For more than 55 years, Lowes Industries in Christchurch has built its reputation as a leading DG tanker manufacturer in New Zealand. Focusing on innovative design and an extremely high quality build rather than purely the lowest price build, the company has been quietly growing.
For the past 25 years operation was split across five sites in Woolston, Christchurch. In a project which has taken 10 years of planning to come to fruition, the company has at last moved to a purpose-built facility at 12A Chapmans Road, Hillsborough.
The new facility offers more than 2000m2 of workshop space comprising 18 truck bays, which includes a two-bay DG certified service workshop that allows work on tankers to be undertaken with product still on board. There’s also a double covered wash bay and a two-story admin facility. With a 6500m2 site there is now plenty of room to grow into.
“Lowes Industries are the only DG road tanker builder in the South Island of New Zealand and are also appointed service agents for Palfinger and Hiab truck-mounted cranes and look after Hammar and Patchell sidelifters for their many customers. As a result of continued growth in the business, the premises the company occupied became too small and too inefficient to continue to operate from. Lowes identified this need more than 10 years ago and started investigating options to improve,” explains managing director John Metcalf.
“We initially implemented a lean manufacturing programme that paid huge dividends in improving productivity and throughput, allowing continued growth in the existing properties, but inevitably there came the time when the only way upwards was to look outwards. Carefully assessing each option that came along, it took six years before the right opportunity arose, and followed a huge investment and commitment into the industry.”
Metcalf says that he and the rest of the staff at Lowes are excited to be operating in and welcoming their customers to such a top-class environment.
“It is much more comfortable and we can cope with greater production and service throughput, much more efficiently and with enough yard space to allow drivers to easily enter without the stress they had to endure getting into the old yard.
“Come and pay us a visit, we will be happy to show you around,” says Metcalf.