1.3 – My History and Skills

Most of my working life has been spent designing Fire and rescue vehicles in both New Zealand and Australia up until 2007.

Below is the Breathing Apparatus Seats which I designed while contracting to Lowes Industries.

The idea for this seat came about one Friday night, while at the pub with some fireman. They told me that at one fire, they were trying to put on their B.A. sets which were at that time stored in the lockers. While a woman was fighting and screaming at them to go and rescue here children. Unfortunately her actions was preventing them from putting on there breathing apparatus and going in to look for her children. One of them drunkenly said, wouldn’t it be nice, if they could step out of the crew cab ready to go straight into the fire. This is how bottom up design works.

Left photo is testing the frame of the B.A. seat, to confirm that it can support the weight of a 95 percentile man and the breathing apparatus at a 10g frontal impact. Right is the finished seats in the crew cab. A lighter aluminium version of this seat is still being built 20 years later and is standard equipment in all large city pumpers in Australia and New Zealand.

Below is the affordable airport crash tender for the Pacific Island Countries.

Below is the Large New Zealand Fire Service City Pumper, it was designed to be very fast and at the time could outperform most cars at handling and acceleration. It had a large engine with an automatic 10 speed bus transmission, air bag suspension all round with heavy sway bars, wide low profiles tyres, disc brakes all round and a final diff ratio which gave it a maximum speed of only 110kmh but it could get to that speed very quickly. All efforts were made to keep the weight down with an all aluminium body and water tank. It had a very low centre of gravity which gave it amazing handling; in fact it was scary how fast it could handle corners and windy roads typically found in New Zealand.

The South Australian Fire Service were so impressed, they wanted them and I believe are still ordering these heavy City Pumper from New Zealand.

Below is the first Rural Fire truck that had a spray system to protect itself and crew if it should be caught in a burn over.

Below is the New South Wales Heavy City Pumper.

Below is the roll out pump module which I design and SEM has patented. Everything has been designed for easy maintenance and for anything major, the whole module can be rolled out and replaced by a spare one, which is then repaired and put back into stock as the next replacement. This has resulted in the service times of one or two days instead of weeks, which was common in earlier fire appliances.

NSW Class 3 Heavy Pumper

Below is a design of a single wheeled trailer for motor bikes I have just finished designing for Echo Trailers here in Port Macquarie.

We then decided to sell up and downsized to a bush block and small house up in the mountains in New South Wales, Australia. Our property is 40 acres of regenerated rain forest which has been harvested for Australian cedar and Rosewood twice in the last 100 years. The property is crisscrossed with old logging roads which had resorted back to thick bush. I decided to start clearing these old forestry tracks so that we could walk around and enjoy our property and hence came the need for a heavy duty brush cutter blade. On these old forestry tracks you could find everything from tough stringy grass, bracken, ferns, vines, a range of different tree sapling up to 100mm and all of this could be found in a 10m length of the old roads.

I think I tried just about every type of metal blade one could buy for for a brushcutter; some were good at one job and hopeless at others, some were just totally hopeless. I could not find one blade that would do everything that I wanted and take the punishment. One by one they ended up in that graveyard of blades rusting away in the back of the shed.

Our Property – Misty Mountain

In this video there is no action or brush cutting, but if you have a spare half hour, set the resolution to high, turn the sound up a little and relax as I take you for a walk through our rainforest property. The main two birds you can hear in the background are the Australian whipbird and the lyrebirds.

On this day I decided I needed to take a walk and get some fresh air, when the sun came out for a few hours after over a month of being in the mist and rain.

This property is called Misty Mountain and is the western side of a small mountain called Mt Gibraltar, on top of a plateau mountain called Comboyne. This property was given its name many years ago due to the altitude and the fact that it is often in the clouds.

This property has been harvested of timber, twice in the last 100 years, the last time almost 50 years ago and the tracks that have been re-cleared are those that were made to drag the massive tree trunks out.

These old forestry tracks were cleared and maintained using a BrushDestructor Blade. In fact, it was the desire to clear these old forestry tracks that criss-crossed this property, so as to easily walk around and enjoy the property. That led to the need for and development of the BrushDestructor Blade.

We had heard rumours that there was a brass plaque on a rock out in the bush and in time we did find it. It was on top of a huge round granite boulder, half way up the side of the mountain. This mountain is what is left of an ancient weathered away volcano and all of the rocks on this property are volcanic and yet there are a group of large bolder’s, made from this very hard and very pretty granite.

Not sure when it was put there, but I believe it was this person or family that gave this property its name, sometime in the sixties after it was sold off by the family who owned the largest timber mill on Comboyne.

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