Business Busting the market open
PORT Douglas Inventor Andrew Callander is off to Las Vegas next week to one of the world’s biggest trade shows to demonstrate his Slidehammer, a hand operated jackhammer. The giant Conexpo is held every three years in North America and features 2400 exhibitors and 125,000 attendees.
Mr Callander is excited at the possibilities this year. He has shown the Slidehammer at the tradeshow a couple of times, and is interest is building his customer base and find an overseas distributor. Recently, a Canadian surveyor with a view to importing the tool approached him and they will have further talks in Las Vegas.
It’s been a bit of a slog to get the local invention onto the world market. The Slidehammer started its life as the Beadbreaker, a tool invented by his father for removing truck tyres from their rims. Mr Callander has modified this design to include interchangeable ends including point, chisel, tamper and peg installers. The simple device relies on a heavy sleeve, which the operator manually lifts and lets slam down on the head of the interchangeable end.
Rugged and basic, it is highly effective; it can break stones and concrete. It is utilitised by a number of government authorities and utility services, in Australia, for work on roads, kerbing and water supply, who need a highly portable, clean device that doesn’t need to be powered.
The Canadian surveyor asked if it could break ice. ‘‘Break ice!’’ Mr Callander said. ‘‘It can break concrete!’’
Mr Callander has some of the parts machined in Innisfail, the ends forged in Cairns and then he assembles the tool locally.
He has sold a few thousand, but believes there is an international market for another quality Australian-made product.
He has the device patented and protected, but finding trustworthy partners and investors is not easy. An earlier attempt to licence the product with a US manufacturer wasted time and money. It’s costly to promote the device but he feels the effort could really pay off. With a bit more effort he just needs the Slidehammer to break through.
Andy Callander with his device, the Slidehammer