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The Fantastic Kuranda Machines

The Benefits of having a SUPER SOPPER

POWERED MACHINES:

New Whale

New Shark

MANUAL MACHINES:

Sandpiper

Minnow

TOW BEHIND MACHINES:

Baby Penguin

Penguin

Walrus

OTHER:

Specifications

Testimonials

History of the Super Sopper

FAQ

Welcome to the home of the original

Super Sopper

      * Since 1974 *

We stay ahead of the copycats

We are innovative with new machines


To contact us:

Email: sales@supersopper.com.au

Phone: +61 2 6553 3508 (outside Australia)

Phone: 02 6553 3508 (within Australia)

Proudly Australian

Gordon Withnall, inventor of the Super Sopper

 

 

Len Withnall, son of Gordon

 

 

The Harry Brind MBE, Pitches Consultant, English Cricket Board

 

Tom Parker, Curator, Sydney Cricket Ground

 

 

History of the Super Sopper

 

In 1974 my father was playing golf at Liverpool Golf Course in Sydney when his ball landed in a large puddle of water. "Come on Gordon, you're an inventor: invent a machine to remove all these puddles!" said his friend Tom. I had been working for my father's business for only about three years when he came into work the next day and said: "Len, get some of that perforated metal lying down the back of the shed and roll it into a cylinder". I looked at my work-mate and said: "Here we go again!" as I knew that dad was always working on new inventions. The first machine was made in three days, it was roughly the same size as the modern day 'Sandpiper'.

My father applied for, and received a world patent for the 'Super Sopper'. It was interesting for me to look at all the water removal inventions over the last one hundred and fifty years. Some used rollers etc., but none squeezed the water through the perforated cylinder into a holding tank. This was a world first!

At that time there was a television program on ABCTV called 'The Inventors'. During that year of 1974 the 'Super Sopper' machine was entered and was voted the best machine of the night.

I distinctly remember Di Fisher asking 'Does it come in any other colours?'.

The Super Sopper then made it to the end of year finals, where it came second to a 'so-called' petrol saving device that was fitted to a car's carburettor.

From the ensuing publicity from this program, we started to sell about fifty small machines each year to schools, councils, tennis courts and cricket clubs.

One day in 1979 my father received a phone call from Ian Johnson, who was the arena manager at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. He wanted Gordon in Melbourne the next day to discuss inventing a large roller which could dry the entire MCG ground.

We had worked on a few prototypes previous to this but they had not been successful yet. Gordon struck on the idea of having two large rollers in tandem with the driver, motor and drive mechanism mounted between the rollers. Its appearance was not dissimilar to Fred Flintstone's automobile.

The first machine was going to have a clutch and an FJ Holden gearbox, but hydraulic drive was becoming popular and had many advantages over earlier drive mechanisms.

The idea was to distribute the weight evenly over the whole machine and keeps the overall gross weight as light as possible, thus not damaging the hallowed turf. Lightweight tube was employed in a truss and this technique is still used today. The original prototype had a V-belt drive and aluminium pulleys. We realised soon after, that this just wasn't strong enough, so we went to heavy-duty double row industrial chain.

We used a 'Southcott' hydraulic pump and various other parts which enabled us to deliver the first whale to the MCG.

That year in Melbourne it was very wet, but the MCG was always dry thanks to the Super Sopper.

It didn't take long for the word to get out. All the VFL clubs in Melbourne purchased a 'Whale' Super Sopper, as well as the racecourses all over Australia.

I've actually driven from Sydney to Melbourne fifty times delivering 'Whale' machines.

Harry Brind, curator of 'The Oval' in London, was in Australia at the time on a 'fact finding' mission and arranged to get a demonstration of the 'Whale' Super Sopper at the MCG with Jack Lyons, curator at the MCG.

Harry was so impressed by the amount of water removed by the ‘Whale’, which he flew to Sydney the next day and ordered one to take back to England.

So now we had a machine in England. This led to 'Lords' and 'Canterbury' Cricket Grounds buying a 'Whale' each. 'Lords' now have six 'Whales' with some on trailers for transport to other grounds.

Cricket playing countries from around the world saw these machines and now there are at least one or two 'Whales' at each ground.

In 1984 a Japanese company approached us and started purchasing 'Whales', 'Sandpipers' and 'Minnows' in large quantities. At one time we were sending six hundred 'Sandpipers' a year to them.

'Sandpiper's have been used with fantastic results on synthetic grass tennis courts especially when tennis clubs have a tournament coming up and they have torrential rain just hours before play. A 'Sandpiper' can dry an entire tennis court within fifteen minutes.

Over the years the only trouble we have had with 'Whales' is people not treating them kindly e.g. bashing into goal posts and fences, and failing to undertake regular maintenance. The hydraulic system has proven to last twenty-five years or more and we can change the petrol or diesel engine after many years' work.

We have now sold one hundred and twenty 'Whales' worldwide and have exported to ten different countries.

In 1995 my father retired and sold the factory and land, which had become a residential area. I moved the business to Taree, Mid-north coast, NSW, about four hour's drive north of Sydney. Business has started to boom again as more people hear about the Super Sopper and what it can do. Les Burdett at Adelaide Oval uses a 'Sandpiper' to construct cricket wickets. He removes the excess water, after the initial irrigation to permit the heavy pitch roller to start rolling sooner.

We sell 'Sandpiper's also to multi-storeyed building sites, where the walls aren't finished yet. The wind blows the rain onto the concrete floors preventing work to continue. The Sandpiper quickly dries the pools of water.

Also we make a machine , the 'Sandpiper Industrial', that picks up oil, kerosene and petrol spills.

I will I remember that day in 1974 after my father played golf, and to think my whole working life was making 'Super Soppers', and having lots of fun on the way.

Len Withnall

Kuranda Manufacturing

11 February 2000

 

 

 

 

 

 

      To contact us:

Email: sales@supersopper.com.au

Phone: +61 2 6553 3508 (outside Australia)

Phone: 02 6553 3508 (within Australia)