Case Study: Cub Cadet HaulerThe yard hauler designed for big versatility and a small footprint
Consumer Insights Reveal Opportunities
MTD Products, owner of Cub Cadet lawn and garden tractors, partnered with us to develop new products for the line. Our insights process quickly revealed that among the target demographic — homeowners with large properties — the biggest deterrent to buying tow-behind haulers was a lack of storage space. “I’d love to have one,” we heard again and again in focus groups, “but I just don’t have room for it in my garage.” So the opportunity, and the challenge, were clear.
Industrial Design for Storage & Functionality
Fold-down sides were a good start, but wouldn’t suffice; to truly take up less floor space, the hauler also needed to stand upright when stored, and without toppling over. We addressed this with a detachable towbar tongue which slides into a groove when the hauler is tipped into its upward position, providing additional stability. In this position, the Cub Cadet Hauler is 18 inches deep, occupying about 70 percent less floor space than other haulers of comparable size.
None of this came at the cost of functionality, however. Sides up, the Cub Cadet Hauler can hold 10 cubic feet of soil, mulch, stones, etc., weighing up to 800 pounds. Sides down, the hauler becomes a flatbed for lumber and other odd-sized loads. The hauler body is made primarily of structural foam, a molded polymer that’s rugged, durable and lightweight. The hauler weighs less than 100 pounds.
For convenience we added a foot-pedal dump release, tool carriers on the sides and a groove for sliding in a partition. We also designed an optional handle bar that allows the user to push the hauler like a wheelbarrow. The fold-down sides also make it possible to package and ship the Cub Cadet Hauler nearly fully assembled. The purchaser only needs to attach the tires, which takes about two minutes.