am wearing a truss or a bionic arm and too big to go in any of the storage boxes on the bus.  The mechanic in me has come up with many different options over the past few months to hang it on the front or the back of the bus, all of which would involve a certain amount of fabrication.  Now I am more than capable of building, welding and bolting a bracket on the existing chassis but do not have the facilities to do that at Mel’s house.  Then there is the problem of getting the thing on to the bracket either by the way of ramps, which will have to be stowed somewhere or jacks which would require hydraulic power or a screw mechanism to raise and lower the Segway to the ground or even some form of hinged platform utilising the Segway steering  arm as a lever.  There are purpose built units in the good ol’ US of A but these would still require that I had a tow hitch fitted..

I happened to go up to Camec, a RV supply centre in Auckland.  I was looking for a fridge and a smaller gas hob.  Must have been my day as they had an ex, showroom hob and sink combination on offer.  Nice little three burner with glass fold down tops for both the sink and the hob.  While I was there they had a bike rack hanging on the wall.  Quiet a formidable piece of kit to take two bikes and 55kg capacity.  A few measurement when I got home, confirmed that the sink was a must and the bike rack a good possibility.   A plane had hatched on getting the Segway docked to the bus “Inshallah”, My shuttle when parked out of town.

Went the next day and bought both.  I wont be fitting the sink just yet as need to remove all the old seating area and that will make the bus a bit difficult to use but the bike rack, we set about as soon as we (that’s the Royal we) got home and by 6 had it just about finished. Putting it on the front was the easiest way if I had gone for the rear mounting option a I would not be able to see it when backing up and b I would have to move the number plate and the lighting that goes with that.

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Just assembled out of the box
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Close up
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All attached
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looks good
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Close up
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Folded position

Now to build the ramps.  These needed to be light and easy to stow.  I had thought about aluminium ones from the motor shop Repco ar having some made up from angle iron but these are going to be heavy and a nightmare to stow anywhere.  So I cam up with a plan.  4 broom handles and some rope.  The idea was that the Segway tyres would run down the broom handles pitched about halfway up each side of the tread pattern and the rope would keep the broom handles at the right distance apart while the weight of the Segway would try to push them apart. I used figure of eight knots as these are a bit bigger and make a good stopper knot. Works a treat except the first lot of hooks I used to fix the ramps to the bike rack where not man enough for the job, so a quick redesign and the hooks were changed out for some stronger L shaped brackets.  These might be further modified but do work and got the job done.  Security is the next thing so a visit to the cycle shop is in order.

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Had a visit from HSE checking the bite and claw resistance of the rope.  Thought they may of asked how much we had down rated the rope WLL because of the knots but they were more interested in if it could be chewed or bitten.

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In position. The pink block is to keep the knot distance the same through out the build. A “go, no go” gauge so to speak
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And we are docked
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All in good order
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Looking good
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Goes on backward better than trying to drive it up
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Top holding bracket in place keeping it all firm
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Ramp dismatled
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Ramp stowed
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And off again
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Halfway up

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The bike rack folds up out of the way when not in use but also makes a nice seat when the Segway is not on it.  Just need to get a cushion for it.

Dunk

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4 thoughts on “Docking with the Mother Ship

  1. I like it. Are you at all concerned that the broom handles will fail? 50 kg is a lot of kgs, plus you drilled some holes in them which weakens them. I would have thought perhaps 1″ angle iron; light enough to readily lift but strong and won’t bend. Also, is the Segway handle in the sightline when you drive? You could offset the Segway and load it on the one side…

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