Gi­ant shed opens doors

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - TONY RAGGATT tony. raggatt@ news. com. au

A BIG truck and trailer re­pairer needs a big shed, and they don’t come much big­ger in Townsville than Re­car’s re­fur­bished premises at the Bohle.

Re­car’s 6500sq m shed on a 3.2ha prop­erty at 646 Ing­ham Rd, ac­quired last year for $ 3.5 mil­lion, was of­fi­cially opened last week by Townsville coun­cil­lor and trans­port in­dus­try iden­tity Pat Ernst.

While the re­fur­bish­ment is largely com­plete, more works are planned in a $ 1 mil­lion re­make of the prop­erty, where around half of the area is avail­able for lease.

The premises pre­vi­ously were a fac­tory for steel re­in­forc­ing and fenc­ing man­u­fac­turer ARC.

Re­car’s own­ers, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Bob Jones and his son, gen­eral man­ager Cameron Jones, were in the city to see progress on the work­shop and at­tend the Townsville V8 su­per­cars event.

Re­car is Aus­tralia’s largest pri­vately owned net­work of ve­hi­cle re­pair cen­tres, ac­quired by Mel­bourne- based panel beater and one- time su­per­car driver Bob Jones in 2005.

The Jones fam­ily has also de­vel­oped the for­mer Re­car emer­gency re­sponse ser­vice into a sep­a­rate com­pany called ISS First Re­sponse, pro­vid­ing emer­gency re­sponse ser­vices and re­sponse plans to the heavy ve­hi­cle and trans­port in­dus­try around Aus­tralia.

Cameron Jones, an ac­coun­tant, said the com­pany had un­der­taken much of the work to re­vamp the Townsville premises them­selves, re­mov­ing di­vid­ing walls to open up the shed and cut­ting and re­lo­cat­ing some of the struc­tures to erect a truck wash­bay.

A large spray paint­ing booth has been re­lo­cated from Re­car’s for­mer Townsville premises and three over­head cranes have also been in­stalled.

A spe­cially de­signed truck crush pit, used to straighten dam­aged and twisted chas­sis, has been in­stalled deep into the ware­house floor and is be­lieved to be the big­gest of its kind in North Queens­land.

Bob Jones, who formed pan­el­beat­ing busi­ness CarTrek in the 1970s just two weeks out of com­plet­ing his ap­pren­tice­ship, said they had spent a lot of time ac­quir­ing the skills to run both busi­nesses.

They were now an in­dus­try leader with their own TAFEap­proved heavy ve­hi­cle trades course. He said they had in­vested about $ 15 mil­lion over the past five years, mostly in ac­quir­ing prop­erty for the busi­ness.

The Townsville ac­qui­si­tion com­pleted plans to own all of their Aus­tralian work­shops and would be the best heavy ve­hi­cle re­pair cen­tre in Aus­tralia, serv­ing most of re­gional Queens­land.

“Our phi­los­o­phy has been to buy our own prop­erty so we can con­trol our des­tiny,” Mr Jones said.

With the Townsville premises he said they were rais­ing the bar fur­ther, lift­ing their ef­fi­ciency and lev­els of equip­ment.

Na­tion­ally, across both busi­nesses, they em­ploy about 300 peo­ple.

ROOM TO MOVE: Re­car man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Bob Jones and gen­eral man­ager Cameron Jones in their new work­shop at 646 Ing­ham Road, Bohle.

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