Throughout the changes to the Krueger catalogue, the core of the business has held true, revolving around family patriarch, founder and Managing Director, John Krueger. Entrepreneurial from the very beginning, John started his own trailer building company in 1976, after finding himself unimpressed with the options on the market. Taking matters into his own hands, John designed and built his very first trailer, marking the beginning of what would become one of Australia’s major trailer manufacturers.
John quickly made a name for himself with his prowess in innovative chassis manufacturing when he released the first retractable skel in 1984, followed in the mid 90s with the world’s first Super B-double skel. The Super B sparked numerous upgrades to a more recent skel development, a Performance-Based Standards (PBS) approved tri-tri Super B-double variant.
Krueger’s world firsts are not restricted to skels, though. Another of the Victorian trailer builder’s highly celebrated developments is its air-operated Road Friendly Suspension (RFS), which is the only air suspension system designed specifically for a trailer to meet Australian operating conditions.
In other Australian premieres, Krueger developed a roof system in 1998 where an entire section raises and lowers in one smooth parallel movement and its Slide-A-Gate load restraint system in 2003 that allows a single person to open a trailer’s gates in just 30 seconds. In curtain developments, Krueger’s list includes a Curtain Seal that protects from contaminants, and its popular air-operated buckleless Lock’n’Load system.
Now, Krueger Transport Equipment is a well-known name in the industry, with customers across the country praising the family business for its high quality, high productivity trailers. With the same face still at the helm, its no surprise that many of Krueger’s customers have been dealing with the Victorian trailer builder for decades, preferring the familiarity of both the man himself, and his equipment.
Yet, the company’s sense of tradition does not mar its fortitude for innovation, as Krueger’s trailer offering has grown to include a variety of curtain-siders, skels and flat tops, as well as state-of-the-art load restraint and suspension solutions.
At the heart of each new development is the safety of those using the equipment – who after so many years of working together with the trailer builder have become like part of the Krueger family. Within the business itself, the company founder works alongside his own kin, with his son Grant flourishing in the role of Sales Director. With the same entrepreneurial spirit as his father, Grant has played an integral role in the development of many of the company’s world first innovations.
Though these days John doesn’t spend as much time in the workshop’s pits adjusting boosters and shock absorbers as when he started the company four decades ago, he is still a hands-on contributor to the business’s success, his proficiency shining through in each trailer built boasting the Krueger name.
Made possible by Smedley’s Engineers, Industry Icons is a new series dedicated to honouring the unsung heroes of commercial road transport.