I’m going to make a proclamation. This will officially be the easiest and least costly Toolshed Engineer column ever to be in Speed News. It is cheap and simple, which are two things I like a lot. Here is the Reader’s Digest version: Buy some pool noodles and put them on the guide wires of your racecar trailer ramp. That’s it. You’re done.
The Toolshed Engineer column has been a part of Speed News for more than a decade providing handy tips and ideas to help racers. We have covered a lot of ideas regarding organization and specific tips on setting up a racecar trailer like this one from 2013 on our bargain racing trailer. We are still rocking that same trailer and we have been updating it as the years and adventures continue to roll along.
What is amazing is that it took me 10 years to add this simple and easy modification to our trailer. I can’t even estimate how many times I’ve hit or tripped on the guide wires. Things get busy and hectic at the track, I’m in a hurry, running for a 10 mm end wrench and inevitably I crash into the unseen guide wires. Either I’m a klutz or these darn wires are just impossible to see against a concrete background.
Like a lot of the ideas we have covered here on Toolshed Engineer, I can’t take credit for this. I was simply walking through the paddock at Willow Springs and I saw a trailer with its ramp down and it had these bright green pool noodles on the guide wires. I immediately knew why they were there because I still had blood dripping down my calf of my own leg. “Genius!” So, I stole the idea, implemented it and I am sharing it with you.
When I went to the sporting goods store, they didn’t have the neon green color, but they did have red, the universal color for “warning!” Plus, a lot of the gear our trailer is color coordinated red and the anal retentive part of my personality came out. Less than $20 and I had myself some pool noodles.
I used a box cutter with a fresh blade and sliced the pool noodles down the side so I could slip them over the guide wires. I also trimmed the length of two of the noodles so I could stack two noodles on top of one another to cover the entirety of the guide wire.
The modified noodles slip on and off the guide wires with ease. When we get to the track we lower the ramp, slip on the pool noodles before we even roll the car out of the trailer. Now as we work at the rear of the trailer nobody will be injured by the guide wires. Safety first!
The next step to the project was to have a dedicated space for the noodles when the ramp is in the up position. Racecar trailers already have enough stuff inside them, they don’t need four pool noodles rolling around inside them. We chose to hang our noodles from the ceiling near the rear of the trailer so they could be easily accessed.
If you have a racecar trailer, get some pool noodles, slide them over your guide wires and save yourself the injury of tripping over the wires. Easy! And to the team who has neon green noodles on their trailer from SoCal NASA, thanks for the great idea!
Rob Krider is a four-time NASA Honda Challenge 4 National Champion and the author of the novel, “Cadet Blues.”