Capral exceeds Sloanebuilt’s expectations in partnership


Sloanebuilt doesn’t consider Capral a supplier, despite them exclusively providing all the aluminium they require. For the trailer builder, their relationship with Capral, and everything it provides, makes them a partner.

It’s not often you hear someone wax lyrical about a chemical element, but Fred Marano really loves aluminium.

“It’s versatile, ageless, recyclable, lightweight,” he says enthusiastically, adding even more to his descriptive summary. “It doesn’t rust, it’s low maintenance, easy to manufacture and it has good value.”

Fred should know – he’s been using it for almost 40 years. His company, Sloanebuilt, manufactures custom-built aluminium trailers and truck bodies, and does it well. With a strong focus on the construction and agricultural industries, Sloanebuilt is known for offering a wide range of products that are strong, durable and reliable.

While their continued success is a combination of innovation and a highly skilled team, aluminium makes it all that much easier.

“It’s fit for purpose, and it’ll continue to be fit for purpose,” Fred says. “It’s always being improved and it’s a product that I think you’ll see even more in the transport market over the years to come.”

This is where Capral comes in. It supplies all of Sloanebuilt’s aluminium, whether it is an exclusive extruded section or its plate. This means every aluminium component in a Sloanebuilt trailer has come exclusively from Capral.

Fred considers Capral as not just a supplier, but a crucial partner in their success. Not only does Capral more than satisfy its supply agreement, but Fred says the two businesses also share values and commercial integrity.

“We find Capral exceeds in every way from top to bottom,” he says. “Their product is excellent, and tolerances are always within range. They do the job right the first time, every time. We’ve tried other suppliers over the years, but we find Capral exceeds from beginning to end.”

Having a durable product that is Australian made is a Sloanebuilt priority. Fred believes that only Australian manufacturers and suppliers understand the unique environmental conditions in this country and the need for materials and products that can withstand them.

“Australia’s a good testing ground for every other part of the world in the tipper market,” he says. “We’re proud to be associated with that.”

Capral Aluminium began its operations in Australia in 1936 and is now known as one of Australia’s largest manufacturers and distributors of aluminium profiles.

The company has extrusion manufacturing facilities in Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia, allowing it to supply products within short lead times.

It also has an extensive network of added value facilities which can supply aluminium extrusions while providing customers with a streamlined final product. These services, including knurling, anodising, power coating, drilling and precision cutting, are designed to meet the needs of customers.

For Fred one of the advantages to working Capral is in their method of delivery which makes them a stand-out against the competition. He explains that delivery of large aluminium orders can be fraught with problems, but Capral is respectful of dedicated delivery times.

“They supply in the time slot. They don’t just push it out and say, ‘there you go, you’re on your own’,” he says, adding that they also understand the safety issues of unloading, ensuring all products are properly loaded and restrained.

The last four decades have seen tremendous growth for Sloanebuilt, having come a long way since Fred and his wife Helen bought the business. At the time it was a two-person operation. Today, they manufacture a host of products including tippers, flattops, rigid beavertails, dog trailers and semi-trailers, all from their $30 million, 36,000 square-metre factory at Smeaton Grange, just on the outskirts of Sydney.

Fred says he was initially drawn into the idea of buying a business because he had always wanted to work for himself, but producing a quality product was a must.

With the help of Capral, Sloanebuilt is able to offer a product that is customised with exceptional attention to detail. Its fully-integrated in house manufacturing process means the team take aluminium and then cuts, bends, sands, cleans, paints and assembles – demanding a huge range of skills from its 130-person strong workforce.

As for the future of Sloanebuilt and Capral’s relationship, Fred says there is so much more they can do. For him innovation is key and with the team he has, growth is definite.

“Maybe in two or three year’s time we will be building trailers that are forty metres long. Wherever the industry takes us, we’ll go.”

Fast fact

Capral has recently introduced lower carbon aluminium to its offering, with up to 50 per cent lower carbon emissions than global averages, providing manufacturers with a more sustainable aluminium option.