If the downturn in the global resources sector has taught us anything, it’s that there will always be a market for good products. At Drake Trailers, we continue to strive to meet the challenge of finding new markets, quickly adapting our product range to meet client requirements and think outside the box about how we can apply our innovative approach that has seen us stay at the forefront of the specialist transport industry for over 50 years.
Growing the Drake Group
A big development over the last 12 months has been the Drake Group’s completion of acquiring O’Phee Trailers. The acquisition officially took place last July but after some serious logistical manoeuvring, we now have the O’Phee Trailers team with us at our manufacturing facility on the outskirts of Brisbane.
The O’Phee acquisition has been an excellent opportunity for both companies to better understand each other’s traditional markets. While O’Phee Trailers has been an established name in trailer transport for decades, it was its specialist side-lifter trailers in the O’Phee BoXLoader range that propelled the company into its leading position in the container transport market.
The insight that this has provided to the wider Drake Group has led to some of our own traditional favourites, such as the Swingwing and Deck Widener, undergoing some design tweaks and modifications to improve manoeuvrability, minimise handling and enhance loading/unloading time for operators.
A shared commitment to safety is another reason O’Phee Trailers has seamlessly integrated into the Drake Group. Addressing safety risks during a trailer’s design phase is the simplest way to enhance operator safety. Added to that is a rigorous quality control process at each stage of production that ensures materials, components and fabrication is of the highest quality.
Branching out – on and under water
Another Drake Group company that provided an unusual source of inspiration for the Drake Trailers team earlier this year was Sunseeker East Coast, Australia’s east coast distribution branch of the world-famous luxury British boat manufacturer. Sunseeker East Coast Australia is headed up by Managing Director, John Drake who was previously the Managing Director of Drake Trailers, where he started work in 1978, taking the top job in 1991 and today continues to be involved.
Both Sunseeker East Coast and Drake Trailers are leaders in their very different land and sea markets but they share a common focus on providing customer service excellence, superior engineering skills and working exclusively with the highest quality materials available.
Sunseeker East Coast was able to provide valuable marine industry insight when Drake Trailers received their first ever order for a houseboat trailer earlier this year.
The order came from Lake Eildon Marina Services in Victoria’s high country – also known as Australia’s luxury houseboat capital. Lake Eildon Marina Services was fielding a growing number of enquiries from houseboat owners regarding the best method of transferring their oversize houseboats to dry docks for maintenance, as well as needing to move houseboats from boat builders to various locations around Lake Eildon.
Drake Trailers design team needed to create a trailer that could:
- Extend in width
- Extend in length
- Be extremely durable
- Be completely submerged under fresh water of Lake Eildon
- Provide excellent ROI
Using auto-steering axles with hydraulic rams, heavy duty brakes and radio remote control to assist precise manual steering around the mountainous areas of Lake Eildon National Park, the houseboat trailer was born. Like Sunseeker’s luxury fleet, the houseboat trailer uses only the best high tensile, marine-grade steel to provide maximum corrosion resistance, which can still be an issue, despite Lake Eildon’s fresh water.
Whether we’re building a houseboat trailer, a BoXLoader or a mine site transporter trailer, the Drake Group products consistently meet or exceed our client’s expectations. You can read what our clients say about us or contact us directly to discuss how Drake Trailers can deliver the best transport solution for your business.