In 1975 is where it all began for FTE in two rented factories on Greens Road, Dandenong, Victoria. Our first FTE body and first customer – Castlemaine Bacon received delivery of their 14ft cash sales van in 1976.
During the mid Seventies, word was travelling fast as two new client’s Associated Dairies and Cassata Everest accepted delivery of units with dual temperature compartments and multi door access.
Our inaugural Truck Show in 1978 at Sandown Park Racecourse was the perfect platform for us to display our first full size meat hanging trailer.
In 1979 we integrated another feature of Thermal Efficiency into our product resulting in two new clients – Peters & PAULS’ Ice cream.
The Eighties was the launch of bigger and better facilities in Lanyon Street, Dandenong. Still early days, as our entire staff only totaled four – from left: – Paul Pavlou – Draftsman, Grant Smyth & Gunter Janke – Co-Directors/Founders, Ken Newell – Accounts.
Increasing demand from a large number of new clients:
1981 – Cleland’s Cold Stores – first full size twenty pallet unit.; 1982 – Frigmobile – delivery of their first FTE trailer.; 1983 – Australian United Foods – FTE vehicles located in Tasmania and the eastern states of Australia.; 1984 – Ideal Dairy (Associated Dairies) – a line of FTE delivery van bodies all lined up after a long day’s work.
In 1985, the business took the big step from rented to owning our own premises at 9 Healey Road Dandenong which included a Moulding Shop, Fitting Shop and Administration Office.
One of biggest clients, Streets Ice Cream took delivery of 10 twenty pallet trailers and a large number of local shop van bodies.
In 1987, production was on the increase and so too was the repair demand therefore the next expansion project was a 1600 sq.mt repair facility right next door, FTE Services was formed.
The bicentennial truck show, in 1988 was held at Darling Harbour with two FTE trailers displaying some very Australiana livery. A step forward into the diversification of equipment options for line haul operators was the introduction of the 23 Mt. 16/14 pallet ‘B’ Double Combinations.
The early days of a long running association with one of the best known fast food outlets – McDonalds – number one vehicle, continued which today is still going strong with various ownership changes of that entity.
FTE innovation and investment continued to fuel our growth in the early nineties as major line haul operators stepped up to an additional two pallets in the new 45 ft. trailers. So to in a prime mover, the bullet proof ‘S’ Line was our choice and it is still fulfilling its duties today, for yard movements.
B Doubles were moving into the 25m maximum length, the first of the FTE 12 pallet roll back Lead Trailer was commissioned to match up with a standard 22 pallet Rear Trailer.
In 1994, Geraldton Fish Market in W.A. took delivery of this their first full length trailer and after 19 years in service it was brought back to FTE for a spruce up and then went back on the road in 2014 for the next 20 years!
We were asked to create more cubic space for the larger lighter loads so our only option was to design the refrigerated ‘Value Cooler’under the belly of the trailer. FTE launched in 96, the three door ‘Value Cooler’ under belly box and full depth skirts a first for a ‘B’ Double combination.
Robert Campbell of Charter Freight Lines, took delivery of his 49’ Pallet Insulated Front/Rear Trailer (a first for Australia) following NSW government approval in 1998.
Many major FTE milestones for our clients were achieved including:
Scott’s Refrigerated Freightways – 100th FTE trailer.; Mitch McAlpine – 50th FTE trailer, a 12 pallet lead B-Double.; Wickham Freight Lines – 50th FTE.; Don Watson Transport -100th FTE
The 2009 Brisbane Truck Show was the opportunity to showcase to the market our multi purpose trailer built for Terry Meredith from Mildura. His unit had the capabilities to carry hanging meat or produce or both at once. Special features of Carrier multi temp refrigeration units and side doors.
Blenner’s Transport – 50th FTE trailer, exceptional commitment in ashort time frame from a owner operator; Nolan’s Interstate Transport purchase their 1st FTE trailer; PFD put their 50th FTE rigid body to work.
Toll West – 50th FTE trailer; Gilbert’s and Berle’s – 100th; Scott’s – 200th.
In 2012, the opening of our Factory D provided new painting facilities, a suspension assembly area and much needed storage capabilities. A real step in achieving maximum output from all parts of FTE manufacturing
In 2013: Aldi, Wickham’s and Blenner’s – 100th trailer; Herne’s Freight Service – 50th trailer; FTE’s first forte into the world of performance based standards, (PBS) with the manufacture of a 26 pallet trailer for Finemore’s; Drive through B-Double, built for Aldi supermarkets.
In 2014: Scott’s Refrigerated Freightways celebrate their 200th FTE Trailer; PBS vehicle for Berle Transport 36 pallet b-double.; Engineering improvements , with the introduction of infusion moulded rear doors,; Zero recess double loader pockets to assist increasing part making in wall manufacture
150th Aldi Unit, our commitment to an outstanding company.; 50th trailer for Nolan’s.; 28 Pallet Quad axle PBS trailers for ERH. Just an amazing piece of equipment provided to meet a customer brief. Multi[ple units now in service; New design for the air and electrical mounting.; New modular skid plate introduced. Galvanised design with lead in plate separate from the king pin. Centrally mounted air fittings
Celebration of the 40th year of Manufacturing with staff function on site at FTE, refurbishment by FTE Services of a 1969 reinforced plastics rigid body, significant to FTE for characteristics of construction to what we have today, also displayed also at the 2015 Brisbane Truck show