Operating in Pakenham, Melbourne, since 2016, YLZ Truck Bodies manufactures steel truck beavertail trailers and truck trays for the construction transport industry.
All products are built, fabricated, painted and assembled in-house, with a finished product delivered to the customer.
During 2022, noticing a gap in the market coupled with demand from customers and their innovative culture, YLZ Truck Bodies began to produce aluminium tipper truck bodies.
“We only really became involved in aluminium tipper truck body manufacturing recently with BlueScope Distribution’s support,” says YLZ Truck Bodies Director, Nathan Whiles.
“John McNamara and team have played an important role in getting this part of our business off the ground.
“Our tipper truck bodies are made with high quality aluminium and supporting components which are all made for the Australian market and to comply with stringent Australian standards.”
Superior aluminium truck bodies
BlueScope Distribution holds and supplies aluminium plate alloy 5083 in various thicknesses to YLZ Truck Bodies. Standard size plates are used for general fabrication, while specialist long plates are used for truck bodies.
The aluminium alloy 5083 contains 4.5 per cent magnesium, adding strength and corrosion resistance. Aluminium is the material of choice for manufacturers due to its high strength to weigh ratio as compared to other materials. It also retains a high value when it comes to recycling the metal at the end of the vehicle’s life.
John McNamara, BlueScope Distribution’s Account Manager explains, “Aluminium delivers the benefits of being lightweight, corrosion resistant and durable. This makes aluminium a material of choice for heavy duty transport manufacturers.”
With BlueScope Distribution’s aluminium plate alloy 5083, there’s an added bonus; there is no need to powder coat or paint, providing additional savings in time and costs. Along with a PE film to protect the surface of the product, YLZ Truck Bodies enjoy significant production time and cost savings, while producing a fuel efficient, lighter and superior truck body.
This is immensely beneficial for YLZ Truck Bodies’ construction customers. Construction site transport is very demanding.
“Our tipper bodies are more manoeuvrable on construction sites than semitrailers and ideal for different types of terrain” states Jamie Hallihan, Designer of YLZ Truck Bodies.
Innovative two-piece aluminium extrusions
BlueScope Distribution also supplies YLZ Truck Bodies a selection of standard and customer specific aluminium extrusions. The latest product is a two-piece aluminium extrusion which clips together for the bottom coaming section. This was designed to meet customer requirements while fitting within the extrusion press parameters of the chosen Australian extruder.
John says: “We worked through several drafts of customer designed extrusions with the extruder to come up with finished products. The unique extrusions have been designed and developed specifically for YLZ Truck Bodies using Grade 6005A – a structural alloy that not only looks amazing, is light weight and corrosion resistant so you don’t have to paint it. It delivers a nice finish.”
To make the project viable, the aluminium dies were produced in a cost-effective manner and within a reasonable time frame. Samples from the dies have recently been approved, with the first production run completed recently.
A powerful partnership
“The exploration into aluminium between BlueScope Distribution and YLZ Truck Bodies began just a year ago, and the impact on the business has been profound,” Nathan says. “John and the BlueScope Distribution team have been involved from start to finish. They have always been available to help with sourcing the aluminium extrusions best suited to our applications. They’ve helped us with all the groundwork.”
Jamie adds: “The innovative two-piece aluminium extrusion design, which meets customer and industry requirements, has also given YLZ Truck Bodies a unique look. And the design significantly reduces production and labour time.”
“Our company’s role is not just that of a supplier, but that of a partner which is there to help our customers in every way we can,” explains John. “We do that in many ways as in the work with Nathan and team where we have provided technical knowledge, supply solutions that enable YLZ Truck Bodies to grow without investing extensive capital in stock, plus value adds such as bespoke aluminium extrusions and high-quality aluminium products.”
Investing in local manufacturing
YLZ Truck Bodies are on a growth trajectory. In the last two years, the business has expanded further, with plans to embark on bigger and better industry projects. Quality workmanship and innovation are important to the company.
Nathan says being the first to market and supply quality products on time are the biggest thing.
BlueScope Distribution is invested in assisting local manufacturers like YLZ Truck Bodies to grow and is dedicated to ensuring they support their customers on that journey.
“YLZ Truck Bodies is a great customer which is continually growing,” John says. “They’re great for the construction industry and we’re very proud and pleased to support them.”
In November 2021, BlueScope Distribution committed to an investment of $1.01 million to install a custom-made routing machine at its Clayton South warehouse in Melbourne which enables it to process aluminium plate and sheet products into custom sizes and componentry for its customers. As one of the largest of its kind in Victoria, this new machine has the ability to profile complex custom shapes with precision, ease and accuracy, from large format aluminium plate and sheet up to 12.5m long, 3.2m wide and 150mm thick.
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