It’s not every day that your business can celebrate 60 years of being in operation, so the team at The Drake Group threw the doors open for everyone to join in on the fun at their latest Open Day. Held on September 15 at their manufacturing facility in Wacol, The Drake Group Open Day was a chance to see the past, present and future of the company and have a lot of fun along the way.
The objective of the Open Day was not only to show the local community all the hard work and dedication to quality service that is synonymous with the Drake Group brand but to celebrate the company growing from a repair shop in Rocklea to a nationally-recognised heavy haulage trailer manufacturer.
Getting things started
The day started with an opening speech at 9:15 am by Managing Director John Drake, commemorating the company’s humble beginnings and thanking the hard-working team for their continued service and dedication to manufacturing the best heavy haulage trailers for sale in Australia.
Every fifteen minutes hosts gave tours of The Drake Group’s production facility, where interested onlookers could see first-hand how the Drake range of low loaders is manufactured by the team. It also showcased a new robotic welding machine that was designed to perform tasks that humans would find impossible.
Attractions that ran during the day included a jumping castle and balloons for the kids and face painting for the young and young-at-heart. There was also a range of competitions for everyone to enter, with proceeds going straight to the Cancer Council of Australia. A popular one was where punters guessed the weight of a loaded 5×8 Swingwide trailer, with the prize being a C509 Hogan die-cast model.
We also held the “People’s Choice for Best Prime Mover” award. Each of our trailers and prime movers displayed was assigned a number, with the most popular mover taking home the title at the end of the day. Our winner was Bowers Heavy Haulage for their Kenworth T909, with National Heavy Haulage securing the runner-up prize for their Kenworth C509.
Unveiling the new commemorative model
After that was the unveiling of the new addition to our line of immaculately detailed die-cast models from Drake Collectibles: the 60th anniversary Kenworth C509 Drake 2×8 Dolly 3×8 Trailer. This special edition of the popular miniature combination comes in an all-chrome finish and was available to purchase on the day with a commemorative CAT 777D Highway Truck. Only 300 of these beauties were made available so it was understandable that attendees were excited to see it up close.
Trailers old and new
New trailers and trucks on display included a Drake 4×4 Extendable Deck Widener with a Kenworth T909 from Bower’s Heavy Haulage, a 4×4 Steering Widener with a Western Star 4800 Day Cab from Forestry Services and a Drake 3X4 Deck widener with a Kenworth T950 Legend from Gradco. Doolan’s, P & S Haulem and Toll, among many others, were proud to display their hard-working Drake Group trailers for everyone to see. An impressive range of second -hand trailers were also on show, including Hogan’s Drake 5X8 Swingwide, Centurion’s Drake Modular Steerable Platform with K200 and Mactrans’ Drake 2X8 Dolly. The crowds enjoyed seeing all these versatile low-loaders cleaned up and ready for action.
Finding Australia’s oldest Drake Trailer
We recently put the call out for people to find the oldest Drake Trailer, and we were pleased to see the contenders! At the Open Day, we showcased the oldest one we could find – a 4X8 Swing Wing and Dolly made all the way back in 1972. Its owner, John Beaumont, still uses it on most days in his earthmoving business, carrying Cat D10 Bull Dozers and Scrapers around Ipswich. We’re pleased to report that the paint has worn a bit, but it still performs as good as ever.
A tremendous success
Rounding out the day on a sweet note was a mouth-watering 60th-anniversary celebratory cake that tasted as good as it looked. At the end of the day, 1,000 people walked through the doors with smiles in the faces (and consuming an impressive 200 burgers and 500 sausages) and, hopefully, fond memories of the day and what we do here at The Drake Group.
Thank you to Woolworths Goodna, Sunny Queen Eggs, BP Wacol, Also, Allemlube and App QLD for their generous donations of food and supplies, and Cold Room Hire, Bakers Delight Springfield Orion, Hans Factory Wacol and MOCO Services for their generous discounts that allowed us to make the event a real success. We’d also like to especially thank the Heavy Vehicle Industry of Australia for the assistance in making the day a success and the continued relationship we have with this essential industry body. HVIA representatives were on hand for people who were interested in the booming career opportunities the industry offered.
Thank you to everyone who paid us a visit and we look forward to seeing you again on the next Open Day. In the meantime, contact The Drake Group to see our entire range of trailers for sale.