Interview with Dale Robinson – Trakway veteran and LIVE’s Managing Director
Why was there a need for TigerTrak and how is it different from existing products?
My father kicked off the temporary trakway hire industry in the 60s and built the first ever trak panel. We have evolved his concept through 5 product generations over the past 50 years. Today we have what we believe is the market leader in heavy-duty aluminium Trakway – LionTrak, the Swiss army knife of trakway.
LionTrak is a multi-purpose panel that can be configured to support the heaviest of road-going loads and temporary structures. We install it over undulating ground at Festivals around Europe and the UK and we believe it is one of the safest panels on the market and it hasn’t been equaled yet.
We also operate a global-leader in pedestrian flooring, Supa-Trac, which is perfect for pedestrian and light vehicle access and turf protection, but isn’t ideal for HGVs, cranes or heavy stage structures. There are heavy-duty plastic products out there but we believe TigerTrak has a real USP. Over large areas of ground, we install it in a brick formation, where we stagger panels, forming a super-rigid.
Another feature that adds to this strength is TigerTrak’s patent-pending connector. Most Trakway systems only join at the cam lock or bolt and plate. With TigerTrak, we have developed a connection that has no moving parts – a ‘locking edge’ that latches right across the width of the panel. Not only does this allow the product to be installed at lightning speed, it ensures a secure, cross-bonded, locked-together floor, that will happily support a 12 tonne point load but with very little deflection – this means you get a very solid base for crane lifts and temporary structures and more protection for the ground beneath.
From another safety point of view, the non-mechanical operation of the product means there are no surface trip hazards what so ever. It is a fully continuous surface with no protrusions to trip on, nor recesses for a stiletto heel to get stuck in. It uses the same proven tread pattern that we designed into LionTrak. We applied a lot of fluid dynamic research into the surface to remove water from the tread and keep the traffic contact-point dry. TigerTrak has been independently slip tested, scoring in the same risk category as a permanent pavement and its profile fits seamlessly with Supa-Trac so again, there are no trip hazards between the two systems (e.g. from stage support plaform to audience floor) one customer posted a picture of the join titled ‘a thing of beauty’.
Is it an evolution from an existing product?
We have an existing aluminium product that can be lifted by 6 people, which is similar to other systems in Europe, but it is slow and heavy-going and has the usual bolts and plates. TigerTrak is a much smaller and lighter panel so it can be installed by hand with as little as 2 people. This also means it can be laid where a lorry can’t get, even indoors, on delicate flooring such as in sports halls.
What is it made of?
Environmentally, TigerTrak is made from one of the planet’s most resourceful and recyclable materials, aluminium. It is made from over 95% recycled materials and is theoretically over 95% recyclable at the end of its life and once recycled, aluminium doesn’t lose any natural qualities.
What system do you use to lay the product (eg. lorries, lifting equipment, human beings!)
As the system can be installed by hand without lorries and cranes, it allows us to temporarily scale up our staff resources in the summer peak without the heavy investment of £80,000 installation vehicles and qualified class 1 drivers. This in turn speeds up installation and recovery without large vehicles getting in the way of each other and constantly burning fuel to power their cranes. It is 4 times faster to install than craned aluminium and we have tested install to up to 1000 square meters per hour on level ground.
What are its most appropriate live music/festival settings?
TigerTrak is ideal for heavy-duty access over sensitive ground because its aluminium profile can take 12 tonne point loads but has a base that is very turf-friendly. It is designed for level ground such as sports stadiums, sports fields, parks and concourses.
Can you say how much you’ve invested developing the product?
The knowledge invested has come from many years of our technical engineers who have worked in the events temporary access market. We have made an initial investment of £1m with a further commitment to £5m over the next 5 years
Have you used the product at any live music events so far and how did it perform?
It has already satisfied heavy-duty requirements like stage pads and heavy vehicle access on 5 yours this spring and we have a healthy order book for the next few months and commitment from customers for next year.
Do you have any confirmed live music projects confirmed for this summer (please name if possible and explain how it will be used in each case/)
Unfortunately, we have NDAs on our current TigerTrak contracts and until we have full case study approvals, we can’t disclose yet but customers have quoted that the product is ‘a revolution’, ‘a thing of beauty’ and ‘very safe and quiet to install’
How much potential do you see for TigerTrak?
We continue to pioneer the market, we created the first trakway panel, the first extruded aluminium panel, our engineers created the first steerable panel and now we are commited to investing less into plastic which isn’t as fully recyclable as aluminium and becoming a global problem and we don’t see that adding more fuel burning vehicles to the industry is helping. TigerTrak allows us to flex our operations and instal much more safely, with shorter timescales and we hope to grow market share further into Europe.
For more information visit https://www.livetrakway.com/tigertrak