Trailer Magazine

Bruce Rock & Wabash National team up

  • From the October 2015 issue.
Bruce Rock & Wabash National team up

WA-based Bruce Rock Engineering and US juggernaut Wabash National have teamed up to bring a unique refrigerated solution to Australia, timing the business venture with a predicted growth spurt in the cold chain sector.

With experts from the Birmingham Energy Institute among those predicting a 13 per cent growth in the global cold chain each year for the next five years, refrigerated transport is becoming a focal point for big industry announcements. A case in point is the recent re-introduction of US powerhouse Wabash National to the Australian market in a new business relationship with Western Australia’s Bruce Rock Engineering (BRE).

Recognising the growth potential down under, Robert Lane, Director of Product Development at Wabash National, says the time is just right to introduce its refrigerated trailer expertise to Australia: “Australia, like the US, relies heavily on the trucking industry, so we have a lot in common. With the help of Bruce Rock Engineering, we are confident that our innovative designs, tailored to the unique climate and road conditions, along with our dedication to excellence, will serve the Australian market very well,” he says.

As the relationship was forming, Damion Verhoogt, Managing Director for BRE, visited the Wabash National headquarters in Indiana to see its R&D Testing Centre first hand – coming away extremely impressed: “After visiting Wabash National’s R&D facility, I knew they were a good fit for Australia. The standards are so high that Wabash National is confident to grant a 10-year limited warranty on some models, which is quite remarkable.”

Damion’s impression of Wabash National is mirrored by the US company’s opinion of the Australian trailer builder. Larry Adkins, Product Applications Manager at Wabash National, says he appreciates that BRE lives up to its reputation for quality. “We have built a strong relationship with Bruce Rock Engineering,” says Larry. “Well respected in the industry, its expertise in providing transportation solutions supports Wabash National’s commitment to innovation, superior product performance and customer satisfaction.”

The first product from the collaboration between the two companies made its debut at the Perth Truck Show in July, with the launch of the 45-foot ArcticLite® refrigerated semi-trailer, specially designed for Australian conditions. Visitors to the combined Australian/American stand were the first in the country to lay eyes on the jointly designed trailer spec, which combines the BRE team’s extensive knowledge of the local commercial road transport industry with Wabash National’s refrigerated expertise to create a product that is “perfectly adjusted to handle Australia’s high heat and humidity,” says Damion.

“But that capability is just one feature we’re excited about – we’ve also managed to keep the tare weight to a minimum, which means less fuel consumption, less wear on tyres and engines and ultimately lower costs for the fleet.”

Larry says that alongside the low tare weight, the heavy-duty riveted panels, thermal efficiency and host of standard features drew the attention of several potential buyers at the show. “I was happy to make the trip to the Perth Truck Show. Attendance was good and the Bruce Rock booth was well visited. With this being our first Australian trade show, the ArcticLite refrigerated trailer had a high level of interest.”

The excitement of the launch was no doubt boosted by the fact that IndustryWeek had named Wabash one of the “50 Best US Manufacturers” – even though that latest recognition from the global manufacturing resource is nothing new to the US specialist: It’s the third time Wabash National has been honoured as an “IW 50 Best”, having also been acknowledged in 2006 and 2013. 

“This national recognition reflects the dedication and talent of the Wabash National team,” adds Larry. “We are excited to expand our innovative trailer solutions to the Australian market through our relationship with Bruce Rock Engineering.”

The full story has appeared in the October edition of Trailer. To get your copy, click here.

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