When Mark Stables was young, he loved nothing more than seeing his family’s Holmwood trucks on the road. Decades later, he’s realised the enjoyment still exists.
“I get a real kick from hearing stories about kids noticing a Homewood product and then saying, ‘daddy built that’,” says Mark who is the Managing Director for Holmwood Highgate’s Victoria branch. “There is a real element of pride that runs so deep, that one of our workers’ kids can notice a tanker that daddy worked on. It’s exactly what I used to do.”
After more than 70 years in the industry, it isn’t hard to see where the Holmwood Highgate pride comes from. From its humble beginnings, the Queensland-originate company has seen a number of strategic acquisitions, allowing it to grow into one of Australia’s leading road tanker manufacturers with a much-respected name. They specialise in the manufacture of bulk liquid tankers including aluminium petroleum and chemical tankers; mild steel bitumen tankers; stainless steel chemical and food-grade tankers.
The last 10 years has seen steady growth, with the company expanding into global markets, in part due to the recent inclusion of aviation grade refuelers and defence deployable modules to their arsenal.
They’ve also begun importing high quality dry bulk and LPG tankers for local use, allowing them to become a one-stop-shop by providing design, production and delivery as well as ongoing product and customer support to local owners.
The history of Holmwood begins in Brisbane in 1950 when AMA (Adams, Mellish, Anderson) was formed and tasked to refurbish an ex-war tanker constructed of aluminium. Welding of light alloys was unheard of locally at the time, so AMA imported the first aluminium welding equipment and technology into Australia.
“They were the first to put an aluminium road tanker on the road in Australia which was a lot lighter weight than steel,” Mark says. “This was important because these new aluminium alloys were strong enough to suffer the punishment of driving around Australia without developing cracks or leaks.”
In the 1960s, off the back of AMA, Syd Mellish formed Holmwood Highgate and in 1985 merged with the Stables family, opening a Victorian branch in Derrimut.
Holmwood Highgate tankers are built to a client’s requirements, ranging from on-site refuellers to latest Performance-Based Standards (PBS) approved combinations.
Its production and workshop facilities at Loganholme, south of Brisbane, are now made up of qualified aluminium welders, boiler makers, fitter welders, spray painters, mechanics and auto electricians.
Today, the entire group of companies remains 100% Australian and family owned by the Mellish family in Queensland and the Stables in Victoria. They currently employee more than 200 people.
As for the future of Holmwood Highgate, it is looking bright with their focus on quality products and service unwavering. In fact, many of their tankers are surpassing three decades of operation, a feat even more impressive considering the harsh Australian conditions. For management, the proof is in the order book, demonstrating to them that buyer confidence in their premium bulk liquid transport solutions is solid.
Company name Holmwood comes from the name of a park in England where founder Sid Mellish had once enjoyed spending time with his wife.
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