Our History

For 60 years, The Drake Group companies Drake Trailers, O’Phee Trailers and Drake Collectibles have been building some of the toughest heavy-duty trailers on the market.

We focus on quality, innovation and reliability and each of our trailers are designed to tackle the harshest conditions that this country has to offer.

The Drake Group Timeline

1958
1958

Drake Trailers founded by Colin Drake in Rocklea – 1958

From our archives, these photos show the original site of Drake Trailers at Rocklea.

Colin Drake had a desire to build Australia’s best trailers and innovate better ways to meet operators’ needs.

1961
1961

Noel the legendary foreman is the 1st employee of Drake Trailers

Noel the legendary foreman

Noel was known by all, and part of the furniture within Drake Trailers.

1969
1969

Drake 4X8 Swingwing Widening Lowloader Hits The Market

Drake 4X8 Swingwing Widening Lowloader Hits The Market

The Swingwing Widening Lowloader revolutionises heavy haulage and has continued to evolve as an industry leader.

1970
1970

1st Mine site trailer launches

Mine site trailer 1970

Mine site trailers were designed for the transport of large mining equipment on mine sites across Australia.

1978
1978

John Drake, a 2nd Generation Drake joins the company

Drake Group History

John Drake eventually took over the running of the company in 1991.

1980
1980

Introduction of the steerable platform trailer

Steerable transport 1980

Design of the steerable platform trailer was worked on by Colin and John Drake for Brambles.

1984
1984

Deck Widener

DECK WIDENER

Pre-luded to the full widener, decided no longer required as the full widener fitted the requirements.

1984

Full modular steerable transporters

Steerable full modular

Designed for the special heavy duty loads, similar concept to units manufactured in Europe but widening for Australian regulations.

1985
1985

Full Widener

Full Widener

The Full Widener unit was designed to carry 50 tonne legally with the added benefits of easy loading because of the widening frame and suspension. This design has been the industry standard since this date.

1988
1988

Introduction of computer aided design system

computer aided design system

The introduction of the computer aided design system process was driven by John Drake.

1989
1989

Greg Allison joins Drake Trailers

Greg Allison

An important development for Drake Trailers growth, as Greg was previously with Allison Trailers.

1990
1990

350 tonne mine site trailer – the largest yet

350 tonne mine site trailer

Pulled behind a CAT 789 dump truck, the empty trailer weighed over 120 tonnes.

1991
1991

John Drake takes over as Managing Director

Drake Group History

John Drake who holds an engineering diploma, takes over as Managing Director.

1991

Colin, the founder of Drake Trailers passes away

Colin Drake Trailers

Colin Drake’s passing left a huge hole not only in the company, but also in the heavy transport industry.

1992
1992

Drake Trailers moves base from Rocklea to Wacol

Drake Group History

A large industrial complex of 8,650 square metres.

1997
1997

Deck Widener – Re-released

Drake Group History

The re-released Deck Widener as a niche for urban use with the onset of traffic calming devices.

2000
2000

Swing wide

Drake Group History

The wide line goose neck design allowed operators to carry heavy narrow loads.

2001
2001

Introduction of first Australian-made forklift trailer

CMC Forklift Trailer

Featuring a 2.3-degree load angle and carrying capacity of 15 tonnes, Drake Trailers launches a new breed of forklift and access equipment trailers.

2004
2004

Introduction of 3D computer aided design

3D computer aided design

The system employed was SolidWorks. This gave Drake Trailers greater design capacity and more flexibility for customisation.

2006
2006

Noel the legendary foreman and 1st employee retires after 35 years of loyal service

Noel the legendary foreman

Noel never missed a days work and is still a regular visitor to Drake Trailers. Noel’s knowledge of the equipment was limitless.

2006

Sam, a 3rd generation Drake joins the company

Sam, a 3rd generation Drake joins the company

Sam background is as a diesel fitter and his knowledge of troubleshooting issues is a great asset to all of our customers.

2006

Won M1 Abrahams tank transported contract with M.A.N Military

4X8 Swingwing

The design was a variation on the standard Drake 4X8 Swingwing, again showing the designs versatility.

2007
2007

Introduction of robot welding

Allowing Drake Trailers to compete more competitively.

2009
2009

Launched die cast Drake Collectibles

Drake Collectibles History

www.thedrakeshop.com. The popularity has been outstanding.

2010
2010

Telescopic steerable

Brought about by the onset of wind farms and the need for carry unusual payloads.

2010

Steering widener

To fill a niche in the range of highway trailers for manoeuvrability with stability.

2011
2011

Collaboration with Cometto to design and engineer a fully modular self propelled platform for mine sites

The Ant

The Ant is ready for production.

2012
2012

Khali Lake appointed as General Manager

Khali Lake appointed as General Manager

As the mining sector is forging ahead at full force, we appointed Khali Lake as its new General Manager to tap the full potential of the current boom and continue to build on the Drake success.

2012

Maggie

Drake Group History

1st female family member of responsibility.

2014
2014

Drake aligns with SunSeeker East Coast Australia

SunSeeker East Coast Australia

Exciting new partnership between Drake Trailers and luxury yacht manufacturer Sunseeker East Coast Australia, with John Drake appointed as Managing Director of the prestigious yacht brand.

2015
2015

Drake Full Widener Rear Steer

Drake Full Widener Rear Steer

Release of the brand-new trailer with enhanced manoeuvrability and efficiency. The steerable axles at the rear help to reduce wear on tyres and running gear.

2015

The Drake Group acquires O’Phee Trailers

2015 timeline O'Phee

The Drake Group joins forces with O’Phee Trailers – one of the leading manufacturers of semi-trailers in Australia, bringing about new capabilities and products.

2015

Tilt Slide

Tilt Slide

Capable of self-loading and able to extend to 20 metres, the introduction of the tilt slide trailer is the ideal recovery trailer solution.

2015

Low Boy Drop Deck Trailer

Low Boy Drop Deck Trailer

Introducing Australia’s toughest drop deck trailer, with 30-40 tonne capacity and trailer lengths from 45-55ft.

2015

Drake Collectibles wins

Drake Collectibles wins

Drake Trailers sister brand Drake Collectibles picks up a major award for Model of the Year 2015 by Cranes Etc.

2016
2016

Introduction of first Australian-made Forklift Trailer

Introduction of first Australian-made Forklift Trailer

Featuring a 2.3 degree load angle and carrying capacity of 15 tonne, Drake Trailers launches a new breed of forklift and access equipment trailers.

2016

O’Phee Trailers moves onsite

O’Phee Trailers moves onsite

In May, O’Phee Trailers moves onsite with Drake Trailers and Drake Collectibles to The Drake Group’s central manufacturing facility located in Wacol, Brisbane.

2017
2017

The Drake Group Launch

The Drake Group Launch

The expanding portfolio of Drake Trailers set in motion the desire to re-launch as The Drake Group, aligning Drake Trailers, O’Phee Trailers, Drake Collectibles, BoXLoader, Cometto and Sunseeker East Coast Australia under the one banner.

2017

4X4 Deck Widener nominated for Best Trailer Award

4X4 Deck Widener nominated for Best Trailer Award

The 2017 Brisbane Truck Show Awards saw Drake Trailers 4X4 Deck Widener nominated in this prestigious category.

2017

O’Phee Trailers and JOST partnership

O’Phee Trailers and JOST partnership

O’Phee teams up with JOST Australia to use their proven parts including JOST’s king pins, modul landing legs and fifth wheels to improve capability, performance and safety.

2017

Drake Trailers develops the Mine Site Transporter

Drake Trailers develops the Mine Site Transporter

Brought about when Moolarben Coal Operations were looking for an efficient way to move plant and equipment around their site. The answer was using a CAT 777 dump truck to tow our custom-built heavy haulage trailer.

2017

O’Phee Trailers unveils new models

Introduction of an innovative sideloader called the Speedloader and a retractable container skel called the Retract-X. Both feature higher performance and the lowest tare weight on the market.

2017

Drake Collectibles launches new app

Drake Collectibles launches new app

Drake Collectibles unveils brand new app designed to be a one-stop shop for premium diecast and collectible items

2018
2018

The Drake Group celebrates 60years

The Drake Group celebrates 60years
2018

The Drake Group deliverers 1000th Rows of 4 Lowloader to Rob Stribley Transport

2018

Drake Group Production manager Steve Collins retires from role.

Drake Group History

Steve Collins was pivotal in strengthening and maintaining quality standards and manufacturing over his 16 year stint. Steve Collins still remains here at the Drake Group as our Service and repair manager.

2018

Drake Group Appoints Bill Law as Drake Group production Manager.

Drake Group History

Bill progressed through a number of positions in the manufacturing scene before transitioning to corporate roles including National Asset Management and Compliance, which was his prior position. Bill brings skill, discipline, enthusiasm and passion to The Drake Group.