CHATSWORTH Angus and sheep breeder Mark Gubbins is hoping some good will come out of tragedy with his tracker and roll-over alert system for four-wheel motorbikes.
Three years ago he lost a nephew in a four-wheel motorbike accident, prompting him to think about what could have been done.
His motorbike roll-over phone text alert system linked to a GPS tracking system placed second in the farm machinery and technology sections of the Hamilton Sheepvention inventions competition last week.
“Basically what I have designed is a tracker system and a roll-over alert on a four-wheel motorbike that you could put on a car, but we’ve fitted to a four-wheel motorbike to demonstrate it.
“What it does is, if we invert this bike it text message the bike’s position and the time of the roll-over within one minutes to as many phones as you want to pre-program,” he said.
“That could be to your fellow workers, your boss, your wife, your children or your neighbours.”
Mr Gubbins said with the system on a vehicle if there was a roll-over accident, people had the ability to find and render assistance to an injured rider or driver.
“It also pin-pricks it on a map (on the Austracker website).”
The invention used readily available parts, including a GPS tracker and a data link joined to a mercury switch, which could send a signal through the GSM network or via satellite in remote areas.
“So it can be used Australia-wide, it is not just through the phone network.”
The alert system will send a signal when the bike has gone over or is past the point of no return and that will then send a text message through a prescription-based server worth about $320 a year, which is “nothing” in the context of saving a life, Mr Gubbins said.
“What is a life worth?”
Parts cost about $700, but Mr Gubbins is seeking support from the Victorian Farmers Federation and Worksafe to minimise the cost.
“I’m hoping with a bit of support we can get a bit of volume in it and get the cost down.
“I’m not going to make anything out of it because I would rather it be cheaper – if they are going to pay me a commission I would rather put it back.”
Mr Gubbins said riders could still hurt themselves on a motorbike with roll-over protection.
“Nothing is perfect, but both can help.”
Sheepvention Inventions 2016 results: Class 1, Livestock (including wool) equipment and technology – Charlie Webb, flexible sheep movement system, Back-up Charlie, 1st; Andrew McFarland, adjustable width cattle race, 2nd; Rick Luhrs, lamb weigh cradle, 3rd. Class 2, farm machinery and technology –PJ Green/Grassland Flora, native grass applicator, 1; Mark Gubbins, roll-over rescue tracker, 2; Stu Willder, Safe-T-level, 3. Class 3, animal health and welfare — Gallagher dashboard, 1. Class 4, farm, house and garden — Barry Bennett, gate stopper, 1; Scott Atkins, firewood vice, 2; Jeff Nagorcka, portable electric drill storage, 3. Class 5, best overall student invention — Archie Willder, cutting-n-time, 1; Isaac Mott, animal cart, 2; Wil Kelly, auto oil dripper, 3. Best innovative student idea –Christa Bunge, lamb securer/stabiliser/birth assistant, 1; Nadine Bunge, laser shift, 1; Carmen Bunge, kangaroo scarer, 3. Encouragement award primary student, James Tonissen, fox destroyer trone, 1.