Mod­els with Dan Mur­phy

Drake is no doubt the Rolls-Royce of trail­ers in Aus­tralia and it con­tin­ues to ex­cel in ex­cel­lence in the smaller world of model trucks. Daniel Mur­phy in­ter­views Drake Bruce Hay.

Bling'd Up Trucks - - News -

Since, 1960 Drake Trail­ers has built trail­ers that de­liver on their prom­ise of qual­ity, re­li­a­bil­ity and dura­bil­ity. They are well known for be­ing the Rolls Royce when it comes to heavy haulage trail­ers. In re­cent years Drake has in­vested a lot of time into die-cast mod­els to pro­mote dif­fer­ent prod­ucts and for the en­joy­ment of thou­sands of model col­lec­tors. There is no doubt that Drake’s mod­els are made to the same renowned qual­ity as that of the real trail­ers. This makes the mod­els stand well above most oth­ers in qual­ity. In Bruce Hay’s own words: “The die-cast Drake trailer is the only trailer you should buy out of China.” Bling’d Up Trucks was at the Mel­bourne In­ter­na­tional Truck, Trailer and Equip­met Show (ITTES) for the of­fi­cial re­lease of the Mem­brey’s Trans­port & Crane Hire 1:50th scale model Ken­worth T909 of the truck 4-ROWAN. The truck was made in mem­ory of Craig’s son Rowan who suf­fered de­pres­sion and took his own life a few years ago. Both the orig­i­nal truck and its minia­ture were present. It was an emo­tional mo­ment as Craig re­called his son’s dif­fi­cuties and the last con­ver­sa­tion they shared. How­ever the mo­ment was also an op­por­tu­nity to spread the word about the dan­ger of de­pres­sion and raise money for Be­yond­blue, the char­ity de­voted to mak­ing peo­ple aware of de­pres­sion. Roughly 200 peo­ple watched Craig speak and I doubt there was a dry eye in the room. Prior to the re­lease we had an op­por­tu­nity to talk to Bruce about the Drake Col­lectibles prod­ucts, in­clud­ing 4-ROWAN, which are due for re­lease this year. Model lovers are in for a treat with a wor­thy col­lec­tion of equip­ment avail­able.

Q. What gave you the idea to start mak­ing your mod­els?

A lot of cus­tomers col­lected model trucks and kept telling us that no Aus­tralian mod­els had been made. We did a PR train­ing ex­er­cise with Drake Trail­ers and this in turn spawned the idea of a model Drake Trailer set be­ing sold.

Then we got the idea of hav­ing an Aus­tralian truck com­bi­na­tion with the trailer set. So we struck a deal with Ken­worth to make the T908 model.

Q. What is next for Drake Col­lectibles?

We have signed a li­cense agree­ment with Ken­worth to tool the en­tire cur­rent model range. We have also de­cided to make other types of trail­ers that weren’t a com­peti­tor to Drake and have a di­verse range

of trail­ers. Be­ing the only com­pany in the world to make die cast mod­els of its prod­ucts we ac­tu­ally have enough trail­ers in our own range to make die cast mod­els of just Drake Trail­ers, but there was no rea­son to make only Heavy Haulage mod­els when col­lec­tors want a va­ri­ety.

We have also re­cently signed an agree­ment with Max­iTrans to ex­pand the trailer range into gen­eral freight. With Maxi-Trans we can make dif­fer­ent com­bi­na­tions of tip­pers, flat-tops, skels and vans. Mak­ing more trail­ers means mak­ing more trucks and mak­ing more trucks means the price can go down for the buy­ers.

With now over $750 mil­lion in tool­ing for fu­ture model trucks, trail­ers, com­bi­na­tions all with brand new ideas, liv­er­ies, ready to go into pro­duc­tion the next two years will be huge.

Q. Will a parts di­vi­sion be set up? Along with real work­ing trucks like the NQ Heavy Haulage truck from the orig­i­nal run?

We started with a model which is a generic model sim­ply be­cause it is cheaper for the cus­tomers to buy rather than mak­ing each model dif­fer­ently which would make the cost of the mod­els up around the $900 mark due to us hav­ing to make dif­fer­ent parts for the truck and stop­ping the pro­duc­tion line to make 150 dif­fer­ent trucks which bumps the pro­duc­tion cost up. We have looked at the new mod­els we are tool­ing and we are look­ing at mak­ing in­ter­change­able parts be­tween the fu­ture model trucks we are cur­rently mak­ing. We also have re­straints on how we can and can’t do our mod­els due to PAC­CAR hav­ing to ap­prove the mod­els be­fore the model can go into pro­duc­tion. With the K200 it was used as a mar­ket­ing tool for Ken­worth as a ba­sic range truck which made us not have much of a say in how we could make it un­like the T908 which we had a fair le­niency on tool­ing with.

Q. Will Drake be mak­ing kits and go­ing into dif­fer­ent scales?

You can ex­pect a 1/24th scale model kit of the Ken­worth K200, Ken­worth T908 and a Drake 4x8 Swing Wing low-loader with 2x8 dolly all in a drake branded box. We also want to try to go into the 1/87th scale model mar­ket to ex­pand our model range for a younger au­di­ence, which is af­ford­able for any­one.

Q.What mod­els can we see this year or early next year?

We will be re­leas­ing 2500 K200’s with a dragline bucket trailer with liv­er­ies and some ba­sic colours later on in 2014. Two C509’s will be re­leased one 509 with a 5x8 with hy­draulic goose­neck ex­cit­ing new liv­er­ies and the other will be a day cab road train. Af­ter we fin­ish the mod­els that we are cur­rently mak­ing for Ken­worth we will be go­ing back in time to the older mod­els of Ken­worth along with old Drake Trail­ers. We have got­ten ap­proval to make a body tilt tray model which we are look­ing at us­ing a Ken­worth 409 with. We have been try­ing to get an agree­ment with Mack to make some of their Su­per Lin­ers and Tri­dents which may in­clude all six­teen 1988 Mack Bi­cen­ten­ni­als which would be re­leased three at a time as prime movers. The heavy haulage ones maybe re­leased with trail­ers. We have even been talk­ing with Western Star about mak­ing some mod­els and got re­ally close to clos­ing a deal with them. They gave us a 4900 which we mea­sured up and got di­men­sions from along with draw­ings of the whole Con­stel­la­tion range. Also in 2014 we will be re­leas­ing some more cranes from dif­fer­ent liv­er­ies all with good rea­son for them. You can also ex­pect two new McAleese trucks this year along with two new Mem­brey mod­els and so many more new liv­er­ies that have never been seen be­fore of long term cus­tomers of ours and re­cent cus­tomers.

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