With 2018 approaching, Stageline’s engineers were faced with a dilemma. The SL100, they believed, was already the best mobile stage of its size on the market, so why mess with a good thing? On the other hand, technology had evolved enough since the last major upgrade that they wanted to push the workhorse unit to the very cutting edge of mobile staging. They decided to do what they always do: build something new. Innovation is in their blood and in every Stageline unit as a result.
Rather than just redesign this or that part of the SL100, we figured the universe was handing us a pretty cool opportunity to do an overall upgrade of the unit, and we decided to see how far we can take it. The result is a very new design for the SL100 with a whole set of features ready to meet the up-to-date production needs of the present day, and anticipate the needs of tomorrow.
To start with, sound outrigger capacity has been doubled from 750 to 1,500 lb (680 kg). The sound outriggers are also doubled in width, from 3 to 6 feet on either side, giving users the option to hang video screens aswell as PA.
Inside the roof we’ve added four points for video screens upstage, while downstage we have multiple PA points on either side inside the roof to protect PA systems from the rain.
The wind-resistance is also increased, to handle 3-second gusts at 115 mph (185 km/h) —the speed of a Category 3 hurricane. But because of our engineers’ ingenuity, there’s no bracing or ballasts required to increase the wind-resistance— It’s achieved with preinstalled braces on the floor legs that are easily deployed with pivot points. The rating on the floor has been increased from 100 to 150 lb/ft2 (732 kg/m2). The combination of increased wind resistance and floor capacity makes the unit compliant to the 2015 international building code (IBC 2015).
There’s no doubt that the new SL100 is safe—but it’s also a lot easier to use.
One of the engineers’ goals with this upgrade was to cut down on the overall number of pieces—especially small pieces like pins that are easy to lose. For example, prior to this upgrade the SL100’s banner supports required a pin in the end to hold it once the user got it into place. Our new banner system simply requires the user to get the banner support into place and turn it—now it locks itself, without any need for a pin. This makes the installation process significantly faster, and there’s less you can drop into the grass and spend five minutes hunting for. We also simplified the banner-post system—before, we used different sizes of banner posts, but now they’ve been made uniform, so every banner post can fit into any of the available slots.
Our cable braces are gone—the new SL100 uses cable-free bar-braces, which are much faster and easier to install.
Loading out overnight definitely adds a bit of challenge. We’ve doubled the amount of work-lights in the roof of the stage and added two work-lights under the floor, meaning the days of hunting for a missing part under the unit with a head-lamp beam are over. The light system is fully self-supporting, with a battery (capable of powering the work-lights for 12 hours), a charger, and an inverter. As long as the system is plugged into a truck, they’re charging the battery. For longer set-ups, there’s a 110-volt outlet the user can plug in to power the lights and recharge the batteries.
Corner posts that used to be stacked inside the stage are now stored in the roof, with their own rack, leaving more storage room inside the stage, and making them easier to install.
We’ve reconfigured the hydraulic controls to spread them out to both sides of the unit. Say goodbye to controlling the passenger side of the unit from the driver’s side without a clear view of what’s going on: now the user can always clearly see the feature they’re controlling.
One optional additional feature is an integrated storage system, which makes it easy to access parts stored for travel on the inside of the stage floor panel.
All this without any changes to the dimensions our users love: the roof height and floor footprint are the same, and the truck is the same as well. The unit remains a light and nimble sub-10,000 pounds. For all the new features we’ve built in, the new SL100 is even faster and simpler to deploy than ever before.
We spent months trying to build as many big-stage features as we could get into our flagship small stage, but the real fun is going to be in seeing our clients putting it to use. The new SL100 is entering the world ready for adventure, and we can’t wait to see where you take it.