Moving heavy equipment safely

Festival volunteers are setting up the sound equipment and need to lift a large speaker onto the stage. Help Mia figure out how to construct a ramp that will lighten the heavy load…

Mia looking thoughtfulThe hired sound equipment for the Salty Creek Festival has arrived, and volunteers are ready to set up the stage. A couple of the speakers, however, weigh 40kg each! As the festival’s Safety Advisor, Mia needs to make sure that everyone is using safe lifting practices. For objects this heavy, she’ll have to figure out how to get them onto the stage without anyone getting hurt.

There is a ramp leading up to the back of the stage at a 30-degree angle. Mia has to determine whether using a trolley to pull the speakers up the ramp would reduce the required lifting effort to safe levels.

Help Mia calculate how much force is needed to pull the trolley up the ramp.

Trolley force quiz transcript

Mia knows 16kg is generally a safe lifting weight and that injuries often increase when people need to push, pull, or lift with more than 16kg of force. She decides to have the team build a new temporary ramp to the stage so that the speakers can be moved with just 16kg of force.

Calculate the angle that the ramp should be so that the pulling force is reduced to 16kg.

Ramp angle quiz transcript

With these calculations, Mia can now build a ramp that will allow festival volunteers to safely move the heaviest sound equipment onto the stage. Understanding the way that forces act on slopes is useful in a wide variety of science and engineering fields, and can help you understand the way different everyday objects move, from a ball thrown down a bowling lane to a car driving down a steep hill.

Salty Creek Community Festival logo
  • This isn’t the only time Mia has needed to construct a ramp as part of setting up the festival. Learn how she is using trigonometry to make the festival office accessible for everyone by constructing an access ramp. (10 minutes)

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