An innovative safety device for quad bikes is attracting plenty of potential buyers, even though it is not yet commercially available.
Dargaville inventor Vernon Suckling took out the Fieldays Golden Standard innovation award for his Lifeguard anti-crush roll-over bar for quad bikes. Judges at last month's national Fieldays said it had huge appeal.
The Lifeguard is based on a roman arc system, which has the ability to deflect around an object or person's body, limbs or head on impact. The arc consists of two inner fibre cables with 3.5 tonnes of breaking strain each. It is designed to hold an upturned quad off the ground providing space to help prevent the rider from being crushed.
Suckling says mass production will begin once the roll-frame had met international standards.
Fieldays innovations committee spokesman Tony Smith says the invention has huge international potential.
"I think there is potential not only for quad bikes, but for the wider farming industry as well," he says.
"This Lifeguard would not only prevent deaths, it would reduce injuries and for the busy rural community that is crucial."
The roll-frame was one of several innovations recognised at Fieldays. The Premier Feature Merit Award, which reflects the Changing Face in Farming, was given to Janet Brooker of BioFert with a proven natural farm method of composting animal waste resulting in a high nutrient soil conditioner.
Jody Scorer also won a prize for her "De Budder". Her invention approaches a simple but highly labour intensive task and is a nature-based piece of equipment for bud removal, mimicking a human hand encircling a trunk. The winner of the equipment category was awarded to Marty Richards with his eFeeder; a new exit-feed system designed to be simple yet effective with even food distribution and only 5 per cent waste.
Another merit award was presented to Gallagher Animal Management for its M2800i Fence Energizer System with remote fence monitoring technology and multiple means of fault notification, and TracMap for TackLink and TM465, a fertiliser and spray ordering system, which has web interface allowing farmers to see paddock history online and order products.
Twelve-year-old Jasmine Creighton was awarded the Young Inventor of the Year award with the Pigtail Transporter, invented for her science fair project last year.
The transporter carries 50 pigtail standards and up to four electric fence reels and is designed to be pulled along manually.