An Aussie inventor is to market, afresh, a product enhancing safety and productivity in the workplace. Peter Wright has been a truck driver all his life and knew there was a better, and safer, way when it came to jacking up vehicles for maintenance and repairs, so he decided to do something about it.
The Wright Safety Jack is the world’s first combined jack and safety stand, certified to 20 tonne and for use on trucks and trailers. Peter says its ease-of-use is a compelling feature, with users simply placing the jack against the axle of the vehicle, and driving a short distance forward or back until the jack stands upright, lifting the tyres off the ground. To disengage, it’s just a matter of driving off it.
“The fact you drive onto it means you’re not lying on the ground, skinning your knuckles trying to jack it up,” Peter said. “And that’s where it’s so important safety-wise, no-one’s lying underneath the vehicle when it’s being jacked up or lowered back down, which can obviously be very dangerous.”
Earlier this year Truckline became the exclusive retailer for the Wright Safety Jack, a relationship that’s proving a good fit for both parties.
“This is a product that Peter’s spent years developing and rigorously testing, and the feedback from people who are using it has been nothing but positive – they talk about how easy it is to use, how much time it’s saving them and, obviously, its outstanding safety features,” said Mick Henderson, Truckline General Manager.
“We believe this is an important product for our industry, making people’s lives easier and safer, so we’re proud to be able to bring it to our customers through our 23 stores around Australia and also our new e-commerce site.”
Peter is equally enthusiastic about the partnership, saying that after a number of years trying to market it himself, he’d been determined to find a better way.
“The agreement with Truckline has taken a lot of the pressure off me,” said Peter. “And with Truckline being so well known and respected, it’s great to know the Wright Safety Jack is getting out to a much bigger audience and is much more available nationwide.
“I believe in this product so much, and I know it’s the safest thing on the market anywhere. I just want as many people as possible to have access to it. That’s where Truckline comes in.”
Peter first got the idea while watching Formula 1 pit stops where a counter lever was used to jack up the cars, which got him thinking about such an application for the heavy vehicle industry. Years of research, development and testing, under all conditions, resulted in the product he’s so proud to have his name on.
“I tested it on all kinds of surfaces, on bitumen, concrete, dirt, in sand out at Birdsville, and its larger than normal base and the unique lip that protrudes down past the base and acts like a brake, means it’s not going to move,” he said.
The day he sold his first jack was a proud moment for the first-time inventor and the feedback he’s been receiving is justification for all the time, effort and funds that have gone into getting the product to market.
“A large company bought four off me early on and they tell me it’s cut their service times down on their trailers because you can pick two axles up at a time when checking bearings or rotating tyres. They’re doing that in about a third of the time,” Peter said.
Durability was something else at the forefront of Peter’s mind when he set about creating his prototype, so the Wright Safety Jack has no moving parts, save for the insert that allows for either round or square axles, and he’s been determined to keep the manufacturing of the product local in order to maintain the quality.
“The safety jack has approval to be advertised as Australian-made and Australian-certified,” said Peter. “We could get them made so much cheaper overseas, but I don’t believe in that. I want to ensure they continue to be made to a high standard and it’s also important to support local industries.”
Interest in the Wright Safety Jack is also coming from overseas, with the jack promoted at the world’s premier automotive specialty products trade event, the SEMA Show, held in the US.
Peter’s also in the process of trialling a safety jack for 4WDs and caravans, and hopes to have it ready to market by mid 2018.