Winners Follow-up: Gareth Davies and Phil Corke, 2019 Machinery Innovator of the Year

Welsh beef and sheep farmer Gareth Davies impressed judges of the 2019 British Farming Awards with his simple but secure invention to prevent quad bike theft.

Angered by the prevalence of quad bike theft in his area, beef and sheep farmer Gareth Davies set about creating a solution.

He says: “A lot of my neighbours have had quads stolen and I’d had an idea in my head for a while for a lock. I was about to buy a new quad myself and that prompted me to put my idea into action.”

Like many farmers in the area, Gareth relies on his quad bike every day on the hills of his farm at Penderyn where he has 350 ewes and 20 suckler cows.

“A quad is one of those things that once you have it, you wonder how on earth you managed without it. I use it for everything.”

Even if it is fully insured they can be costly to replace as insurance companies may deduct money to cover depreciation costs and VAT from a claim before making payment, not to mention the excess which has to be paid on every claim.

“Trackers are an option, which many farmers have, but thieves are likely to have given the machine a caning so it may not be in a good way when it comes back.

Prevention has got to be the best option,” adds Gareth.

He was also aware that some anti-theft options were too heavy and cumbersome, particularly for older farmers so believed his idea for a ramp which secured the quad by simply driving it on, had real potential.

Gareth has always enjoyed making and building things and says his skills are entirely self-taught.

“When I was younger I was into cars and rallying and was always making or repairing something and buildings things on the farm. I sometimes learned the hard way but you never forget that way.”

With the quad bike lock project he started by drawing out his ideas and also did plenty of research into the range of sizes of quads.

“I went round measuring neighbours’ quads as I wanted to be sure the lock would work for all sizes.”

At that point he wasn’t particularly planning to make a business out of his idea, but also knew that it could be a possibility.

He says: “I thought if I’m going to all the effort of making it and somewhere down the line I want to sell it then it would make sense if it fitted other quads too.”


Once he had completed the design for his QuadVice he worked with an engineer friend to build it.

“We were only working on it in the evenings and so it took a couple of months.”

Apart from a few grips being added to the roller and stops to prevent the quad from going on too far, it did not require any changes to his original design. He was delighted to find it worked immediately.

“I still have that original QuadVice and use it daily,” he says.

The QuadVice secures the quad by encasing its rigid frame around the quad bike’s drive wheels. To use it, the quad is driven onto it and the quad wheels tighten the mechanism around the wheels. To unlock, the quad is put in reverse and it will open, allowing the quad to be safely reversed out of the device.


“We all think we have a good product and that it is the best, but when people from outside choose it as the winner then it really does give you a boost.”

“A lot of the boys round here lock quads in containers at night but then the bike is out around the farm during the day. So my idea was that they just drive onto the QuadVice and in less than five seconds it is locked and clamped.

“When you want to use it again in a couple of seconds you are on your way. It’s not slowing you down.

“I have learned that lots of quads go missing in the day when they are just left outside the house. It’s the same with motorbikes and pushbikes.”

Once his neighbours had seen his invention they were keen to have one too and Gareth soon had requests for further QuadVices.

He approached a few manufacturers to see if they would build it for him. It took a while but eventually he found a local factory which was able to take it on.

Gareth’s initial version was red and blue, but the mark 2 QuadVice made by the factory was green and black. The factory also helped to bring the cost down by a third which made it more affordable to customers.

“It was a good thing to find the factory but by then the owner had sold it and was running it for the new owners. However, he was amazed by the QuadVice and asked me to join forces with him. He had 30 years’ experience in engineering.”


Gareth teamed up with Phil Corke and together they found a new factory to build QuadVice which was just 15 miles away. Since then Gareth has come up with another two locks, one for motocross and trail bikes and another for bicycles and e-bikes.

“Motocross is a very popular hobby round here and people spend thousands on their bikes.”

The new locks work in a different way to the QuadVice but the similarity is simplicity, says Gareth.

“It has got to be easy to use otherwise people won’t use it.”

Insurance company NFU Mutual is impressed with the product and offer a discount to those who buy one to keep their quad bike safe.

Problems along the way have mainly been to do with manufacturing.

“You need a manufacturer that really understands the product,” says Gareth.

“We are in a dilemma now because the person who runs the factory we use has just announced he will be retiring and closing the factory.”

It was a blow to Gareth and Phil as they were so pleased with the standards offered.

“They do everything – laser cutting, welding and powder coating so it will be our next challenge to find a new factory that works so well.”

Gareth has also been glad to use a local firm for distribution.

“We just take the QuadVice down on a pallet and they deliver to the customer within days. I like that we are using local businesses.”

In the future Gareth hopes to increase sales of the QuadVice and has recently invested in a new website which is bringing in more enquiries.

“Phil and I are of an age that we are not the best on the keyboard so we found a local person to help and that has helped us tremendously.”


The website is now the main source of enquiries for the products, although they do have a few other businesses selling them too, including Wolverhampton-based Derwent Locks.

“They suggested we enter the awards,” says Gareth. He completed the entry form and was surprised and delighted to be among the three finalists.

“When I saw the other shortlisted entries I really was not expecting to win. There were some cracking ideas in our category.”

Being named the winner was a proud moment and Gareth is grateful for the credibility it has given the product.

“We all think we have a good product and that it is the best, but when people from outside choose it as the winner then it really does give you a boost.

He is looking forward to being on the judging panel for the 2020 Machinery Innovator of the Year award.

“I may not be a trained mechanic but I understand machines and how they will work on the farm.

“I would definitely encourage others to enter the awards.”