'Working smarter' is aim

Southern Rural Life inventions competition Market Prototype category winner Daryn Murray (right) and Jono Bavin demonstrate Mr Murray's easy lifter with towball attachment for wheelie bins. Photo by Leith Huffadine
Southern Rural Life inventions competition Market Prototype category winner Daryn Murray (right) and Jono Bavin demonstrate Mr Murray's easy lifter with towball attachment for wheelie bins. Photo by Leith Huffadine
Daryn Murray's ''wheelie smart'' ideas have come up trumps.

His products, designed to make lifting heavy loads easier, won the Market Prototype category in the 2014 Southern Rural Life Inventions Competition at the Southern Field Days in Waimumu.

Also taking a first, in the Kiwi Ingenuity category, was Karl Wilton, with his Testbucket for milking dairy cows.

Three inventions were submitted as a part of Mr Murray's overall entry; an easy lifter with towball attachment for wheelie bins, a purpose-built sackbarrow-type tool to move 200-litre barrels and 44-gallon drums, and a collapsible stock ramp.

Mr Murray, of Colac Bay, who runs a shearing company, came up with his inventions as ideas he had thought would make work easier, he said.

They were solutions to problems he faced often, and he began to develop them after people saw them and gave positive feedback.

A major emphasis in the inventions was taking care of the body.

''With shearing you are always looking to do things a bit better. [It's] about health and safety and looking after yourself. In the rural sector you can't afford to get hurt or have injuries in the workplace,'' Mr Murray said.

''It's about working smarter, not harder.''

Design did not take long. One day was all Mr Murray needed to create the barrel mover, he said.

Development started in September last year and he and the others involved were making the products themselves, Mr Murray said.

''We would like to keep it local ... to be aware of price and where it sits in the market. [We] don't want to have to go China, for example.''

Winning the prize was great, as it would hopefully lead to more exposure for his products, he said.

So far, there had been interest in his product from more than one store, including RD1, who were interested in stocking his inventions.

Mr Wilton's Testbucket was a portable, battery-powered milking machine, which could be used by dairy farmers or lifestyle block owners.

''I look at it as the world's smallest milking plant,'' Mr Wilton said.

''In the dairy industry it could be used in run-off blocks. There are always one or two [cows] that flip off a calf ... [now there is] no panic to get her home.''

Mr Wilton said he came up with the idea ''years ago'', but there had not been a suitable power source available until recently.

He planned to take his design to the national field days to see what kind of response it gathered.

''If there is enough interest [I] will definitely look into taking it to the market.''

While there were similar machines available, his was unique in that the whole system, including the 18V battery and cups, were integrated into the transportable bucket.

Other inventions entered in the competition included four from pupils of Limehills School, two of which took second places.

Mark Weily, of Te Anau, won a merit award in the Kiwi Ingenuity category for his rainwater-tank filters, and Alistair Hay, of Fairlie, received a merit award for a lightweight round bale feeder, made from high pressure polyethylene and polypropylene pipe.

- by Leith Huffadine