Pioneer shreds the competition again with TrailShreda


PHOTO: TrailShreda – The roto moulded trainer is a ‘four roller’ system that is suitable for a wide range of mountain bike configurations. The system includes front and rear roller housings, each containing the two rollers required two rollers, and a size adjustment panel in between. The components, which are relatively small by roto sector standards, were made on CNC aluminum moulds, achieving good detail and superior surface finish. The actual rollers are moulded in polyprop, which offers better dimensional stability than LD. The stabilizing arm and support standard are manufactured in metal

IN ONE of the longest winning sequences in the local plastics converting industry, Pioneer exceeded even its own expectations by winning the ARMSA Product of the Year for an unprecedented seventh time in a row.

With the standard of competition up a notch it was no forgone conclusion that the Rosslyn roto company would take the trophy again, but that’s what the group of international judges decreed, giving Pioneer a score of 76% which was comfortably ahead of the opposition.

The winning entry on this occasion was the TrailShreda™ mountain biking training system. Manufactured for South African cycle training outfit The Crank Shop, the TrailShreda system is designed for indoor spinning. The unit differs from up-till-now conventional cycling training systems in that the cyclist needs to maintain balance once mounted, adding a dimension to the routine not widely practised before with spinning training. Mountain biking, it needs to be said, requires considerably more balance control than conventional road cycling.

The product consists of nine rotationally moulded parts. The slide, roller housings, step and arm are moulded in LLDPE while the rollers are made in PP and PU foamed for stiffness and additional strength. All the moulds where CNC machined to achieve the required look and feel the customer requested.   

Pioneer’s seventh successive win may have resulted in some doubts, but the company has come up with some novel solutions and over the past few years has also entered products which were formerly not roto moulded – that is to say, new product applications for the roto sector.

It may have been just as well therefore that the judges were all foreign roto experts. That fairly squashed any doubt about the voting process. However, from this publication’s point of view, it may be salient for the identity of the entrants to remain unknown … but given the size of the local roto industry, it’s unlikely that anything could remain totally secret.



The RotoVetti blocks, runner-up in this year’s competition, came about following RotoFlo Equestrian team’s search for affordable and quality show jumping equipment. Existing cavaletties (Italian for ‘small horse,’ are small jumps, originally made from wood, for basic show jumping) were of poor quality having sharp corners and edges. Imported units were extremely expensive and unaffordable to most stable yards in SA.

The RotoVetti was redesigned to incorporate good finish; decent rounded corners and edges and, most significantly, the ability to interlink the blocks for jump fillers; walls and side wings. The system allows course designers endless possibilities to change and improve jumps in the arena. A wide range of colours can be used and various heights can be utilized. The show jumping fraternity now has an affordable solution and demand has created over 1500 unit sales in only six months.

The moulds were CNC machined by CHM Plastics, with the second mould produced in less than a week after demand was recognised. Three mouldings make up the RotoVetti, the main body of the structure plus two locking pins – a short pin and a long pin. Nico Hickley of Hickley Tool and Die was instrumental in the design and mould manufacturing and Juan Tulian is proving very efficient at ensuring that production orders are delivered.

The hollow components join and stack neatly, which is an important consideration as show jumping courses can at times have as many as 18 jumps.