Trout River Australia takes its business to the next level

With an expanding presence in the Australian market and a new General Manager, Trout River Australia is capitalising on its success as a live bottom trailer manufacturer and making big plans for the future.For nearly a decade Trout River Australia has cemented itself as a core player in the Australian live bottom trailer manufacturing market.  Since manufacturing the first live bottom trailers for the Australian market, the Victoria-based firm has gone from strength to strength to become a household name in the country’s transport industry.

2016 has already proved a landmark year for the manufacturer. Earlier in the year, Trout River Australia introduced more innovative attachments for its road maintenance units, adding to the firms existing spreader box, chip spreader, side conveyor and side chute with an Australian first 5.4-metre pivoting rear conveyor and a removable water tank.

Shephard Transport Equipment also came on board as a Trout River Australia distributor for Queensland and Northern Territory in July.

The Queensland firm joins Trout River Australia’s New South Wales-based distributor of two years, Borcat, as well as the company’s New Zealand licensee, Reid & Mowat.

Along with the new products and partnerships, the company has appointed a new General Manager. Rodney Wells has an extensive background in the Australian transport sector, and has linked with Trout River Australia in some capacity over the course of his career.

Trout River Australia’s Managing Directors John Surwillo and Neil Lehman contacted Mr. Wells about the opportunity with the company, which has emerged as the manufacturer continues to expand within the Australian marketplace.

Mr. Wells’ appointment signifies a major shift in the business structure of Trout River Australia, one that is taking the manufacturer to the next level.

Since starting with the company nearly six months ago, he has been using his business management and engineering expertise to foster Trout River Australia’s expansion. “We’re looking at expanding our Hallam site as we want to keep our design and manufacturing close so we can retain control over them,” he says.

Mr. Wells asserts that the company is looking to do as much of the research and design work as it can at Hallam, which will be necessary in the coming months. “We’re diversifying our range. We’ve got five new design concepts we’re putting out to the market in the next 18 months,” he says.

One of the new concepts is the Trout River Shuttle Floor Trailer – a full-width floor trailer with moving headboard designed for hauling a wide range of bulk products including waste, agricultural products and landscaping material. The new design comes from Trout River Industries – the company’s Canadian counterpart – and Mr. Wells says it will be introduced to the Australian market in early 2017.

The company is actively searching for new staff to accommodate the many changes taking place, and looking at partnering with distributors in other states and territories. Trout River Australia is certainly setting the bar high, particularly, as Mr. Wells says, the company is aiming to triple its production capabilities.

Given the positive state of the market for Trout River, he’s confident of the company’s further growth in the near future. “We were the ones that brought live bottom trailers to Australia – Trout River has built a brand from nothing,” he says. “People are now realising the benefits the technology can bring to their company.”

Mr. Wells says Trout River Australia’s brand awareness in the Australian road sector has grown, and they have gone from working with smaller customers to larger clients in the marketplace. This expansion comes down to the quality products and service Trout River Australia prides itself on.

Grant Daniels from Brisbane-based Racewish Transport Services has experienced this market-leading service first hand. “We’ve seen live bottom trailers in the market before and had been looking at investing in some,” he says.

Mr. Daniels says he had heard of the Trout River Australia brand in the market and, after weighing up options, decided on three rigid units for the business. “We went with Trout River because Rodney worked with us in relation to modifications and improvements to the units,” he says.

Some months later and Racewish Transport Services is reaping the technological benefits of the Trout River Australia live bottom trailers. Mr. Daniels says the fact that the trailers don’t tip has been a real safety benefit for their drivers, as has the tare weight of the units.

With strong brand recognition in the market, Mr. Wells is optimistic as to what the future holds for Trout River Australia, particularly as the reputation of its live bottom trailers continues to grow.

“It’s been a positive market for our company. We’re extremely excited, especially with a full order book heading into next year,” he says. “We’re forever increasing the markets our Trout River trailers are being put into – carting fertilisers, woodchips, cane mud – it’s not just road based products anymore.”

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