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Tipping Point: Truck & Trailer Builder

A few moments have been pivotal in the history of this body builder, who shares with us what it takes to get excel in tough times.

Just a little bit south of Ipoh one can find the business premises Truck & Tanker Builder Sdn Bhd. The company, which started in 2002 is providing products that are pivotal for the area as there are many quarries and the lime stone of Ipoh, being the best in the world, needs to be transported to the nearby ports. An ideal setting for Liew Kheen Sun, Director of Truck & Tanker Builder, who shared with us a few insights.

Prior to setting up his own company, Liew has been working in this industry for many years. It was his passion to manufacture trailers and he eventually made the leap. “I wanted to make tankers and trailers. However, the market here is better suited for quality tipper trailers and dump trucks,” he said. Today, Liew has carved out a niche for himself by producing innovative trailers. Liew explained how he also reduced the production of tankers as they are too restrictive in terms of design options. Having a set capacity, there is not much room for exploration of different solutions. “That said, you still have to produce top quality.” His approach to quality control is to not accept too many jobs. Being on the shop floor is important to ensure that trailers are produced to the highest standard.

Having learned the business from the ground up, he now shares his knowledge with the workers. In his own words, it is about teamwork and his 50 staff are appreciative of this: Every month they churn out 12 – 16 trailers of various kinds. Meanwhile, his reputation has spread and customers now call upon Liew from East Malaysia as well. A trend that is currently emerging is to have side-tipping trailers, which Truck and Trailer Builder also offers. Ipoh is a key market for suppliers as well, such as HYVA. The Dutch brand has identified Ipoh as their most important area for tipping cylinders in Malaysia with a number of aggressively growing body builders.

The secret to producing tippers is the hydraulic system. Since day one, he has sworn by HYVA cylinders and wet kits. “I have known HYVA for a long time before I set out on my own. I simply called my contact, Angie, and we have been a loyal customer since,” he beamed. Citing the excellent quality in terms of the product as well as after sales service, he is more than happy with the brand. No matter of which kind of tipper, side or end-tipping, HYVA has the right package. “Even if there is a problem, which is rare, the HYVA team is only a phone call away and things get sorted swiftly.” Fitting the kits has gotten easier over the years as the truck makers have advanced their vehicles and any brand is now providing trucks that accommodate the easy installation of a wide range of applications.

In a peculiar way, Liew has also become a problem solver. “Customers may already have trucks and tippers and experience problems with their setup. They may then tell us about these issues when they commission the next trailer and we are to suggest ways to solve their problems.” Liew notices that sometimes customers also change their minds about specifications after an initial design has been approved. Also, every operator may have their own, favourite design, which sometimes may not be something a bodybuilder may offer.

According to Liew, the secret to success is loyalty, which in his view cuts both ways. The pandemic has, naturally, had an impact on his business too. However, he refused to let go of any staff. “This office is my second home. I am very happy to be here to see the trucks and trailers. I even dream about trucks.” As the head of this home, he ensured that staff received their salary on time and in full, just as his suppliers. The nett effect: the moment the business was open for business, the orders came pouring in and staff could get moving right away without skipping a beat.

Coming out of the lockdowns, Liew is confident that we are at a tipping point and that he can expand his business. “One thing I have to praise is how our country is safe, abundant with resources and good people. I want to see everyone happy and I hope that we can soon all enjoy the results of our hard work again,” he said with a proud smile.


Source: Asian Trucker Magazine

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