05 Oct 2016
What's the difference between between New Zealand's Steelbro, and the All Blacks?
Not much, really.
One is a team with steel in its spine, and a long history of striding across
the world stage, tackling a never ending stream of challenges coming at them from big, bulky customers, in all weathers, and ending up with an enviable winning record.
The other is New Zealand's world-renowned rugby union side.
And, like the rugby teams from the Land of the Long White Cloud, Steelbro has been making all the right moves for a long, long time.
Started in Christchurch, in 1878, by brothers Joseph and David Steel as a coach building business, the company originally made gigs, drays and other horse drawn vehicles, before making the transition to producing car, bus, fuel tanker and truck bodies, which it did successfully for many years, finally turning to manufacturing truck trailing equipment - the move that has resulted in Steelbro's highly successful market niche in container handling.
Today, Steelbro markets the world's biggest-selling trailer-based container handling system. And, as sometimes happens, one of the products the company made, turned out to be the making of the company.
That product, developed and proven in New Zealand, was the Steelbro Mk IV Sidelifter selfloading trailer, a revolutionary concept in materials handing - and a machine that changed road transport in many parts of the the world.
Simply, a self-loading trailer (SLT) is a semitrailer fitted with two hydraulic cranes that unfold to the side, reaching out to pick up a container at each end, before lifting it onto the trailer for transportation. Except, of course, nothing is really that simple.
In concept, the side-lifting, self-loading machines are a brilliant combination of Edward de Bono and Arnold Schwarzenegger - lateral thinking in design and operation, balanced with highly defined - and refined - brute strength. In practice, these days - using world renowned BISALLOY® performance steel - a Steelbro SLT is a highly engineered machine, integrating cutting edge hydraulics, electronics, design and fabrication, with models needing to be capable of lifting containers of up to 40 tonnes in all sorts of demanding environments.
And if the Sidelifter concept has largely been the making of today's Steelbro, then the making of Sidelifters themselves, with ongoing refinement in design, engineering and fabrication, is another reason why the company continues to be No.1 in the market.
That's where BISALLOY® steel comes in.
Steelbro quite rightly regard themselves as a southern hemisphere success story.
At Bisalloy Steels, we feel the same way.
Like Steelbro in its market, Bisalloy Steels, one of the world's premier performance steel plate manufacturers, occupies a unique niche - as Australia's only producer of tempered, hardened steel. Steelbro have been using
Peter Suckling, Steelbro Operations Manager, says: "Good engineering together with good raw material can result in an exceptional product, and given our proven record of success around the world with the Sidelifter, we feel Steelbro and Bisalloy Steels make a great combination.
"Our association with Bisalloy has been very productive. We use Bisalloy BISALLOY® Structural 80 steel for all our Sidelifters. Its combination of very high strength and exceptionally good fabrication characteristics allows us to manufacture a product that is light weight, yet exceptionally strong, durable and second to none in the wide range of environments our Sidelifters find themselves. "
Steelbro continues to lift in performance, too, recently acquiring the European company Klaus - itself a premier SLT manufacturer, and the world leader in military and heavy industry SLT equipment.
Already, Klaus machines are being fabricated at Steelbro's New Zealand plant, engineered to the same high specifications as in Europe - except now they, too, are being created using BISALLOY® Structural 80 steel.
As a result of all this, container-handling facilities in over 100 countries worldwide now have Steelbro and Bisalloy Steels on their side.
After more than 120 years, the proud team from New Zealand has demonstrated one thing time and time again: whatever the challenge, Steelbro can handle it.
Steel by name, steel by nature.
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