Rite-Hite is a world leader in the manufacture, sale, and service of loading dock equipment, industrial doors, safety barriers, HVLS fans, industrial curtain walls, and more - all designed to improve safety, security and productivity whilst providing energy savings and environmental control.
Located in Milwaukee in the state of Wisconsin, the company now has over 2,200 employees worldwide, with partners in 100 locations throughout North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia/Pacific, Africa, and the Middle East.
Arbon Equipment Corporation is a wholly owned subsidiary of Rite-Hite, and the exclusive distributor for Rite-Hite’s extensive range in Australia with depots in Melbourne Sydney, Brisbane and Perth. With staff numbers now at forty, the company has the ability to service clients on a national basis.
Arbon has two key divisions: equipment sales and the maintenance and servicing of loading bay docks – split 50/50 in terms of yearly revenue. The company also runs education and training programs that include loading dock safety courses and warehouse safety assessments.
However, Arbon is not just a distributor but a local manufacturer having opened a manufacturing facility at its Laverton North head office in February this year. This 1,200-square-metre facility produces the ‘FasTrax’ high-speed door and is staffed by a local workforce with Arbon officially endorsed as a Made in Australia manufacturer.
“The challenge with lead times was one of the key reasons for us to locally manufacture the FasTrax door, which has subsequently reduced our lead time from a matter of months to a matter of days,” said Arbon Equipment General Manager, Lee Lorenc.
The roll-up design of FasTrax doors allows them to operate at industry-best speeds of 2.5m per second, minimising air intrusion while maximising productivity. These high operating speeds also decrease the likelihood of forklift collisions. However, if bumped or impacted, a FasTrax door can easily reconfigure itself to get back onto the door track. It is also the safest door in the industry, with features including Soft Break-Away technology and thru-beam photo eyes.
Rite-Hite allocates significant funds to R&D, both to refine existing products and bring new products to market – something that the company is renowned for.
Demand for Rite-Hite's products has seen extensive growth not just in Australia but worldwide, particularly in relation to loading dock safety. Rite-Hite reinvented the vehicle restraint category with the introduction of the Dok-Lok®SHR-5000. This exclusive restraint uses a patented “shadow hook” design to help secure traditional trailers as well as those with rear-impact guard obstructions. The universal design is intended to meet the evolving needs of loading dock operators and the rise in intermodal container traffic. The Dok-Lok also acts as a physical theft deterrent that can interface directly with building security systems to help prevent trailer theft.
“With an ever-increasing focus on loading dock safety the vehicle restraint market has grown massively; we are seeing that 90% of our new constructions now specify this option,” Lee added.
Arbon now operate six Isuzu N-Series trucks – all are used for service and maintenance of customers’ loading dock equipment. The latest trucks, Isuzu’s ready-to-work ‘Servicepacks’ were purchased in May this year.
“The body of the Isuzu Servicepack with its multiple lockable compartments suited our needs perfectly and saved us the time and effort getting a custom body built. All we needed to do was add a crane, vise and conduit box,” Lee said.
With a 1,500kg payload, Isuzu’s ready-to-work Servicepack is essentially a truck sized tool trolley. The unique body is constructed with folded steel, featuring a stainless steel trim with lockable compartments. For complete security each compartment is connected to the truck’s central locking system ensuring equipment is safe and sound at all times.
“We’ve bought all our Isuzus from Westar Truck Centre Derrimut, whom I have found to be helpful and professional. I’ve been pleased with the performance of the Isuzus and had no issues with them. Servicepacks’ compact size makes them highly manoeuvrable with the ability to get into tight spaces that bigger trucks can’t. They’re comfortable, cheap to run with the added benefit of being able to be driven on a car licence,” Lee went onto say.
“The Servicepack body allows us to place extensive graphics on the side of the vehicle promoting our products and services; they’re our very own mobile billboards,” said Lee.
Arbon has recently won a couple of large service contracts – these additional Isuzus will ensure the company has the necessary capacity to service these.
Given its portfolio of unique class leading products and service expertise future growth is assured. To accommodate this expansion it’s likely that additional Isuzu Servicepacks will be required to manage this growth and ensure Arbon maintains its quick response times.