Local invention in interstate glory

PROMINENT Gympie engineering firm J Smith and Sons is being transported to national glory as it flattens the competition in health and safety awards all over the eastern part of mainland Australia.

A delighted managing director, Kerren Smith, yesterday said the company has continued to claim award after award for its hugely successful new car transport trailer, a world leading invention which has wowed them here and interstate.

As The Gympie Times reported last month, the new product, extensively used by the Toll transport organisation, won a coveted Queensland award for solving an identified health and safety risk.

Now it has taken out similar awards all over the place, as a result of its capacity to eliminate the danger of workers falling from awkward positions while fastening cars to the top deck of a conventional trailer.

"If they fall, they are 3m from the ground," the firm's engineering manager Kevin McDonnell said at the time.

The new and much safer loading system, built into the trailer, allows workers to fasten vehicles even to its top-most deck, without leaving the ground.

The "Flatback" trailer, developed on-site at the company's Gympie Industrial Estate headquarters, involves a complex hydraulic system which allows it to lower the over-the-cabin deck to near ground level for loading.

Both deck and car are then hoisted into place automatically. Now it has topped its Queensland award, for addressing an identified health and safety risk, by winning runner up in New South Wales and taking top prizes in Victoria and South Australia.

"Because the trailer is used by Toll all over Australia, it is eligible for entry into awards in other States as well," Mr Smith said yesterday.

"New South Wales had a first prize and two runner-up awards and we got one of those.

"Then we won in Victoria and last Friday we won in South Australia as well."

Each of those State awards puts the company in the running for national awards in Canberra next year.

"It's amazing," Mr Smith said. "In Victoria and South Australia we were the only small private enterprise. "The rest were the big end of town. One of the ones against us was a major electricity producer.

"The presentations were at functions with about 800 guests from major companies and government agencies. It was a full range of industries," he said.

Gympie Times

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