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Saturday 10 December 2016

Fuel tank stand tops Tullamore

Bruce Lett

Published 23/08/2011 | 05:00

The National Inventions competition at this year's Tullamore Show again attracted a record number of entries, almost totalling 60 across the three classes. Despite the high level of entries 12 months ago, the standard was even higher this time around.

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The only draw-back was that the exhibits were difficult to see at this year's show because of the crowd that had descended on the event. The numbers that swarmed around the inventions and inventors, questioning and quizzing them on their ideas, were a credit to Rodney Cox and his crew at the show. Late on in the day, I spoke to several inventors, who were hoarse from explaining the ins and outs of their creations. By the same token, they were clearly delighted at the level of interest shown in their products.

Since last year's event, we have been following Tony Finnerty and the log clamp he had designed and built for the show. This may have had some bearing on the fact that there were a large number of log clamps entered in this year's competition. There were so many different shapes, sizes and designs that they could nearly form a category all of their own.

Despite saying earlier that he wouldn't be entering anything this year, Mr Finnerty had clearly caught the inventing 'bug' and was back. This time, he had developed a removable cradle for his log clamp to hold small kindling, which could easily be fitted or removed. His clamp has also become mobile, with the addition of wheels and a pair of handles to wheel it around if required.

Mr Finnerty won second prize in the labour-saving devices class with his design.

Also present on the day were two lovely ladies from the Patents Office in Kilkenny to offer advice to Tullamore Show's growing inventor community. Their participation was appreciated by both the organisers and competitors in the inventions competition.

First place in the inventions in agriculture, horticulture and forestry class went to Mervyn Greene, of Mervyn Greene Engineering, Granard, Co Longford, with his Multi Safe Fuel Tank stand.

This is one of those products that, when you see it, you wonder why no one had come up with it before. His fuel tank stand was exactly that but with well-designed and clever access platform stairs, which are tucked away under the frame until they are required to gain access.

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Mr Greene explained that going up ladders with a big, heavy hose to fill up a fuel tank is normally a nightmare for oil delivery men. This idea was born out of that problem.

"The Tullamore Show and the inventions competition is a great show to get products out there in front of farmers and the public," he said.

"But even before the competition, oil delivery companies were interested in it on health and safety grounds. There's nothing like it out there, so now we are going out to contact oil companies and see where it goes from there."

Mr Greene said he received some funding from the Longford Enterprise Board and has since been nominated to a panel of possible entries to the National Ploughing Championships.

His stand, suitable for a 1,350 litre or 300ga tank, retails for €1,450 + VAT.

Delivery is extra, but Mr Greene says they can also install the unit, which would make the lower VAT rate applicable. For more information, contact Mr Greene on 043 668 7690 or 086 819 9646.

For a selection of entries in the competition, plus a couple of nuggets from the trade stands at the event, turn to the next page

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