Bendigo's Formula 1 design turns heads

A BENDIGO company has set a statewide precedent by engineering Victoria’s first crane-elevated platform, which will provide a spectacular bird’s eye view of this weekend’s Formula 1 race.

Rumour has it celebrities and politicians will be among the guests who will be lifted 25 metres above the action.

 Bendigo’s Australian Turntable Company, with Unilever’s Clear brand and 2Fish, designed and built the helmet-shaped structure in just two weeks. 

The short time frame meant everything had to be made from scratch and the company had to come up with unique methods to get the job done. 

Turntable engineer Clinton Miller worked from a rough sketch, spending countless hours coming up with a prototype that would meet strict regulations – a feat no other Victorian company has managed to do. 

“Because nothing has been done like this in Victoria, and only a few times Australia-wide, it really was a precedent and we had to engineer everything ourselves,” he said. 

“It’s been the most enjoyable, artistic job I’ve ever done and because we had a fixed deadline, which couldn’t be moved, there have definitely been some long nights.

“I’m living off adrenaline and caffeine.” 

The helmet is skinned in perforated steel and features a clear floor, an open “helmet visor” section, with a steel frame. 

Mr Miller said there had been fine-tuning along the way but everything mostly went according to plan. 

Turntable executive chairman Paul Chapman said the project was made possible because of the company’s commitment to work fast and get things done properly.

The company invented the world’s first truck turntable, which allows heavy machinery to be manoeuvred easily, and has since designed and manufactured items for use around the world. 

“ We've only manufactured one thing for Bendigo in our 26 year history – the chrysanthemum gardens (in Bendigo’s Chinese precinct),” Mr Chapman said. 

“Everything else has been for other countries, so there are pieces of Bendigo all across the world.”

Mr Chapman said Bendigo had a strong history of manufacturing.

“It dates back to the gold rush where we had to be inventive and it’s just gone from there,” he said. 

“We (Bendigo) have become renowned for it and there are so many companies in this town that are doing amazing things.”

Mr Chapman said Turntable had more exciting jobs in the pipeline that would be announced in coming months.

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