A tuff market

Horsham Hydraulics has been gained renown as an expert in hydraulics and engineering since 1994. In order to strengthen its product range, the company started using Plaztuff polymer sheets two years ago. Since then, Horsham’s intentions have focused on making Plaztuff readily available to the Australian Trailer market.

Horsham Hydraulics prides itself on not only the reliability of its hydraulic equipment, but also understanding that each client will have a unique set of requirements with each product. And according to its man at the top, this is where Horsham sets the industry standard.

“What makes Horsham Hydraulics unique compared to the competition is our ability to manufacture a wide variety of products,” says Managing Director, Richard Nagorcka. “We have a large workshop which enables us to conduct our own engineering and service. And it’s not restricted to hydraulics, we do a lot of mechanical engineering work, too.”

All Horsham Hydraulics products are sold or manufactured and serviced at the company’s facility in Western Regional Victoria. The family-owned business has been servicing the Wimmera region for 18 years and is well equipped in many areas – from hydraulic and pneumatic system designs and sales, to a fully equipped hydraulic and pneumatic service centre, mobile service trucks, and a large engineering workshop.

“Our service offering depends on the customer’s individual needs. If it’s a hydraulic problem, we try to evaluate the system requirements the machine needs, the forces involved and, of course, the application itself. If it’s an engineering job, we ask what the payload is, and what material will be used with it,” Richard explains in detail while pointing out the company’s expanding fleet.

“Our emphasis right now is on light vehicles. We currently operate six small trucks from Isuzu and Hino, including a mobile welding truck and two mobile hydraulic trucks.

“We’ve designed and built our own trays and equipment to go on the back of each truck so they cater to our line of work. The body is manufactured to suit the equipment – cranes, toolboxes etc.”

Despite thriving in its niche market, Horsham Hydraulics soon recognised a need to expand and has since begun to address that issue. “Originally we started off as a farming company and we decided to change to the business of hydraulics which has been successful to date,” he says. “But, we understood that the material we were using wasn’t going to be at the top of its range forever. That’s when we started exploring other companies who could help us in that area, and that’s where Plaztuff came in.”

Plaztuff Development and Supply, based in Zealand, has developed a range of products using a polymer sheet plastic, plastic fabrication techniques and extrusion welding technology over the past 20 years. The sustainability of the Plaztuff sheet against rust and corrosion, and the ability to create liners, tanks and waste disposal units is what appealed most to Richard.
“We started using Plaztuff products two years ago when we found that some mining companies had problems with the aluminium on the trailers they were using,” Richard says. “The main problems were occurring when they would load rocks onto their tippers. Eventually the rocks would wear the aluminium, punch holes into it and cause severe hang-up, causing on-going maintenance work. We knew in an instant that Plaztuff was the logical answer, wearing three times slower than aluminium and causing product to slide at up to half the angle.”

Today, the Plaztuff material in such high demand that Horsham decided to extend its services by becoming the Australian distributor of the Kiwi brand – a necessary move that Richard has met with optimism.

“We are just starting to get into the market with the Plaztuff material. Our goal is to distribute it around the country, primarily to trailer manufacturing companies – over the next 12 months and beyond,” Richard says – referring to the material’s low friction, hardwearing and lightweight character.

“There’s a wide variety of applications that Plaztuff can be used for – such as tanks for water and chemicals, waste industry products and marine applications,” he says. “Since we are in the infant stages of getting the product out there, we sell it in sheets. But, we also cut the sheets, bend it and then weld it to suit our customer needs. In fact, we believe if there are companies or people who build equipment themselves, there’s no reason why we can’t have them using Plaztuff also.”

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