Made for the industry

Graham Lusty established Graham Lusty Trailers in 2009 after returning to his profession from a short retirement. Since then, he has continued to demonstrate his loyalty to the industry through his customers including George Transport.

Graham Lusty Trailers (GLT) CEO, Graham Lusty, started building trailers in 1971 and created many trailer manufacturing companies over the years such as G&J Lusty, Lusty Allison and Lusty EMS before retiring in 2004. But it wasn’t the end of Graham Lusty’s work just yet.

“Retirement didn’t suit me well, I was 62 at the time,” he says. “I had to stay out of the industry for five years, it was a part of the MaxiTRANS settlement.”

Graham explains he was persuaded into building trailers with one if his good friends in 2009, which saw him cancel his retirement and return to his passion of building trailers. Just like that, Graham Lusty Trailers was born.

“We decided we were going to make a better trailer and we’ve made an upmarket trailer ever since,” he says. “Today we’re employing 103 people and building seven trailers a week. I’ve always loved building trailers, so it wasn’t a hard decision. I’m terribly proud of what we’re producing, it’s the best trailers we’ve ever produced and we’ve got a great crew here. My daughter and grandson are also in the business, which makes me very proud.”

Due to growing production demand, GLT moved to a larger facility three years later, where staff numbers were doubled. The business’ expansion also saw an increase in its product range as they began to offer side tippers, flat top belly tankers and regular tankers.

GLT’s customer demand continued to grow, with its Heathwood facility being pushed to its limits. The company opened a second facility in Parkinson Brisbane in May 2017 to cater to its customers, and in 2019 joined TIP and moved into a single location in Crestmead, Brisbane.

According to Graham, what sets GLT apart from its competition is its attention to detail and aftersales support, as GLT will help clients get back on the road as soon as possible.

“We have 76 per cent repeat customers and that list is growing all the time,” he says.

“If any trailer gets damaged in a road accident or tripping accident, we guarantee to repair them.

“We make sure that any problems are quickly dealt with, and any spares that need to be sent to them are sold to them at a reasonable price and with a quick turnaround. The whole crew here at GLT thinks the customers are number one, and in all our dealings with our customers they do the best they can, and the customers really appreciate that.”

Graham says that by keeping customers informed and updated with the process of their trailers’ construction, he was able to receive additional orders from clients while they were still waiting for their first trailer.

“With our long list of customers, at about three months we talk to the customer and make sure that they still want their trailers and we go through the spec with them,” he says. “We’re seeing no slowing down, instead of maybe some of them cancelling out, most of them will ask us if we can do a second set while we’re doing the first set.”

George Transport started 15 years ago in 2007, and Director, Lachlan George, says he has been buying from GLT for two thirds of its lifetime.

“George Transport has been doing business with Graham Lusty Trailers for just over 10 years,” he says.

Lachlan recently received an order from Graham which arrived at the end of last year.

“We received our most recent set of trailers in December 2021,” he says. “Our latest purchase was a custom-built spec Performance-Based Standards (PBS) Victorian HPFV A-double set of trailers. It includes electric rollover tarps, an air flip over centre bar, air operated grain and tailgate locks. These new trailers will predominantly carry grain, with Fertiliser, lime and gypsum at certain times of the year.”

Lachlan says he chose GLT for this order because they work with George Transport to achieve what they want.

“They never say ‘No, it can’t be done’, and always work through to achieve our desired outcome,” he says. “We also choose GLT for service. After sales service is second to none, whether it be a question about the trailers or a teething problem, GLT act straight away.”

Graham explains GLT has increased production by over 25 per cent just in the last nine months by automating parts of the production process.

“We put in a CNC router for cutting all our side sheets and aluminium componentry,” he says. “We’re just putting in a 12.5 metre bed robot for welding chassis and chassis beams, and we’ve put in CNC lasers for doing all of our machine parts. We will continue to automate as much as we can because of the shortage of labour.”

There seems to be no second retirement in sight for Graham, as he continues to love every part of his job.

“I’ll be 80 this year but I thoroughly enjoy what I’m doing,” he says. “And I see no plans in retirement.”

Graham Lusty Trailers CEO, Graham Lusty, and Chief Business Officer, Fiona Lusty.