Maroubra Building Supplies on reaching critical mass

A new Volvo FM 10x4 fitted with a Palfinger truck mounted crane is helping extend the innovative vision at MBS Sand and Cement.

Maroubra Building Supplies (MBS) has been supplying Sydney construction and building industries since 1983 when builder Sam Papadakis bought into the suburban hardware store where he had been a customer.

Families and tradies alike trusted and frequented the store, which became an Eastern Suburbs institution that valued old-fashioned service and value for money. To meet the growing demand for bulk goods, the company finally moved from a small storefront to a much larger facility in Matraville.

Louie Papadakis, the second-generation Managing Director, began working at the shop on weekends and during school holidays, where he sold nails by weight, bagged sand by hand, and gained the knowledge that would eventually inspire him to take over the administration of the company established by his father. Louie’s vision has always been to not only expand, but also to become an industry leader, offering a broader range of materials and an uncompromising level of customer service.

Maroubra Building Supplies was renamed MBS Sand and Cement in 2008. The rebranding was done to represent the expanded range of materials available as well as the ability to supply and deliver Sydney-wide with a modern fleet of vehicles capable of providing unique on-site logistics and transport solutions.

The addition of a Volvo FM 10×4 fitted with a Palfinger truck-mounted crane is a recent extension of Louie’s vision for innovation. This is the first Volvo to join the MBS fleet, and the 31-metre Palfinger crane rightfully makes it the flagship vehicle and differentiates the company from others in the industry.

“We felt it was time to upgrade our crane and take our service and reputation to the next level,” says Louie. “We are really proud of the fact that it is the largest crane truck in the Sydney building and landscape supply sector.”

Characterised as ‘Zeus’, the mythical Mount Olympus King of the Gods, the new Volvo is liveried black and gold, in contrast to the other MBS vehicles which are predominantly green. The separate branding of this latest crane truck is in line with the company’s plan to operate it as a stand-alone business.

‘Zeus’ combines the flexibility of a table top truck capable of transporting items up to six metres in length with the innovation of the crane’s maximum reach of 31 metres (101 feet). The crane’s combination of fly jib and cable winch allows it to reach the difficult places that are often encountered at construction sites.

The truck is also capable of handling 20 foot containers. The Volvo FM13 is a 10×4 configuration with a 5,600mm wheelbase and is powered by the 500 horsepower version of Volvo’s 13-litre engine driving through a 12-speed I-Shift automated transmission. The tag axle is a non-lift type and is designed to contribute to the carriage of the Palfinger Tec 7 crane which weighs 4,670 tonnes itself, plus the additional weight of the hydraulic oil tank and its contents.