Patlin Heavy Haulage deploys Drake 8×8 steerable

Melbourne-based Patlin Heavy Haulage has taken delivery of a new Drake 8×8 Semi-Modular Steerable platform trailer with eight-ram steering system.

The versatile unit comprises a 6×8 main section and a removeable 2×8 clip with every axle in the combination steerable and able to be locked in the straight-ahead position as needed.

It joins another Drake platform owned by the company – a 7×8 extendible.

According to Patlin Heavy Haulage Managing Director, Pat Papaluca, the new Drake platform has the dual benefit of being able to carry the heavier loads while being highly manoeuvrable and therefore easily able to negotiate tight construction sites common around Melbourne.

“Some of the gear we are now shifting into sites around Melbourne is bigger and heavier which necessitates a highly manoeuvrable platform trailer,” said Papaluca.

“Getting around the city with this sort of gear is pretty tight at the best of times.”

He added that around 80 per cent of the company’s 45-strong trailer fleet bear the Drake nameplate.

Matthew Papaluca (left) and Stephen Papaluca with Sam Drake (centre).

“We have about 18 quad-axle floats – a mixture of deck wideners and full wideners as well as some extendables,” said Papaluca.

“We try to cater for a wide range of the market which is reflected in the diversity of our trailers.”

Patlin Heavy Haulage was started by Papaluca in 1976 when he was 19, growing from one tipper truck and some earthmoving equipment into the large company it is today. Papaluca’s wife, Lina, and their three sons are also fully involved with running the business.

“Our eldest son Joe takes care of Operations, while our youngest, Stephen, is a driver and Matthew is a mechanic,” said Papaluca.

“I’ve always loved cars, trucks and machinery so I guess it was inevitable that I would end up running a business like this. Fortunately, the boys wanted to follow suite and my wife was willing to back me all the way, which has made the business what it is today.”

Speaking about his latest Drake platform 8×8, Papaluca said he is really happy with it, in fact, “rapt” was the word he used.

“The Drake Group has always looked after us – they build a fantastic trailer and any little niggles we’ve had they’ve always fixed for us,” he said.

“We have maintained a really good relationship ever since we bought our first new Drake trailer in 2002; and we’ve been buying Drake ever since.”