To say conditions in mining areas are rugged is an understatement. Roads are generally an unsealed mix of gravel and loose red dirt and there are vast stretches of corrugations, potholes and dusty plumes. And that’s on a good day when there hasn’t been heavy rain and flooding.
“These are rough and remote areas, far from any mobile signals and away from any support, so your equipment has to hold up,” says Paul Almanda, Sales Manager for Darwin-based Tristar Industries who specialise in manufacturing heavy duty transport equipment for industries, including the mining industry, and have been serving the region for more than 40 years.
For those in these remote areas, when you are on to a good thing, you stick with it, which might explain why Hydreco Hydraulics equipment is so popular.
If Paul was to be specific, it’s the Hydreco Powauto range that is the must-have.
“The Powauto is number one for hydraulic equipment, and it’s used by 90 per cent of the trucks up here,” Paul says, adding that he works closely with one particularly company with 200 trucks in their fleet that are all equipped with Hydreco. “It is equipment we’ve used for a long time, and it just lasts in these hard conditions.”
Powauto is Hydreco’s leading brand which is locally designed and developed. The range includes a comprehensive selection of products, covering PTO’s, gear and piston pumps, valves and controls, telescopic cylinders, oil tanks, filters, power units, couplings and tipping accessories.
In 1959, in a nondescript factory in Sydney’s inner west, the first Powauto PTOs (Power Take-Off units) were being manufactured. Today Powauto is owned by Hydreco Group, a multinational company based in Poole in the UK. Hydreco, however, has never lost touch of its roots and is still designing products to suit this country’s harsh weather and terrain.
Another product that is well-liked and well-used, says Paul, is Hydreco’s hydraulic operated water pumps, which are unique in the market.
“Our previous water pump had to be adapted to suit, but Hydreco have come up with something where the hydraulic motor is part of the pump,” Paul says – adding that they’ve been using the Hydreco pumps for about three years. “It has simplified our fabrication and fit-out and made our life a lot easier.”
In fact, water tanks have been Tristar’s biggest seller, putting 80 water tanks on the road last year.
Tristar currently operate four large fabrication sheds, a trailer fit-out shed, state-of-the-art sand blast and paint shed, and a fully equipped machine shop.
Its team include everyone from engineers and electricians to hydraulic experts and welders.
They also support more than 15 apprentices at any given time.
For Paul, who was introduced to Hydreco when he began working at Tristar ten years ago, because of his employer’s location and the remoteness of its clients, dependability and a speedy service is paramount.
“They always seem to have what we need on the shelf. The few times we’ve had an issue or a breakdown, they’ll have parts to us straight away,” he says – explaining a customer in Queensland needed a part recently, and Hydreco, via their branch in NSW, had the part to them the next day.
As for the future, for Tristar it is looking busy, and they have Hydreco to partially thank for that.
“We are booked out,” Paul says. “If you order any trailer or water tank from us today, we have a 20-month lead time.”
Hydreco Hydraulics has wholly owned companies in Australia, as well as, Italy, Germany, the United States, India and Norway.