The STG Global story starts in the small country Victorian town of Mansfield over 30 years ago when brothers Ross and Regan Yendle – a couple of young ground-breaking farm boys hit by drought and hard times – are looking for a way to keep the income rolling into the family farm.
With the bank pressuring the family to sell, the entrepreneurial lads begin tinkering in the shed and brainstorming ways to save the farm.
One hot summer’s afternoon, the boys spot a huge cloud of dust drifting off a construction site in town. Sensing an opportunity to make some money, they approach the site foreman and enquire about work.
“Nothing here fellas, but if you know anyone with a water truck, let me know,” is the foreman’s somewhat dismissive reply. With equal measures of both desperation and quick wittedness, the boys respond in unison, “We have a water truck at the farm ready to work!”
After negotiations on the rate, a deal is struck and the ‘water truck’ is due to start work the following day.
There are only two minor problems: There is no water truck and, furthermore, the boys know next to nothing about water trucks.
Within 24 hours, from spare parts rustled up around the farm, a water truck of sorts is created. However, it bears more resemblance to a walking disaster with items falling off and seemingly more water leaking out than held inside.
Needless to say, the next couple of days is a huge learning curve for the young Yendles, but they persevere, keep the contract and save the family farm.
Such ad hoc beginnings are not normally vindicated in the eyes of history and yet they have flowed on all the same in the formation of what is now a leading Australian water truck and body builder company.
From these agricultural beginnings they work their way through the earthmoving industry, and in due course recognise a gaping hole in the market calling for the manufacture and supply of world-class water trucks and other bespoke truck bodies.
If you’ll forgive the pun, they see it as a hole that’s crying out to be plugged and this, ultimately, becomes the basis for the brothers starting STG Global.
From that point, 20 years ago, the Yendle brothers have continually refined their manufacturing processes, producing numerous bodies on an array of mostly Isuzu chassis.
Then, around four years ago, the twosome became a triumvirate as Chief Executive Officer Ashley Joseph is welcomed to the fold as a partner in the family business.
By this stage the company is significantly expanded with several branches located along the eastern seaboard including the Melbourne facility where Ashley is based.
“We are a manufacturer of specialised truck bodies including water trucks, vacuum trucks, tilt trays and service vehicles,” Ashley says, “and we are also moving into the waste market with the construction of front loading, side loading and rear loading garbage compactors.”
Ashley says while the company has been manufacturing truck bodies for the past 20 years, the last four years since he’s been onboard have seen the company grow significantly.
“At present we are producing over 200 units per annum and our philosophy is to produce bodies that are ultra-reliable and that represent good value for our customers,” he says. “We have a national footprint and are very well represented on the east coast with large manufacturing and servicing facilities at both Dandenong South in Victoria and Ormeau in Queensland. There is also a dedicated service centre in Sydney and agents dotted around the rest of the country.”
Up until 20 years ago most water trucks were ex fuel or milk tankers. It’s not an exaggeration to go so far as recognising STG Global as a pioneer of the dedicated water truck. Indeed, a major point of difference between STG and other manufacturers, according to Ashley, is that most of STG’s bodies are hot-dipped galvanised to ensure an extremely long service life.
“We are the only manufacturer that hot-dip galvanises our bodies, which ties in with our philosophy of ultimate reliability and durability,” he says.
Another big difference between STG and others is that the company has a stock of pre-built trucks that are basically ready for the customer to drive away the same day. Ashley says while this involves a degree of speculation, the vast experience the company has in the earthmoving sphere enables it to pre-empt which products the market will need and have it ready built and ready to go.
“We take an educated punt and build our stock levels which means we have an average build turnaround time of three weeks, which we think is pretty amazing,” Ashley says.
“We achieve this by building products for prospective customers in areas where we see the demand is highest. Understanding what the customers need or will need in the near future is the key. We find that many customers don’t want to wait six months to get their equipment, so having the quick turnaround is what gives us the edge over our competitors.”
The modular nature of the bodies means they can be built in advance and held in stock ready to be fitted to a truck in accordance with customer needs. Speaking about the company’s connection with Isuzu trucks, Ashley says the majority of its builds are based on Isuzus because, as Australia’s overall number one truck brand, this is what the vast majority of customers want.
“We’ve had a very long association with Isuzu – they build a great product and they are well priced which explains why they are the market leader,” he says.
The comprehensive range of Isuzu’s F Series also ensures there is a model to suit nearly every style of body the company produces.
“We’ve picked the models that work for our ranges with chassis lengths that suit most of our products,” he says – adding that the company has the capability to modify chassis lengths if necessary. It produces the shortest wheelbase eight-wheeler water truck on the market based on an Isuzu FYH or FYJ 8×4 chassis which it shortens to the same 4.3-metre wheelbase as the agitator spec Isuzu eight-wheeler. Reiterating the benefits of completely built products for customers, Ashley stresses that STG provides an end-to-end solution that encompasses everything from buying the Isuzu chassis to signwriting the finished product.
“We’ll do the signwriting and install any custom features the customer wants so that as soon as they pick up the truck it’s ready to go to work,” he says.
At the start of the year the company bought around 70 Isuzu trucks to make certain it had a continual supply of stock in the face of predicted shortages of trucks due to the flow-on effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We have taken the punt there, but we believe if you build the product right, the customers will come, and that’s exactly what has been happening,” he says.
“A lot of it comes down to understanding your customers and what they need across the whole spectrum of products you manufacture. We find this philosophy combines ideally with the winning combination of reliability and value of Isuzu trucks, giving our customers the complete package to best suit their needs.”