#395: Clamp foil

Having your wheels clamped can be both maddening and wildly expensive. It’s fair enough, I suppose, if you’ve parked stupidly somewhere and caused a dangerous obstruction. I’m less convinced, however, by the private companies who use wheel boots on cars parked on unmarked urban spaces (there’s usually a sign in 10-point font somewhere behind a lamppost saying “Park here and it will cost over £200 to get your car freed”).

So, today’s invention provides a way for people to avoid getting clamped. It is designed to make it hard for a car to be lifted safely onto a transporter too. This relies on the notion that a wheel clamper (or car tower) is concerned not to damage the vehicle in question (which is not always the case, despite the legal implications).

Joël_Dietlé_clamp981.jpg

The invention consists of a semicircular strip of metal attached to the car body at the 9 and 3 o’clock positions around the wheel arch (any garage can install this without fuss and it might even be a factory-fit for certain models). This strip can be freed to rotate out of the wheel arch so that its 12 o’clock point touches the ground.

A second strip, in the shape of another segment of a circular arch, is attached at the 12 o’clock position in the wheelarch. Its other end can be swung out and locked to the first arch, sitting on the ground.

This allows all four wheels to be defended from clampers by walking around the car on departure, swinging out eight metal strips and locking four locks. There is now no way to easily attach any kind of wheel clamp or to feed bars under the tyres to allow the whole car to be llfted (without damaging the vehicle’s bodywork).

On that point, all four ‘cages’ would be marked prominently with the owner’s telephone number and a warning about not attempting to restrain or move the car -on pain of extreme litigation.

One Comment:

  1. That actually looks like a pretty sweet invention. I don’t like wheel clamps myself. Ironically, I work for a car park management company, but the thing is, the number of people legally able to perform wheel clamps is on the decline, and in fact companies can no longer become authorised at this point. It’s becoming impractical. The smarter companies are veering away from wheel clamping and investing in other services such as pay-and-display and user-issued tickets. Wheel clamping gets into an ethical and a legal mess, but these new measures make it easier for everyone.

    There are also a lot of tips out there on how to avoid these troubles. I’m starting to write more about these things. I think that’s a pretty cool invention, though, props on that.

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