At Fir Tree we don’t like compromise or ‘making do’ but we do love a challenge.
Of course, we enjoy the routine installations of standard equipment – but come to us with a problem that needs to be solved and we get excited. Being inventive and designing, or adapting a product or system to address a real life issue is what gets us out of bed in the morning!
We are not tied to simply using off the shelf products and technology. We have the in-house expertise, resourcefulness, equipment and facilities to research and develop until we have figured out an answer to your particular challenge.
The research and development process at Fir Tree takes place in the “man cave” – a dedicated space solely for creating and testing new applications and ideas and manufacturing custom made technology. You won’t find any men in white coats in the “man cave” but it does have an air of the Nutty Professor!
The R&D process is simple. We design a solution to a problem experienced by a customer. We liaise with the customer to establish exactly what it is they want to achieve from the equipment being installed and the best location for the placing of products. Driver usability and the impact on other equipment in the vehicle are key considerations at this point.
Once the research has been completed we create a concept that we believe will overcome the problem. A prototype is created based on our findings. This prototype is tested, often in our own vans, before approval is sought from the customer.
Once approved, installation can commence.
All vehicle manufacturers have approved connection points for plugging in equipment in different positions. The Fir Tree products are made with the correct looming tape so that it is difficult to distinguish the manufacturers looming wire to that installed by Fir Tree.
Our aim is to provide consistency no matter who undertakes the installation or supplies the product. The process is quite simply to ensure that the equipment is installed in the right way and that it is easier to repair should the time come.
Bespoke camera and recorder solutions
The aptly named “Booby Cam” is a prime example of how the team used their expertise to design, develop and manufacture a unique product that addressed a real life issue experienced by a fleet owner.
The haulage company flagged a problem with the driver facing camera technology supplied by a leading manufacturer. The camera was fitted to the passenger side “A” pillar of the cab. The positioning resulted in a deterioration in image quality due to the glare at night from oncoming bright headlights impacting the operation of the infrared.
We developed the Booby Cam to address this issue. A curved moulding holds a separate chip for the camera and another chip for the infrared. The infrared covers the whole cab and gives a better quality image than standard cameras.
The shape of the Booby Cam component (original moulding achieved through the use of a condom!) means that it is more discrete in the cab, the option of colour coding can be used to further enhance the aesthetic.
The way the camera lens is secured within the moulding means that it cannot be moved by the driver, or a third party, to obscure the view of the cab. The Booby Cam only becomes operational when the engine is switched on, ensuring that the drivers’ human rights are not infringed.
Custom lighting solutions
The main driver behind the development of custom lighting came from our own experience with the lack of illumination inside the Fir Tree vans. As soon as winter hit we realised that the lighting inside our vans was inadequate.
We explored how we could develop a bespoke LED lighting solution for any type or size of van. The LED light strips we supply can be of any size or length. Internal light strips are used predominately for all types and sizes of vans and can be adapted to fit a short or long wheelbase.
We use a flexible material for the light strip so that it can fit with the curvature of the interior of the van. At Fir Tree we pay particular attention to ensuring that the fixing of LED strips look good as well performing well.
Non trim-damaging installation
Most propriety commercial vehicle safety equipment is supplied with its own fixings. At Fir Tree we like to make sure that all the installations we undertake are going to be as trouble free as possible, not only at the point of installation but further down the line. We like all stages of the installation to be carried out the “Fir Tree way”.
We believe there are times when creating bespoke fixings for a piece of equipment will prevent damage to interior trims in the future. We think this is an important benefit for our customers.
We often design and create bespoke brackets for fixing different types of equipment within a vehicle cab in a way that fulfils the need for functionality and aesthetics. By utilising our in-house powder coating machine we can ensure that what is produced blends perfectly within the cab.
Bespoke wiring looms
Our bespoke wiring looms are designed to plug into existing factory connections. All vehicle manufacturers have approved connection points for plugging in equipment in different positions. The Fir Tree products are made with the correct looming tape – it is difficult to distinguish the manufacturers looming wire to what has been installed by Fir Tree.
Custom power harness
Our custom designed power harness is for mounting equipment. The custom power harness is truly bespoke. It will be specific to the equipment and for different makes of vehicle.
Our aim is to provide consistency no matter who undertakes the installation or supplies the product.
The process is quite simply to ensure that the equipment is installed in the right way and that it is easier to repair should the time come.
A non-standard approach
If you require a non-standard approach, understand that when you choose to work with Fir Tree we will not try to persuade you to adopt an existing system that is inadequate for your needs. Our independence from any specific manufacturer means that we can configure the best of the best to develop a system that ticks all your boxes.
Our philosophy is that “good enough” is not good enough – it needs to be the best that it can be.