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Westrucks Bodybuilders reflects on partnership with Austube Mills

Austube Mills’ steel remains the key ingredient for some of Australia’s leading truck, trailer and body builders. Its flexibility, strength and high-grade materials aside, the company’s ability to deliver consistently via its national distribution network is the reason why Westrucks Bodybuilders remains a loyal customer.

Westrucks Bodybuilders started off in 1985 as a three-man operation in Smithfield, New South Wales. Almost 30 years later, the company, now based in Wetherill Park, boasts more than 45 staff members and produces in excess of 400 units per year.

To founder and Managing Director, Greg Liggins, a large part of Westrucks’ success is credited towards the strong partnership it has forged with OneSteel Metalcentre, one of the distribution companies for Australian steel pipe and tube manufacturer, Austube Mills. Even though the two businesses are situated in the same suburb, barely a five-minute stroll down the road, convenience was only a small part of the reason the partnership was formed.

Local Vehicle manufacturing from local steel

“We’ve been sourcing Austube Mills’ products from OneSteel Metalcentre since 1985, and the partnership has remained strong ever since. Like most small businesses starting out, our partnership came down to our connections in the market,” he says.

“In our case, the initial contact with OneSteel Metalcentre was established through an industry colleague who just happened to know a sales representative from the company. Since we started using Austube Mills’ high quality steel, the results have been successful to the point we now use it exclusively in all our bodies.”

Supported by the Austube Mills’ products, Westrucks has built a solid reputation as somewhat of a one-stop-shop for logistics businesses and truck dealerships, designing and manufacturing steel trays, flat top tippers, curtain-siders, refrigerated van bodies and special custom bodies – all predominantly for Australia’s rigid truck market.

“Some of our biggest clients include freight and logistics companies, as well as many rental businesses,” Greg says. “No rigid body is the same as the projects can vary. Some jobs may require us to build two to three units, or sometimes up to 20 rigids at a time. For the bigger freight companies, there are instances where 40 units are required inside a month. It really depends on what our customers require, which will dictate the amount of steel we order from OneSteel Metalcentre in Wetherill Park.”

According to Greg, Austube Mills’ steel products are so well manufactured that they can be fitted straight into their rigid designs. “We get a delivery from OneSteel Wetherill Park once, sometimes twice a week if required,” he says.

“Because we build a range of bodies, the Austube Mills steel can be fitted to multiple sections of the body.

“For example, if we are building a flat/table top rigid, the whole deck is supported by Austube Mills’ steel tube products. All our floor plates are pre-cut, and they rarely change in terms of specs. If it’s a curtain‑sided rigid, the base and front of the trailer is all Austube Mills, except for the roof and curtains. In our refrigerated bodies and rigid gas tankers, we use rectangular hollow structural section (RHS) steel to build the unit’s subframe.”

Additionally, OneSteel Metalcentre’s supply availability has made the relationship strong over time, as Greg explains. “What stood out about OneSteel and Austube Mills first of all was the competitive prices in the initial discussions, but their commitment to customer service is what has kept the partnership going forward,” he says. “If we place an order, OneSteel knows our specs and the amount that’s required for the projects we’re working on, which always leads to a next day delivery. That hasn’t changed in the three decades we’ve been doing business with them.

“A quality product is what matters most and knowing Austube Mills is third party certified and manufactured to Australian and New Zealand Standards gives us and our customers peace of mind. Quality is one of our biggest assets here at Westrucks, and that’s one area where Austube Mills, OneSteel Metalcentre and our company can agree on. We know that with every shipment, we’re getting the safest and highest quality finish of structural pipe and tube steel in the market today.”

Pictured: Westrucks trailer bodies under construction.

Article featured in the June edition of Trailer Magazine.