The 2023 AWRE Expo held during July in Sydney was buzzing on the first day with lots of trucks and equipment on display. At first I was confused by the STG branded lanyards, I thought everyone was working for STG Global. So I found their exhibition stand and spoke with Muhammad Alam, Mechnical Engineer at STG Global, to find out more about the company.
I started with a question about the history of STG Global and the products on display.
At STG Global we are specialised truck bodybuilders based in Australia and have been in business for about 30 years now. We started with water trucks, then we entered vacuum trucks into the business. About three and a half years ago, we started with the waste trucks and that’s where I came in as well.
So when STG headhunted me, my role was to develop the waste trucks. Then we got more engineers that were as crazy with garbage trucks as me. We got them on board and together as a team we have developed our front lift, side lift and hook lift.
We have about 250 service centres all over Australia. Then we’ve got three branches in Melbourne, one in Sydney, one in Queensland, one Darwin and one in Perth.
STG Global, that’s in the DNA. We want to go global. And from the very start, that was the goal to go global. So we are going all over Australia now, but now we’re starting to penetrate in New Zealand. We’ve got water trucks and vacuum trucks in New Zealand now. Also, water trucks is a very good market for Middle East where we have sold a couple, and also in Philippines, we are starting to sell vacuum trucks.
So you’re manufacturing the bodies in Australia and then exporting them overseas for their own local chassis?
Yes, so we’ve got manufacturing facilities in regional Queensland and also in Melbourne. And just to meet with our high rising demand, we have set up our production facility in Philippines as well. So Philippines facilities is supporting our higher demand. So for example, the bodies are still made in Australia, but for a tailgate or vacuum unit, we’ll just get it in the Philippines. We make a whole heap and send it here so we can assemble it.
In the industry right now, we’ve just got two main players, Superior Pak and Bucher. We want to be the third main player and the only leading player. That’s our target so we want to use the right materials, don’t cut the corners and just give the customer what they want. A fully functional, excellent truck.
If you look at our products, they are set up to be user friendly. Inside the trucks you’ve got an iPad with a single screen interface. Everything is all one single screen. We’ve got remote dialing capabilities, we can remote dial in from anywhere in the world.
So it’s not just the body, it’s all the technology. Is the technology developed in-house as well?
Yes. So we are actually the only manufacturer in Australia who is doing a single screen solution for the garbage truck bodies. I come from an aviation background where in the cockpit they’re using iPads for everything. Like in Formula One cars, they’re using iPads for their telemetrics. So once I came on board, we wanted to have a seamless interface and iPad is the way to go. So we developed our own application. So that application has everything on it. Your telemetrics, your infographics, your operations, your cameras, your diagnostics and everything.
The beauty with iPads you know, these trucks will go to Europe and if the iPad breaks, or something happens, they can buy it off the shelf, we can upload the app. Then we’ve also got remote control capabilities. So all these trucks have a remote computer in them, which means once these trucks go overseas, if something happens, we can support them remotely. We’ve got so much control accessing the truck, if the operator says something’s not working, we can dive into the system and even tell him what plug, or tell the mechanics what plug or what pin to look at. It makes maintenance stress free.
With body building and firmware capabilities, for a council that needs waste trucks, vacuum trucks and water trucks, as a supplier, can you be a one stop shop?
As a supplier we can be a one stop shop but then we are even beyond that. So at STG, we are purchasing our own chassis and we are making our own body. So right now a lead time for any truck is under three months and the reason is, we are purchasing our chassis. We’ve got about 300 chassis sitting in Australia.
With a different manufacturer, a customer has to buy a chassis, and they have to build a body, but we buy the chassis we fit the body, we do a full package.