Engineer driven to be lord of the rings

By Matthew Martin

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Rotorua roading engineer Neil Gumbley has invented the Rotaring, a system that allows manhole covers to be fitted level with the road surface. Photo / Ben Fraser
Rotorua roading engineer Neil Gumbley has invented the Rotaring, a system that allows manhole covers to be fitted level with the road surface. Photo / Ben Fraser

It will save councils money, is simple and easy to use and provides motorists with a much smoother ride and it was invented by a Rotorua engineer.

Opus International Consultants senior roading engineer Neil Gumbley has come up with the Rotaring, a simple system of bevelled rings that fits on to any manhole cover and can be precisely adjusted to match the height and alignment of the road surface.

"Just think, when you drive from home to work and back every day, do you avoid driving over man hole covers to miss hitting the big bumps?

"I've been in the roading sector for more than 40 years and I was frustrated no one had ever developed a service cover adjustment system," Mr Gumbley said. "I thought there must be a better way to develop a system that's really strong, saves councils money in the long term and gives motorists a smoother ride."

He said the system could be retro-fitted to any man hole or service cover and did not require changes to existing technology.

"Our vision is for this system to be accepted as industry best practice."

The Rotaring significantly reduces road noise and vibration, saves councils money on maintenance costs, uses off the shelf components and is easily installed.

The first Rotaring installed worldwide can be found on Pukuatua St, outside Rotorua Boys' High School.

Mr Gumbley said he had driven over it plenty of times, just to make sure it worked.

He said Opus was getting the product into the market through a licence agreement with Hynds Pipe Systems. The product also has New Zealand and Australian patents and patents pending in the US, Canada and Europe.

"I've had almost 100 per cent positive feedback. Now it's just getting it out there in to the market. It won't make me rich, but it's all about innovation and making life easier for everyone."

- Rotorua Daily Post

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