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  • FINE TUNING THE ATK

    This is where the really hard work began – it’s all about the detail.

    We had quite a big team of people involved in the project by now from Chris, our designer, Christopher and me (business partners), Karl (responsible for sourcing the wheels) and Dan and his colleagues (production). 

    Then there were the team from our Agency (Yucca) headed up by Ben and Lisa.  By this time they had worked up a name for the kart – the ATK All Terrain Kart.

    Every aspect of the ATKs design went under the microscope. 

    The body was to be made from high grade exterior-quality ply, the same material used by the British Army for their tables and benches.  The brake was obviously really important – we must have tested about half a dozen different designs before we were happy.  We made canvas wraps to cover the foam seat back and bull-bar buffers; in bright green of course, to match the wheels.  The rope had to be colour co-ordinated too.  We decided that the metalwork had to be zinc plated then powder-coated to provide the right level of protection, so obviously all the nuts and bolts had to be stainless steel.  One of the guys on the factory floor pointed out that the axles should be hexagonal bar – so that they were similar to the old pram axles that Soapboxes used to be made out of.  We loved it!

    We looked at the seat and realised that it would be really cool to have the name embossed on it.

    We then examined the steering.  The front axle’s held onto the main body through a carefully machined bush so that it doesn't wobble.  We then put a wooden “stop” behind the steerer that restricts the turning circle – this makes it easier to get used to the direct steering.  It can then be adjusted when it’s been used a few times.

    It was really important that the ATK could be easily transported in the boot of a car so we eventually settled on fixing the steerer and wheels (which were green dual bearing polypropylene fitted with pneumatic tyres) with “R Clips” – just like rally cars have on their bonnets.  This means that they can be easily removed, making the ATK small enough to fit the most modest boot. 

    That left getting the packaging sorted out.  A lot of time went into this from the box design to the instructions (lovingly put together by Chris – they’re a work of art).  We sourced a really good quality spanner and Allen key so everything that was needed to assemble it was included.

    Having finally got the design as we wanted it the ATK was sent off to one of the country’s biggest product testing centres – it passed with flying colours, so it was now CE rated.

    We were then ready to set up “taster” sessions to let children try it out…….. 

    Next: TASTER DAYS

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