A Remarkable Story of Success and Growth

a remarkable story of success and growth

Trade Tools is a privately owned Queensland business with a remarkable story of success and growth that reaches back to 1987 when a small two-person tool store was established by Greg Ford on Brisbane’s Bayside.

“We’ve had a great run with superb reliability from the Hinos and the drivers love how comfortable and smooth they are to drive,” says Jeremy Stewart, CEO and Managing Director, who has been with TradeTools for around 24 years.. “They just work, which is what you want in a business like ours that depends on just-in-time deliveries to stores. We rarely have an issue with them.”

Jeremy has played an instrumental role in the success of the company over the past two decades, and he attributes this growth to sound core business principles and a reliance on a fleet of Hino trucks which distribute the tools and machinery from home base at Stapylton to the bulk of the 19 stores ranging from Noosa Heads in the north to Tweed Heads in the south and west to Toowoomba. The company also has stores in Hervey Bay, Bundaberg and Cairns. 

a remarkable story of success and growth

When there is an issue, Jeremy continues, repairs are always done quickly and the truck returned to the road with minimal downtime. 

TradeTools is a very large importer of tools, receiving about 600 20-foot equivalent units (TEU) per year. These are unloaded at the distribution centre at Stapylton, with the goods then reloaded into the trucks for delivery to the stores. 

“We rely on the trucks to deliver to the stores as well as tranship products between stores in order that our customers are supplied with what they need,” says Jeremy. “We may have an item in stock at Tweed Heads that we need to get to Noosa, in which case the truck will pick it up from Tweed and bring it back to the DC, where it will be put on the truck going to Noosa the next day.”

Depending on the run, the trucks visit between two and four stores each day and returns to the DC to unload and reload ready for the next day.

Jeremy says the company has, over the last few years, transitioned away from manual transmissions in the trucks, with an extremely positive outcome. 

“Initially we had some hesitation from some of the drivers because they thought the manuals were more truck-like, but once we got them into the Allison automatic equipped trucks they realised just how much it reduces their fatigue, particularly with the growing congestion around the Brisbane and Gold Coast regions,” say Jeremy. Adding that the bullet-proof nature of the Allison transmissions is another plus in helping reduce downtime.

“We put a lot of emphasis on the maintenance and looking after the vehicles , we believe that if we look after the vehicles, they look after us,” says Jeremy.

a remarkable story of success and growth

As for fleet presentation, Jeremy says this is another high priority, with the trucks vinyl wrapped by Fleet Imaging at Yatala. This along with the striking colour scheme with its quintessentially Queensland gold and maroon theme ensures the trucks are standout mobile billboards wherever they travel. Completing the picture are personalised number plates that enable quick identification of each vehicle. 

The bodies are built by Minibody Engineering at Acacia Ridge and Jeremy says the quality of the build and the high-end presentation of the bodies fits perfectly with the TradeTools ethos. 

“The Minibody Engineering team are good customers of ours so it’s great to be able to support a company that is supporting us.”

“They’ve built the last four bodies for us and they are brilliant – everything on them works exactly how you would expect it to. MiniBody also turns these around really quickly for us which is another bonus,” says Jeremy. 

As a company where safety of its personnel and the general public is the number one priority, TradeTools particularly values the safety features on the latest Hino 500 Series trucks.

a remarkable story of success and growth