2018 marks the 50th anniversary of the founding of Supagas. The company began trading under the name of Australian Forklifts in the south-eastern Melbourne suburb of Moorabbin, when Bill Haddrell and his brothers Ray and Don started selling and hiring forklifts and LPG forklift cylinders.
In 1982, the Haddrells won the contract to distribute bulk LPG for Mobil in conjunction with its forklift cylinder business and its new fleet of LPG tankers. This heralded a highly successful era and formed the foundation for the company’s LPG operation.
Due to continued demand for new products such as oxygen, acetylene and argon, in 1995 the decision was made to build the most modern industrial gas plant in Dandenong, where the company remains to this day.
Today Supagas has grown to become one of the most successful LPG and Industrial gas companies; not just in Melbourne, but now throughout Australia.
Logistics Manager Steven Haddrell, son of co-founder Ray Haddrell, has been in the business for eighteen years. During that time, he has witnessed Supagas grow and expand significantly. Very much a family-orientated business, Steven and his cousin Ben remain the only family members involved. Steven explains that Supagas
“started off fairly small, but now has branches across all six states and employs over 600 people nationwide.”
Steven attributes the huge growth and success of the company largely to the outstanding service the company provides to its customers, explaining that “we maintain the best customer service and will continue to into the future.”
Today Supagas supplies a huge range of gases to a diverse range of market segments including gases for industrial, residential, hospitality, specialty, medical and welding, plus Supagas’s own range of welding, safety, abrasives and gas gear called FabGear. LPG gas in particular represents a large part of the company’s sales; “LPG has always been a big part of our business and today it still makes up half of our sales,” informed Steven.
Another important product in Supagas’s expansive portfolio is dry-ice. “We provide much of our dry ice to weight-loss company Lite n’ Easy,” Steven said. “The dry ice is especially vital during the hot summer months to keep the food in perfect condition,”Steven added.
Excluding NSW and QLD, Supagas’s fleet now consists of a total of 220 vehicles , comprising 65 trucks, 65 utes and an array of trailers and other vehicles. Approximately 90-95% of their truck fleet is Isuzu and Steven is highly impressed with how the Isuzu trucks have been performing. ”They’re a good product; we have very few problems with them and they’re so reliable. For what you spend they’re a great product,” Steven went on to say.
Supagas purchases two specific models of Isuzu: the NQR 450 and FRR 600. With any new truck, Steven and his other drivers “like to get behind the wheel and drive them round the block to get a feel for them before we put them to work.”
All the Isuzu trucks are fitted with either the full-automatic transmission or Isuzu’s renowned AMT transmission, which provides for a much smoother, relaxing and less stressful drive.
Steven heaps praise on the service he receives at Patterson Cheney; “We are very happy dealing with Paterson Cheney, they do a fantastic job and I can’t complain.” In addition to Isuzu trucks, the company has also purchased a number of Isuzu D-MAXs through Paterson Cheney Isuzu Ute; “they’re a really good product, and everybody here is happy with them,” Steven concluded.
So next time you’re enjoying a cold draught beer, having a bbq or filling those party balloons with helium, chances are it’s thanks to Supagas.
Contact: Steven Haddrell: T: (03) 9706 6262 E: firstname.lastname@example.org