Modular Race Delivery

Wednesday, August 23, 2023

Stock Journal Feature, August 2023

The AWI sheep delivery units provide a system that delivers sheep directly to the shearer, eliminating the time and energy that shearers spend on the catch and drag. It also minimises the chance of injury to the shearer from the dragging and twisting movements.

The design focuses on a ‘modular’ concept in which portable singular shearing stands can be joined together to make a multi-stand shearing platform, which can be stored away after use. Each modular unit holds three sheep in a race at the back of the unit. A dummy pen is fitted onto the end of the race to assist with the flow of sheep.

The automatic module contains a pneumatically powered delivery section that, at the press of a button, moves out from the race and then tilts the sheep into a position suitable for the shearer to then retrieve the animal easily.

There is also a manual version which is very similar to the automatic module’s race, except that there is a simple spring-loaded gate, in place of the automatic delivery section. The shearer simply opens the gate and collects the sheep from the race and manoeuvres the sheep the metre or so to the centre of the board before starting shearing.

For both modules, an angled chute allows for simple release of the shorn sheep underneath the race – again without significant dragging or twisting.

The potential benefits of the AWI sheep delivery unit for woolgrowers and the industry include:

  • increased attraction and retention of shearers to the industry
  • decrease in shearer injuries
  • improved productivity for workers
  • cost effective option when upgrading infrastructure
  • provides an avenue for multipurpose sheds.

There are several companies across Australia manufacturing a sheep delivery system based on the AWI designs:

  • Haynes Engineering of Naracoorte SA produces an automatic and a manual modular race delivery system. 08 8762 2744,
  • Commander Ag-Quip of Albany WA produces an automatic and a manual modular race delivery system. 1800 655 033,
  • Stockpro of Condobolin NSW produces a manual modular race delivery system.1800 354 415,
  • ProWay of Wagga Wagga NSW produces both fixed and modular manual race delivery systems and provide a full design and construction service incorporating the modules. 1300 655 383,
  • Kyabram Steel of Kyabram Victoria manufactures manual modular race units. 03 5853 1554,
  • RW Engineering of Darkan WA are developing and manufacturing the sheep delivery system. 08 9736 1166,

Woolgrowers had a chance to see demonstrations of options for mobile, upright and adaptable wool harvesting alternatives – including the AWI sheep delivery unit – at a Shearing & Sheep Handling Innovation & Demonstration Day held by AWI and PIRSA at Jamestown in February 2023.

 More information: and AWI Sheep Connect SA 10 minute talk with Stephen Feighan