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2016: The year in review

2016 was seen as the year of opportunity at Drake Trailers. It was about implementing a strategic plan to innovate, develop and invest in research and development, and explore different markets including agriculture, civil construction, road contracting and general freight. And throughout the year, we also endeavoured to keep developing our unique solutions across all transport segments.


Drake Collectibles kicked off the year at the Spielwarenmesse International Toy Fair in Nürnberg and shared a booth with WSI, our new European Distributor. Although the temperature gauge displayed below 0 degrees at times, Bruce was warmed by the success of the show. In terms of detail, design and quality, Drake Collectibles are head and shoulders above the rest, which was proven back home with the Doolan’s C509 selling out before it even landed in Australia. Both Drake and O’Phee Trailers started the year strong in sales and deliveries with a number of high profile customers taking delivery of new trailers.


February saw a number of interesting deliveries. Drake Trailers delivered the first of four ultra-light 4X8 self-steering Jinker trailers for Toll Logistics and O’Phee delivered an ultra-heavy duty B Double Combination developed with a sliding sub frame, for a mine site application.

Drake Collectibles released the much anticipated Steerable Trailer in the Doolans, McAleese and white colour and livery. This is our largest 1:50 scale trailer model to date and has the same award winning functionality and features you have come to expect from a Drake Collectible.


Drake Trailers’s new breed of forklift and access equipment trailers start rolling out the door, featuring a 2.3 degree load angle and carrying capacity of 15 tonne making it the safest, easiest-to-load forklift and access equipment trailer on the market.

Agriculture is prosperous and crops are flourishing which resulted in a huge month of deliveries for our 4.5m 4X4 Ag Wideners. O’Phee sales remain strong and we continue to pioneer the PBS market (Performance Based Standards Market) with strong sales of A Double and speciality Combinations.

Drake Collectibles attended the Australian Toy Fair in Melbourne.  Models of great interest on display were the prototypes of the Freighter Flat top B Doubles and Road Trains. These will hit the shelves in 2017.


Legendary trailer manufacturers, O’Phee Trailers moves onsite with Drake Trailers and Drake Collectibles to the Drake Group’s main manufacturing facility at Wacol, Brisbane. The move coincided with the first ever group trade show at Farm Fest in Toowoomba. On show were custom built Drake Trailers and O’Phee Trailers for the farming and AG sectors. This show was a huge success.

Drake Collectibles moved within the Drake Group property to a larger location and held a grand opening on the 14th of May which was a huge success. Customers were impressed by the models on display and were able to collect a bargain at the scratch and dent sale. Drake Collectibles ended the financial year on a high announcing record sales.

Demand soared for the new model Drake Trailer 4X4 Full Widener Rear Steer. Customers are impressed with its enhanced manoeuvrability, ability and capacity due to its unique radio remote controlled rear steer in forward and reverse.

The winter months also saw us hit the road, exploring new markets and developing products for the growing road contracting and civil construction sectors.


A great start to the financial year, strong sales including a marquee client in Hong Kong taking delivery of a Drake Trailers Swingwing Trailer. July saw strong interest in our newer models including the Low Boy and Full Widener Rear Steers.


Our new model 4X4 Tilt Slide trailer continues to set record sales. Our unique design is packed with features that include hydraulic suspension and steer axles in all deck positions.  O’Phee continues its dominance in the PBS market as well as increased sales in the general markets. The grouping of manufacturing at Wacol allows an immediate increase in capacity for both Drake and O’Phee.

The Drake Collectibles website now offers customers the ability to  purchase gift vouchers online, pre-order new models and our international customers can now use Google translate to view the site and access the details of our worldwide distributors.


September was all about design and innovation. John Drake and Mick O’Phee attended the 66th Hanover Messe industrial fair in order to get a first-hand look at the latest industry innovations, global commercial transport trends and how the Australian market can learn and benefit from these.

Months of design culminated in delivery of a houseboat trailer to move large luxury houseboats from water and across land for maintenance and repairs. The houseboat trailer was an industry first and has peaked strong interest in the marine industry. This trailer is an excellent example of Drake Trailers ability to progress from concept through to design and construction, collaborating closely with the Client.


The new Tilt Tag trailer was introduced to the Drake Trailers range. The Tilt Tag is proving a popular choice for the tow truck industry due to its sliding axle group that provides a gentle, safe load angle of 6.5 degrees. Drake Trailers also saw an increase in sales in our more traditional markets of mining and heavy haulage, namely 50 tonne capacity trailers.

The Bill Braitling Kenworth C509 Tribute diecast replica was featured on the cover of The Diecast Magazine in anticipation of its release. This model is the first of the new Signature Series, celebrating the life and service of an Australian Digger, William “Bill” Braitling.


Moorlaben Coal Mine took delivery of a 160T Mine Site Transporter. This will be used to move oversize mining and earthmoving equipment around Moorlaben’s 110 square kilometre mine site.  Another exciting project was the extensive modifications we made in-house to the CAT777D, transforming traditional haul truck to a tow truck capable of towing the Mine Site Transporter.

The first ever quad axle Ultra-Light BoXLoader was released. This unique side loader produces unrivalled pay load capacity and manoeuvrability.

Bruce Hay of Drake Collectibles visited the main diecast factory. Bruce was there to inspect quality control processes for the next shipment of steerables and check on the progress of the MaxiTrans Project, which we’re excited to announce is on track to ship in March 2017.


The “Bill Braitling” Kenworth C509 Tribute diecast replica sold out within 24 hours and is the most successful diecast model produced by Drake Collectibles. To raise funds for Legacy, a charity providing services to families that have lost a loved one during or after service in the Australian Defence Force, Drake Collectibles auctioned one of these limited edition replicas, which reached a record sale price of $3,660.

In summary, the Drake Group has had a great year in a challenging market. We were able to leverage our experience in the transport, engineering and heavy haulage industry to develop and manufacture solutions for a growing customer base.

We look forward to an exciting 2017 which will see:

  • The Drake Group launch new branding
  • Drake Collectibles release several new models
  • Drake Trailers produce more innovative designs
  • The unveiling of an ultralight range of O’Phee Trailers, in time for the Brisbane Truck Show 2017

For more information about any of the Drake Group companies and the industry-leading transport solutions we provide, contact us today.

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