Trolley Stopper Benefits and the Why
Restraining runaway shopping trolleys has been an annoyance to people for pretty much all time. Most people resort to holding the trolley with one hand, and then juggling the shopping bags, beer, hardware or whatever else they have purchased with the other hand. Many people also resort to simply leaning the shopping trolley on their car to stop it from rolling away. Over time, we all know what this means - scratches and dents on your car.
So why are car parks on a slope anyway? It is very annoying I hear you say. Well, the fact is, most public areas need to have some sort of gradient for water runoff and drainage - this is required by most Council / Government / and or planning authorities throughout the world. In Australia and New Zealand, the gradient requirement is 1:100 for outdoor, and 1:200 for covered areas (about 1 to 2 degree) - (see AS/NZS 2890.1:2004 Clause 184.108.40.206 Minimum gradients). Most other countries will have a similar requirement. This does not sound like very much at all, however, when you add a trolley / cart weighed down with groceries and children, it will very easily roll on this type of slope, potentially damaging property and maybe even people.
What are the regulations?
At Trolley Stopper we have done quite a lot of testing to ensure that our device is safe and does what it says it does - 'stop trolleys from rolling away'.
In Australia and New Zealand, the maximum gradients of a car parking space are as follows:
- - Measured parallel to the angle of parking - 1:20, or 3 degrees.
- - Measured in any other direction - 1:16, or 4 degrees.
- - Parking spaces for people with disabilities - 1:40, or 1.5 degree undercover, or 1:33 in a direction outside, or on bitumen surfaces - see AS/NZS 2890.6 for more information.
- - I have added the specification here if you would like a copy, or it can be easily found online.
So with all that information to hand, we can see that the maximum allowed gradient on a car park is 4 degrees - in Australia and New Zealand at least. If you have a specific question around gradients in your country, please contact us. We will be able to find out the answer.
So, what can Trolley Stopper do?
To begin with, we first tested with a jig setup to 1:14. We wanted to do this under controlled conditions so we tested with a melamine board jig setup in a shed. Trolley Stopper stopper was able to easily retrain the shopping trolley under these conditions.
Bored with that, we thought we would see what it could really do. Thankfully, Trolley Stopper HQ has some nice hills around the Industrial Estate.
We ventured outside and stuck one of our devices to the bitumen - with Blue tack mind you, not the Megapoxy 36 (road adhesive) we normally roll with. We figured our neighbours would not appreciate Trolley Stoppers turning up randomly around the Industrial Estate and being stuck down forever.
After we stuck down the Trolley Stopper, we measured the gradient of that particular spot. It was a gradient of 7.5 degrees (well above the Australian and New Zealand Standard) - so very unlikely to be ever seen in Australia or New Zealand.
Trolley Stopper handled this angle with no issues - all with 50kgs in the trolley. Pretty impressive!
After this, we really wanted to know where Trolley Stopper would let go and fail. Thankfully, there was another hill around that was a bit of a beast. This hill was actually pretty hard to walk up, let alone push a trolley with 50kgs up.
We found a nice slope and measured 9.1 degrees. Trolley Stopper was able to hold the trolley here too. After this angle we found that the results started to become inconsistent. Sometimes with gradients slightly more than 9.1 degree, the trolley would hold, other times it would not.
So, we are happy to conclude that Trolley Stopper can work on a gradient of up to 9 degrees to allow a bit of wriggle room. As aforementioned, this is well above and beyond the maximum allowable gradient of 4 degrees in Australian and New Zealand car parking spaces.