Identify opportunities to improve Curt Group's heavy-duty fifth wheel hitch and design the new version.
Curt Group offers a complete line of fifth wheel couplings already recognized for their robustness and reliability. The initial mandate was to be carried out in two stages. First, for short timeline reasons, we had to find simple and quick tricks to refresh the visual of the existing model. In a second step, we had to identify opportunities for more substantial improvements and then design and develop each new component.
- User Study
- Competition Study
- Trend Study
- Gaps and Opportunities Identification
- Brand DNA & Visual language
- Concepts Generation
- User Experience
- Mechanical Engineering
- Validation Mock-up
- Material, Color & Finish
- Production development
True to its approach, the team at Brio began by analyzing the product and the context of intervention as a whole. An essential, effective and powerful exercise when carried out at the very beginning of a project. By proposing multiple innovative opportunities from the get go, we knew that it would be quite simple later on, to select the ones with the greatest impact while remaining compatible with the client's schedule. We quickly identified several avenues for a more intuitive, convenient and secure usage. First, we created a new, ergonomic "J" shaped release handle and integrated comfortable grips located at strategic locations.
We have simplified the maintenance of the hitch head by integrating a lube plate, eliminating the need for grease. To reassure the user, we have integrated a series of color-coded icons that are easily visible to the driver, indicating the status of the coupling. An easy-to-remove locking handle was designed to facilitate disassembly. Rigorous simulations and tests were conducted to validate and confirm the strength and reliability of the new parts. These multiple innovations improve the user experience and provide Curt Group with a value-added product that stands out from the competition.
The vast majority of the proposed innovations for the future fifth wheel hitch were selected and implemented in a single redesign, while fitting into Curt Group's initial tight timeline. It has ensured our client a major impact in the market when introduced. The new PowerRide 30K features a multitude of functional benefits that are perfectly integrated into a refined, rugged-looking product. It redefines the standards and is at the top of this product category, helping to reinforce the Curt brand. It's no coincidence that the PowerRide 30K was named "Best New Product" by RV PRO Magazine!