Fraser Engineering is starting work on a new multimillion-dollar fire-truck contract for South Australia, the day after completing another major deal with the state's rural service.
The Lower Hutt firm won a contract last year to supply 23 fire engines to the South Australian Country Fire Service, each of which cost about $400,000, with the last truck handed over yesterday.
Now staff are about to start on the next 20 trucks, with the chassis that will form the base of the next contract arriving in Wellington this week.
The South Australian service infrastructure manager, Arthur Tindall, said the organisation, staffed by volunteer firefighters in mainly rural areas, ran a fleet of about 600 fire trucks, replacing more than 20 a year through a tendering process with qualifying manufacturers.
Despite transport and costs related to travel, "Frasers came out on top value-for-money-wise, and still provided us with savings", Tindall said. "The quality of the product is exceptional, some of the best I have seen."
Though the organisation had come under fire for choosing a New Zealand firm over one near Adelaide, Fraser won another contract the following year, which would be completed in coming months.
Fraser's managing director, Martin Stewart, said the company had about 115 fire engines on order, about three years' work, with about 40 per cent of the demand coming from across the Tasman.
As well as the rural trucks for Australia, the firm made trucks for urban settings, as well as for airports to respond to possible plane crashes.
The company says its point of difference is that it engineers nearly all components in-house, whereas rivals buy parts to order.
This allows the company to win business supplying parts for other manufacturers across the Tasman and around the world.
"You may not be able to export finished trucks around the world, but you can certainly export finished parts around the world," Fraser said.
"We would love to send finished trucks all around the world for sure, but the Australian market is a good one for us to work in because they're so close."
- © Fairfax NZ News