Freightmaster traces its roots back to the early 1980s when the company’s owner, Peter Cocks, started trading in Alice Springs as P&J Transport Engineers, a manufacturer and repairer of semi-trailers.
Relocating to Adelaide around 1990, the company changed its name to Freightmaster Semi Trailers, constructing a variety of trailing equipment including road train dollies, chassis tippers, drop decks, flat tops, curtain-siders, skels, machinery tag trailers and aluminium tippers.
The company builds between 200 and 250 units per year, covering a wide range of configurations from single trailers to B-doubles and road trains. Describing itself as a bespoke manufacturer, Freightmaster aims to cater for each and every customers’ requests including, but not limited to, heavy-duty and off-highway frames as well as a variety of axle and suspension options. With agents in Perth, Brisbane and Melbourne stocking a wide range of spare parts and having fully equipped workshops for repairs and insurance work, the company is able to provide after sales support and service Australia- wide.
Additionally, the hire of dollies and trailers is available at the Adelaide facility. According to Mick Tucker, Trailer Sales Consultant for Freightmaster Semi Trailers, the company’s success has stemmed from offering the right products at the right prices.
“It’s really about keeping it simple and producing equipment that people want,” Mick says. “All our products are Australian-made using Australian steel and they work very well.”
Mick explains that the company has customers who are still using trailers and dollies produced 30 years ago around the time when Peter established the Adelaide facility. “It’s about building the equipment to a tried and trusted formula – one that we know works and keeps customers coming back time and time again.”
Central to the tipper builds are JOST components – including hydraulic equipment such as cylinders and related components – that have been an integral part of Freightmaster trailers for the past 20 years.
Six years ago JOST opened a branch in Adelaide to better service companies such as Freightmaster by stocking the full range of JOST components.
According to Grant Sanders, JOST Adelaide Branch Manager, the branch opening meant Freightmaster could source components on a same day basis rather than waiting for up to a week to have them freighted from the eastern states.
“We’ve saved them a lot of freight due to having products on hand to suit their requirements,” Grant says. “Freightmaster can now have its products the same day rather than waiting a week for them. “Freightmaster has been using JOST cylinders for the last four years and is very happy with them, and also uses our other products wherever possible.”
This is a sentiment echoed by Mick Tucker, who affirms the JOST products are a ‘set and forget’ solution that when used and maintained correctly have a very long and trouble-free life.
“Unless someone breaks something or tips the trailer over so that the hoist needs replacing, there’s really nothing that goes wrong with them,” he says, adding that the company keeps a supply of hoists and fifth wheels, as well as general wearing parts like bushes, bearings and fifth wheel jaws, in stock for when such situations arise.
Mick says tippers make up around 50 per cent of the total production with flat-tops, dollies, drop-decks and tag trailers making up the remainder. “Due to the high rate of tipper production, we rely on a steady stream of JOST hoists and slew rings being delivered to the workshop.”
Of the tippers that are built, Mick says about 75 per cent are steel and the balance aluminium, with many of the steel tippers used in agricultural work including grain and fertiliser haulage.
“Many of the buyers of our steel tippers are farmers who prefer the lower price of the steel tippers and don’t mind the extra tare weight,” Mick says. “On the other hand, contractors generally don’t mind spending the extra money on the aluminium tippers because they get paid by the weight they carry and want to maximise payload potential.”
The JOST range of hydraulic equipment includes power take-offs (PTO) and a range of hoists including well mount, front mount, under body and side tipper cylinders, as well as oil tanks and accessories.
The company sells various PTO ‘wet kits’ to suit North American, European and Japanese trucks. The kit includes PTO, gear pump, mount kit, tipper valve and controls.
JOST’s well mount cylinders have strokes ranging from 2,470mm to 8,675mm with capacities from 18 to 60 tonnes, while the front mount cylinder range has strokes from 2,470mm to 7,325mm with capacities from 18 to 55 tonnes. Both styles feature all-stage chroming with extended tube overlap and operate at the Australian industry standard pressure of 135bar (2,000psi). They both come with a two-year nationwide warranty.
JOST also supplies a wide range of Italian-manufactured hydraulic oil tanks in multiple configurations and with additional accessories available. Mounted either on the chassis rail or rear of cab, the Dual series constructed from steel comes in sizes ranging from 70 to 200 litres while aluminium construction is available as an option for 135, 170 and 200 litre sizes. The Classic is a rear of cab mounted tank specifically designed for applications where space is limited. It has a slim 270mm width and 638mm height, with lengths of either 700mm or 1,260mm giving oil capacities of 110 and 200 litres respectively.
JOST has been selling tipper hoists and hydraulic equipment to Freightmaster Trailers for the past 15 years. The trailer builder appreciates the durability and cost-effectiveness of the products used on its range of steel and aluminium tippers.