Trailer Magazine

Drake Group celebrates 60th anniversary

  • Posted on Tuesday 18th, September 2018.

Queensland turned on the sunshine on 15th September for a family fun day at The Drake Group’s Wacol facility in recognition of the company’s milestone 60 years in operation.

Festivities included a jumping castle, face painting and balloons for the kids in addition to a display of Drake customers’ heavy-haulage low loaders and O’Phee trailers.

There was also an equally impressive line-up of diecast model trucks and trailers, known as Drake Collectibles, a special part of the company’s offerings from the smaller end of the spectrum.

Factory tours were provided to give visitors an insight into the production of the legendary Drake low loaders which have been synonymous with heavy-haulage in Australia for decades.

Its production, one of the interesting displays, involves a robotic welding machine that is used for repetitive welds where weld quality is paramount. In a nutshell, it speeds up the process and produces consistent quality welds that would be impossible to replicate by humans. 

Speaking after the cake cutting, Drake Group Managing Director, John Drake, recalled how the company has developed from very humble beginnings. It was started by his father, Colin Drake, as a trailer repair business with just a couple of employees.

“He soon moved into building new trailers and, eventually, low loaders,” said Drake.

“Some of the key ingredients my father brought into the business were sound engineering design and innovation, which you can see on display here today.”

He said innovation was also crucial to the Drake Collectibles – which are Drake by design and manufactured in China – as well as the O’Phee range of trailers and container side-lifters that were recently acquired by The Drake Group.

“O’Phee Trailers is now an important part of The Drake Group for good reason,” he said.

“It is similar in that it is a family-owned company with the same elements of innovation and customisation. It is a particularly good fit because it’s allowed us to significantly expand our product range while maintaining our ethos of high build quality and innovative design.”  

“I have to say that despite the various booms and busts we’ve had over the years, including the most recent GFC, I’m very proud to be here with you today celebrating 60 years in business.”

He added, “I feel that I’ve cut this cake on behalf of all of us who have been involved in this journey.”

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