With 60 years of proven experience under its proverbial belt, The Drake Group has owed part of its success to its commitment to quality in every aspect of its production. In addition to meticulously designing its range of heavy haulage trailers so they would easily handle even the roughest conditions Australian roads have to offer, the Wacol-based facility manufactures their own products. Therefore, maintaining the strength and durability of the trailer from initial concept to final product requires the best tools and materials available. Therefore, working with SSAB has become so important.
SSAB is one of the biggest names in the steel-making business, with a global network of mining and manufacturing operations. They specialise in Advanced High-Strength Steels (AHSS) and Quenched & Tempered Steels (Q&T) in addition to steels for the construction industry and strip, plate and tubular products. SSAB started in 1878 and use their experience and engineering know-how to make steel products lighter while preserving their essential strength and durability.
Khali Lake, General Manager of The Drake Group, reveals that using the best quality materials is part of the company’s mission statement. “All of our steel has to come from a verified source. That costs us more but makes for a better end product,” he says. “SSAB is one of our biggest suppliers, so the company is a key part of what we do.”
When Khali joined the company six years ago, SSAB were one of many suppliers of steel plate product that rolled into their Wacol trailer manufacturing facility. Now he says that the primary supplier of The Drake Group’s steel products is SSAB, who provide 120 tonnes of steel per month required to build its range of high performance heavy haulage trailers for the mining and transport industries.
The two major brands of SSAB-supplied steel that The Drake Group makes use of are Strenx performance steel and Hardox wear plate. Strenx, the amalgamation of prior SSAB entities Domex, Optim and Weldox, is geared towards heavy duty applications where structural strength is just as much a priority as weight considerations. In the world of trailers, it’s critical that the structural integrity be maintained always and while also keeping the overall weight down. After all, weight limits on low loaders and other trailers have an impact on vehicle performance and safety. Strenx is used in The Drake Group’s manufacturing facility to help make the frames of trailers, as well as cross members and decks.
Hardox is a highly recognised brand name in the industry, and many of The Drake Group’s longest standing customers request it by name. The 8mm and 10mm wear plates are the ones most commonly used in tipper bodies, and especially useful on the decks and ramps of trailers to safeguard against volatile equipment. Khali Lake adds that “Customers carrying earthmoving equipment with steel tracks, demolition equipment like compactors or anything with a metal track that needs to go up and down the ramps often request Hardox, as these kinds of equipment can be quite damaging to the trailer.”
The surface hardness and overall strength of Hardox plates make it a hit especially in the earthmoving sector where the tough wheel treads can damage weaker surfaces.
It’s critical for any business to offer comprehensive support to their customers after the initial purchase has been made. It’s something The Drake Group have always been providing their customers, and SSAB are like-minded in their dedication to offering reliable support through the life of the product. Khali describes the technical support provided by SSAB as “probably the best technical department for a steel manufacturer we’ve ever come across.”
The fruits of the long-standing partnership between The Drake Group and SSAB can be seen in the high production values seen in our range of trailers. Contact The Drake Group today to see how we can partner with your business to carry you into the future.