Young inventor lightens loads

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JACK.CONROY@nullcluthaleader.co.nz

An 11-year-old South Otago girl has come up with an inventive way to carry heavy objects, and been recognised for her efforts.

Clinton resident Jess Miller dreamed up the Carry-All Wheelbarrow Attachment and won second place at the Southern Field Days Rural Life Innovation Awards this month.

Like all great entrepreneurs, Jess’s design solves a problem she was facing.

‘‘We were extending our deck at home so we needed a lot of wood,’’ Jess said.

‘‘The wood was wet, so Mum and I had to carry the pieces one by one because they were so heavy.’’

The young innovator knew there had to be a better way.

She designed a metal frame that fits over the top of a wheelbarrow and allows planks of wood, or other objects, to be carried alongside it.

‘‘I did a lot of drawings to work out how I was going to do it.

‘‘First I thought of just attaching the wood carriers to the edge of the wheelbarrow, but then they would have just come off.’’

To bring her design to fruition, Jess had to learn how to grind, weld and press.

‘‘Dad showed me how to do it . . .I needed help with the dangerous parts.’’

Following the contest, more adjustments would be made to make the contraption suitable for purchase.

‘‘I’m going to make it so that you can make it bigger or smaller, so I can attach it to different wheelbarrows before I start selling it.’’

This would be achieved with a sliding adjustable width along the top of the frame.

She saw more inventing in her future — but only as a hobby.

‘‘I want to be a farmer but I’ll keep making things because that’s what I like doing.’’
Jess’s mother, Karen, was pleased with her daughter’s determination.

‘‘Jess is a very focused young lady and when she sets her mind to something it is always with 120% effort,’’ she said.

‘‘She now has her own grinder, which is smaller so easier for her to use, and her own welding helmet so she can stop nicking her Dad’s.’’