TMC Trailers picks up sidelifter distribution

ALAN WOOD
Last updated 05:00 30/05/2014
TMC Trailers
JOHN KIRK-ANDERSON/ Fairfax NZ

YOU GOT IT BRO: TMC Trailers Ltd managing director Paul Currie, left, and general manager Richard Currie with a truck trailer set up with a Steelbro sidelifter.

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TMC Trailers has gone into a partnership with Steelbro to continue distribution of Steelbro container sidelifters into the New Zealand market.

The Steelbro NZ sidelifter manufacturing operation, based in Christchurch, was put into receivership late last year, and the receivership continues.

Steelbro's other businesses are still going.

TMC has employed almost a dozen staff from Steelbro as the Steelbro Christchurch plant slowly closes.

Last year about 60 Christchurch employees of Steelbro New Zealand were told their jobs could be affected by the receivership.

Steelbro has been in business in Christchurch since 1878, established by the Steel family. It started as a coach builder, but later specialised in container lifting equipment and still has a manufacturing plant for those lifters in China.

TMC Trailers general manager Richard Currie said his company had taken on 11 staff from the Steelbro Christchurch operation to help with the assembly of lifters from China and fitting to trailer units.

TMC Trailers manufactured about 100 truck trailers a year, and had already received its first order for a sidelifter and truck trailer unit from a client, Currie said.

The Steelbro brand would continue to be used under the partnership.

The company had started manufacturing trailers to Steelbro specifications. TMC will be responsible for the complete assembly of the sidelifter unit and then combine it with its own trailers.

TMC would be the sole distributor for Steelbro sidelifters in New Zealand, dealing with the company's Australian office under the partnership.

Currie said the trailer sidelifter units retailed for "a few hundred [thousand dollars]" and the company expected to sell 10 to 15 in the first year of the operation from a Hornby site.

The sidelifters were another product for a company that had about $12m a year of annual revenues.

TMC with 45 staff had built about 3700 trailers since it was started by his grandfather Ian Currie.

Steelbro sales manager Alex Evans said it would continue to have some operations in Christchurch , plus the China plant, employing about 30 people.

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