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Ute elevation elation

Kate PollardThe West Australian

Two sheep farmers took home an equal share in $1000 prize money for the Ute Elevation Competition as part of Sheep Easy 2015.

Judges praised the only two entries to work out the easiest way to get a sheep onto a ute and challenged producers to put on their thinking caps for next year for a "simple and cheap solution".

The winners, Harry Mullan from Wickepin and Russell Meaton from Kojonup, attracted plenty of interest from the crowd during the day, both with hydraulically driven elevation platforms.

Mr Mullan purchased his lifting platform from TPW Design in Perth after injuring his back.

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"I put a little bit of oil in it a few weeks ago and that's all the maintenance I have done," he said.

"It cost $1800, 23 years ago and in my book, it was the best thing I ever brought on the farm. It's saved my back many times." Judge Geoff Sandilands described it as an "old design that meets the brief quite well".

Stud breeder Russell Meaton was awarded for one of three innovations: a lifting platform, which can be bolted on the back of a ute and driven by a hydraulic power pack.

He also showed the crowd his retractable utility sheep crate ute which can be configured into several positions.

But it was Mr Meaton's third idea, a sheep-lifting apparatus which bolts to the back of the ute, operated with a gas strut which sparked keen interest from the judging panel.

Mr Sandilands said with many farms having four or more utes, the judges were looking for something cheap and simple for each vehicle.

"The brief is still out there," he said.

Machinery inventory David Harrington, was also a judge.

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