Hey I know Muletray is a quick and easy way to change van trays but with the extra daylight time, I can do this for longer in natural light instead of artificial street light. It is argued that DST allow drivers to return home in daylight which can reduce traffic accidents during the evening rush hour. But the main thing for me, is longer daylight clears away the winter blues.
easy Access van storage
You want to fit racking to keep the van organised, but you’re worried that you will lose the ability to carry large items occasionally? This is a dilemma faced by many van operators.
Fitting racking to your van seriously affects your capacity to carry large items such as plywood sheeting, plant equipment, fabrications and the like. Not fitting racking to your van however, results in van floors very quickly becoming cluttered with layer upon layer of tools, equipment and supplies.
This is where Muletray can help. With an effective easy access storage system you can have an organised van and when you need the full size of the van back, the central section of the storage system can be quickly and easily removed.
With the aid of a scissor table or fork lift, the drawer of the storage system can easily be unloaded fully laden, meaning you could unload your van in a matter of minutes, ready to shift those bigger items.
Why not contact us now for a demonstration.
It’s halloween night tonight, parents and kids preparing for a night of sweets, creepy masks, pumpkins and all things scary…. if you really want to scare the kids threaten them with extra homework or a visit to the dentist.
At Mule International, it’s not things that go bump in the night that worry us, it’s things that go bump in the back of the van, especially if you happen to be delivering parcels or transporting numerous item. Damaged goods result in unhappy couriers and customers alike.
With Muletray, we offer a stacked cassette style tray, easily customised to separate items. No possibility of parcels or items falling on top of each other during transit. I wish the courier that delivered my bent fish tank tongs this morning had used a Mule tray! Call us to find out how we can help you to deliver your goods safely and efficiently.
Mule, taking the fear out of delivering.
I was asked recently who our ideal client would be. The point of the question was that if we could identify and illustrate the type of client that would benefit most from our products, then it may help such potential clients to identify themselves as potential benefactors of our products. With that in mind, the following could be our ideal client…
He works for a company that services construction plant. The company is image conscious and wants the van to be kept in a tidy condition. Steve also wants the van tidy as he gets in a tizzy when he can’t find his number 7 ratcheting spline thingy. The company want to reduce the size of the vehicle that Steve uses to reduce both purchase and running costs of the vehicle. Steve doesn’t want a smaller van as he can’t find his sandwiches and his copy of responsible white van driver monthly as it is. The load consists of spare parts and consumables for sale to the customer which need to be suitably contained , protected, and easily retrieved. Steve also has a dodgy back and would love to not have to overreach into the van whist holding up 2 drums of cable to retrieve the socket set from underneath. Steve has a 6 pack, which he shares with his favourite van storage rep. Both drink responsibly.
Our ideal could also be…..
She works for the same company, and uses the same van on a different shift. She does essentially the same job as Steve but somehow always manages to get her report sheets in on time and maintain a sense of allure. Having a different client base to Steve, Bryony needs to reload the van with her own spares and consumables. This needs to be done quickly and easily. Bryony welcomes the idea of a smaller van as it means she can hide behind lorries going through average speed check zones.
Bryony gets all the welding jobs since her career as a professional dancer came to an end, and as such needs to load heavy gas bottles and welding equipment into the van and would love it if the gear was instantly secured once placed in the back. Bryony doesn’t have a bad back. Always lifted properly using the correct equipment and seeking assistance where necessary. Clever Bryony.
It’s unlikely that your company profile will match that of Steve and Bryony, but if you want a super efficient, quick switching carrier system, a smaller van and a back that still works after 30 years of employment, then Mule might be the best van storage system for you.
Call us to talk about your load management solutions.
The Hadron Collider in Switzerland restarts after a 2 year re-fit. The scientists are planning to double the energy from previous tests when they start particle collisions in about a months time. It has been said that the previous round of tests managed to fortify our existing understanding of the ‘standard’ model of physics, including proving the existence of the Higgs boson. There are more things that are not yet understood, such as dark energy and dark matter, that have very few theoretical predictions about them, and so the scientists don’t actually know what they are looking for. The next phase therefore is to super-power the proton beams in the hope that something unexpected and spectacular happens.
This approach to R&D and innovation holds a great appeal to me, and I was thinking of writing to CERN to see if they wouldn’t mind if I drove my VW Transporter around the Collider at a breakneck speed of 106 mph, fully equipped with our state of the art loading and storage system, only to collide with an identical VW van coming the other way. We would both have 13.5 kilometers (less the length of 2 vans) to accelerate to our rendezvous point whereupon the fruits of our design efforts could merge spectacularly with one another, a staggering 212 mph impact, pushing the theory of super-symmetry or something like that. We could then look at the video footage of the impact and see if any bright ideas jump out at us. I imagine the CERN bill for using the facilities might stretch beyond our £5K budget for the experiment so our back up plan is to use the M25 which will give us an additional 161 miles to accelerate.
We’re hoping that the experiment will give us more insight into our future vision of removable storage solutions, such mobile workbenches, parcel loading systems, leisure trays or anything else that the experiment throws at us.
Alternatively we thought we could just ask our clients if they have any requests or bright ideas for loading, and we’ll do our best to integrate them into our already splendid system. We may not have the same budget as CERN, but we’re just as committed to innovation.
It’s been and gone but did you managed to witness the UK solar eclipse? This natural event occurs when the moon travels between the sun and the earth, resulting in darkness. It’s only temporary which is a good thing but hey, imagine what would it be like to be in shadows for a long time, not fun, dismal to say the least! Gloomy like a constant dark cloud over your head.
I expect that might be a similar feeling if I had to deliver goods in my van with little storage and suffering stress wasting time rummaging through the delivery load trying to find the right package and hopefully (undamaged) boxes. I’d feel as if I was in permanent shadows of despair. Deadlines to meet and too many boxes on top of each other. I’m glad to say I’m not in that position, hooray! Thanks to the wonderful MULETRAY, everything neatly stored and secured with double the loading space of a van. Don’t be kept in the dark, find out more about the MULETRAY – a shining example of van storage.
Photo: courtesy NASA website
Spring has finally arrived and isn’t that great? Daylight getting longer which means a more enjoyable ride for van drivers, well for me anyway. So to celebrate the new season I have put together five facts on Spring.
Five facts on Spring
- The first day of spring is called the vernal equinox. What does that stand for you ask? ‘Vernal’ is Latin for spring while ‘equinox’ is Latin for ‘equal night’.
- Good Friday (3 April), Easter Monday (6 April), Spring Bank Holiday (25 May) are all public holidays in Spring this year.
- If you stand on the equator today, you would see the sun pass directly overhead. It only happens twice a year in spring time and autumn.
- Before we called it spring this season was known as Lent or Lenten.
- Five metal springs are used in our famous MULETRAY braking system
Spring season is here, time for a Spring clean, so if the thought ‘I need a better way to store and deliver goods in my van’ Spring to mind, then Spring to your phone and call us 07775923010 and we will Spring into action and demonstrate how the MULETRAY will change your workload for the better. Phew, managed to get five Springs in there!
We at MULE attended a crash course in Composite manufacturing hosted by a few fine fellows at the City of Bristol College, to look into the potential use of carbon/glass fibre resin composites.
This composite mat comprises 4 layers of glass fibre matting layered between 2 layers of carbon fibre matting. The tensile strength of this material can potentially withstand many tons of force. Its flexural strength however is nowhere near as impressive.
So what have we learnt about composite materials?
- Carbon fibre has amazing tensile and good compressive strength, but poor shear strength. The fibres are incredibly difficult to break whilst straight, but simply tying a knot into a fibre renders it extremely weak when pulled.Interesting fact: Each of the woven cords that you can see in the make up of the mat in the picture is actually made up of 3000 strands of carbon fibre. No, I didn’t count them, but I don’t think they were pulling our legs.
- Carbon fibre is brittle. This means that on its own it would be no good for our false floors as they are sure to suffer more than the odd impact in their lifetime.To counter carbon fibres’ poor flexural strength and brittle nature, carbon fibre is often sandwiched with fibre-glass to give both resilience to impact, and improved flexural strength. For increased flexural strength the layers of carbon fibre can be distanced from each other by the insertion of a bonded honeycomb core material with a high sheer strength. In this configuration the carbon fibre is only really subjected to compressive and tensile forces that it can handle easily. This filler is known as a composite sandwich core.
- Composites can be incredibly light when compared to other materials of similar strength.
Will MULE be using composites in the future?
We would certainly like to take advantage of the weight reduction possibilities available with composites, but at present we feel it would be prohibitively expensive for us. Volume of manufacture will however dictate to us when it is an appropriate time for us to revisit this possibility. In the mean time we will be experimenting with different composite materials to find the best combination for us.
There are two common types of rear door for small to medium sized vans (discounting special purpose roller shutter doors) – the lift-up tail gate type and the barn door type.
So why aren’t tailgates more popular? The first thing that occurred to me was a simple factor that a tailgate on a low van would be too low to stand under and would just get in the way. The second thing that I thought of on my quest for enlightenment was that a tailgate on a high sided van would be too heavy and awkward to lift. What about all the rest of the vans though? Who wouldn’t want to have shelter on a rainy day?
I’m sure there are many reasons for peoples’ choices, but after my enquiries, one reason in particular caught my attention…… several people I asked cited poor fork lift access as their reason for not choosing a tailgate, as a tailgate would prevent a high mast forklift truck or pallet stacker from getting close enough to a van to load and unload pallets.
This was particularly of interest to me as I realised you could have the best of both worlds with our MULETRAY system. You don’t need to get the forklift close to the van, because the base of the van comes out to meet the forklift. We can provide multi tiered versions to accept multiple pallets each above the other, which could could be a huge bonus to bakers, motor factors or anyone else delivering high volumes of small items from their vehicles. The great thing is, when you don’t need to carry palletised goods or trays of hot cross buns, you can easily take the system out.
So if you are a service engineer, meals on wheels driver or vending machine re-stocker why not take a look at our system…… or even better call Garry on 07775 923010 and arrange a demonstration and discuss the storage and handling options available to you……
As I travel around the globe whilst trying to keep tabs on affairs back in the office, I find it very difficult to get effective internet access.
I kind of feel that the government should ensure that such a system is available not just in the UK, but also work with other governments across Europe and beyond. It doesn’t have to be government funded, but I do feel the goverment should take the initiative. I’m sure also that existing coffee shops, hotels and other wi-fi providers across the country could be subsidised for contributing (acting as access portals) to such a scheme.
There may be a million and one reasons why this would be an awful idea, and I’m happy to be wrong, but just just wondered if anyone else thought the same thing?
Whilst travelling recently in Asia, we tried many hotels based on recommendations from people on trip advisor.
That’s the same principle we apply at Mule. Although our website and video give you a very good idea of our core product, we think is no substitute for looking it over in person. We are always therefore happy to arrange a no obligation visit to your premises with our demonstration vehicle so you can explore our system in detail. That way, you can see if our load handling solutions and the way we work are right for you.
Mules (and donkeys) have been labelled “stubborn” for centuries, but it is really only an abundance of common sense and a strong desire for self-preservation that might make them inclined to resist.
Information courtesy of http://luckythreeranch.com/website/mule-facts/
Travelling in South East Asia at the moment. Pleasant mix of business, family time and R&R. Aren’t family time and R&R one and the same I hear you say?
Current location is Thailand, next stop Sri Lanka to meet with a sales colleague; sun sun sun business sun. Nice mix.
Saw a cunning drawer mechanism at a bakery this morning that was, simple, practical and inexpensive. Unfortunately the picture I took didn’t really show how the mechanism worked clearly, so I’ve made some mental notes and included a photo of one of my recent offices instead. This was one of the turtle island sanctuaries just off Sandakan, Borneo – about the size of 2 football pitches. I’ve finally found somewhere that may NOT have a use for a Mule-tray.
Hi all, many thanks to everyone that visited our stand at the commercial vehicle show this year. It was a pleasure to meet you all. We were extremely pleased with the amount of positive feedback that we recieved about our new quick switching Muletray system.
If you didn’t make it to the show feel free to call us to see if we can help you with in relation to your load handling or storage challenges.
What particularly pleased us about the exhibition was that we still had some sweets left over at the end. Either we bought too many, or everyone else was giving away too many or we did too good a job when we trained Brian to ‘guard the bowl’. “Show them your angry face Brian” we said, not for one minute thinking he actually had one – usually such a placid gentleman.
The Mule team
Why are we so excited about Mule?
One of the best things you can do for your company or business is to create a web-site. Even if your web-site never went live, the process of identifying and documenting what your business does, causes you to question everything about your business;
How do you want people to view you and your brand?
Where do you want the business to be in 5 years?
How are you going to get there?
Surprisingly this blog isn’t about web-sites, but it’s about the by-product of us reviewing our web-site (which is still in the early stages of development), and that is ‘What does Mule Internation offer?’.
That was the biggest question that arose from our brain storming. It’s not that we don’t know what we can offer, or what our skills are, or what the range of products will be that will blossom from our inventive core. The challenge is how to illustrate what we do, in a succinct manner, so we can best connect with the clients that have a need for the things that we offer.
Sounds simple really. So……?
When prompted by our web designer to come up with the core benefits that we offer, we instantly identified two key words. ‘Efficiency’ and ‘Security’. (Yawn). Though this is true, unfortunately this tells you diddly squat about our product, services or unique selling points and certainly doesn’t do much to capture the imagination.
When Dyson (deliberate name drop) sell a vacuum cleaner, they don’t need to tell you about all the things you can do with it, because we already know. You can pick up dust, small children’s toys that you can’t be bothered to pick up, de-flea the cat etc. No matter which brand of vacuum you buy, the potential uses are pretty much the same, so Dyson focus their marketing campaign on what makes their unit better, lighter, brighter, easier etc etc.
Similarly when Twyfords sell a bidet…… you get the picture.
So why is a Mule Tray so different? It’s just a ‘removable van drawer’, right? Well, nope. What I love about our core product is that it can be used in so many different ways, in so many different market sectors, that we have only scratched the surface in terms of how it could be used. The patented framework of our system lends itself to accept all manner of creative payloads. Allow me to give you a few examples:
A telecoms maintenance company want to repair an underground cable. The fault has already been identified, and the cable exposed, but it is in a water logged ditch. Knowing this in advance, the service team load a Mule project board into the back of the van in about 2 minutes. The project board has been designed with the help of Mule engineers, to house a pre-connected generator and pump set, with hose storage built in. The van pulls up, the drawer is pulled out, a screen lifted to separate the tray from the back of the van, and the pump-set is started. Back at base the quick switching project board can be unloaded in 2 minutes and the van returned to normal duties.
A hydraulic equipment company needs to deliver a hydraulic motor and pump to a site. On reaching site they would ordinarily have to wait for a fork-lift driver to come and unload the motor and pump set, which could be a 1 hour wait (esp. at their lunch time!) With the Mule jib option, the load can be safely unloaded from a tray to a pallet truck by a lone engineer. Alternatively, the same could be achieved with a patented Mule tail-lift style tray, the pump can be safely unloaded by one engineer. Once back at the depot, the tail-lift style tray can be removed from the Mule frame, and the van re-loaded with its usual payload.
A welder fabricator who normally uses his van to deliver factory made components, is asked to visit a site and carry out some welding work. The welder simply loads a project board into the Mule frame in the back of the van, which houses either argon cylinders, or oxy-acetylene tanks, that are pre-strapped down. The welding rig, torches, tools and consumables are contained on the same board, ready to go. A generator set could be incorporated into the same tray if an electrical supply were not available at the point of use.
Service engineers, Market traders, Police marksmen, DIY enthusiasts, White goods traders and Farmers to name but a few, could all benefit from the versatility of the Mule tray system, and take advantage of our commitment to providing unique quality engineered solutions to the humble van users of the world.
The great thing is, fitting a Mule system to your van doesn’t limit the versatility of it, it greatly enhances it! If you can think of novel ways that the Mule system could be utilised, do let us know. We will be creating a section of the web-site for clever application ideas, and if we post your idea we’ll make sure you get a mention. NB Our product is of no use whatsoever to traffic wardens or clamping units. Of this I am particularly proud.
Well I recently came back from visiting a client of ours up in sunny Wrexham (yes, it was actually sunny) and I showed one of the engineers on site the MULETRAY® system.
Lots of vans are fitted with either complete bulkheads to seal off the front of the van from the load area, or sometimes just a mesh behind the driver seat (passengers are clearly expendable). Many don’t have bulkheads or meshes at all however and this is becoming increasingly prevalent since the rise in popularity of the crew cab, which often don’t have a bulkhead fitted behind the rear seats.
Securing loads is often a last consideration for vehicle users, especially those who only occasionally move equipment. This one time (not at band camp) my Brother-in-law (normally a sensible chap) drove from the UK to Spain with an Arga range cooker thing sitting loose in the back of a small people carrier without a bulkhead. Scary to think what could have happened.
If you’ve got any stories of people going around with their gear unstrapped, do share them with us.
MULE, sharing the load.
Mule International wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy (and safe) New Year.
If there is ice on the roads and you drive a van with lots of heavy equipment in the back, remember to secure them tightly or why not enquire about our new Mule Cage System, equipped with safety features that will keep contents in place at all times.
Good day all, and welcome to our opening Blog.
What is Mule about?
It gives me great pleasure to talk to you about my favorite subject (other than ME of course!) and that is the new start up business that I’ve been working on with some close friends and colleagues; ‘Mule International’. The time is ripe I feel, to share what we are up to.
The core product is a quick-changing heavy duty drawer system for vans or estate cars. (See our video for more info) The variety of adaptations, permutations, uses and accessories for the system is almost limitless, and we’re going to have great fun over the coming years turning many of the design ideas into reality. Keep an eye on our website for application ideas over the forthcoming months.
We’re creative in concept, strong in design, flexible in our approach and determined in our delivery!
What we don’t do?
Racking. There are some excellent existing companies that can fulfill your racking needs, such as Bott or Brystor, who’s products would complement our unique system nicely.
Why are we doing it?
I came up with the basic idea for the system out of frustration, after spending two and a half decades working from the back of vans, and constantly struggling to find things, shuffling gear around, climbing over equipment, and having to empty everything out of the van one thing at a time whenever I wanted to use it for other things like camping, or moving a washing machine. After failing to find a product on the market that did what I wanted it to do, I did what I always do….I went into my shed and made one. I used the new drawer system in my van for several months before a good friend said “you should sell these”. That’s how it all started. I look forward to a time when I can go back to that friend and say ‘Look what you did!!!’
How are we doing it?
Splendid question. Lot’s of talking, thinking, sketching (down the local), more talking, scheming, researching, even more talking, and most importantly….. listening. Once we started, we were stunned by the help that has been offered, advice that has helped steer our course thus far, skills that we didn’t even know people had, and genuine support when support was most needed. For all this we are extremely grateful! We’ve a long way to go, but we’re making excellent headway.
By the way!!!!
If any of you good people out there are looking for an excellent investment opportunity, then here it is! In true Bristol fashion we shall be looking to crowd fund the project in the not too distant future. And if you have a van/vans that could use a little pimping, then come and talk to us. Even if you don’t want to buy, you could help us develop a wish list for future designs.
Founder of Mule International