Alpine Truss celebrates 15 great years in business.
Between them, Alpine Truss managing director George Prothero and Director Chris Vafiadis share 85 years of experience in the timber industry.
“I’ve been in the timber industry for 40 years, Chris has been in the Timber industry 45 years,” Prothero says. “We both worked together for a large national frame and truss company when we decided to give it a go on our own, but we never imagined we would become one of the larger fabricators in Australia.”
The two celebrated with staff recently to mark the company’s 15th anniversary. Over this time the company has steadily grown from three employees in 2002 to a healthy 86 staff. The business’s main site in Wangaratta is based on seven acres with two main production buildings – the roof truss factory is 3600m2 and the wall frame factory is 2200m2. The business also recently purchased a 15-acre site for future expansion. There is also a sales and design office based in Melbourne.
“Our core business is roof truss, wall frame and posi strut floor trusses,” Prothero says. “We also supply I beam joists and LVL beams.
“We currently run 11 of our own crane trucks with 27 semi-trailers and we have one contractor with a truck who has been with us for the entire 15 years. We deliver to the entire state of Victoria and regularly into Southern NSW including Canberra.”
As long-time MiTek fabricators, the team at Alpine Truss have found MiTek’s software and service to be superior.
“Especially with the new Sapphire software,” Prothero says. “It’s very exciting, but like all fabricators it’s what you grow up with so it’s hard to teach old dog new tricks! One of the advantages of being a Mitek fabricator is the ability it gives us to utilise the services of Platinum Global, which is very important to our business.”
Much has changed in the timber industry over Prothero’s 40 years, the main change of which is a shift from a manual labour-intensive industry to a less labour-intensive one with a greater focus on safety.
“We have invested since day one in technology and continue to invest in the latest most cost-efficient safe equipment in the market,” Prothero says. “We continue to try to eliminate as many hazards in our workplace as possible, as our staff are our greatest asset.
“I think another main change is the size of houses we’re manufacturing now. They’re much more complex now, with larger spans. But with the investment we’ve made in equipment over the years, our business is much more efficient now than in the early days.”
To celebrate the 15 year milestone, Prothero and Vafiadis took a group of staff to Uluru and Alice Springs over a long weekend, and also held a special get-together for customers and long-term suppliers.
“We have 11 staff reaching the 15 year milestone this year, who will be presented with a gift as a token of our appreciation,” Prothero says.
“I must say the business would not be anywhere near where it is today without our loyal staff – we have the very best in the industry.”