TRT Help Rheinmetall Deliver22 June 2020
From Line of Defence Magazine - Winter 2020
New Zealand partners help Rheinmetall deliver local and regional capability.
A critical part of Rheinmetall’s growth plans in New Zealand is to build relationships with trusted partners. This establishes a local capability that supports Rheinmetall to deliver to the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) and creates a pathway for local industry partners to tap into future opportunities offshore through Rheinmetall’s Global Supply Chain program.
The long term partnership that has developed between Rheinmetall and Hamilton-based TRT (Tidd Ross Todd Limited) has evolved into one that is resonating in both New Zealand and Australia. Each company has worked together to deliver capability into current and future programs for the NZDF and, more recently, the Australian Defence Force (ADF).
Rheinmetall is expanding its New Zealand footprint by establishing a new regional capability for a range of vehicle platforms, electronic solutions, weapons and munitions on the back of its recent contract awards in the Australian defence sector.
Under the leadership of Managing Director Gary Stewart and New Zealand Regional Manager Marty Roelofs, Rheinmetall Defence Australia and New Zealand, oversees the activities of all company entities and manages operations in Wellington and Upper Hutt.
“Rheinmetall has built a successful export industry for defence products and services from its German base and we are now working towards the same ambition at our Asia Pacific hub in Australia and New Zealand,” Mr Stewart said.
“Our focus is on creating sustainable design, development and manufacturing facilities that deliver world leading products and services to the NZDF, as well as partnering with local New Zealand companies to ensure their products and services are available globally through our company’s Global Supply Chain.”
The New Zealand Government’s historic capital investment in the NZDF provides the foundation for Rheinmetall’s local focus. The company’s footprint in New Zealand has long been associated with its fleet of high mobility logistics vehicles currently in service with the NZDF. In March 2013, Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles – a joint venture between Rheinmetall and MAN Trucks - was awarded a contract to supply the New Zealand Defence Force with 194 new Logistic trucks as well as 6 training vehicles.
The order encompassed trucks based on HX chassis in three basic sizes: the 6-tonne 4x4, the 9-tonne 6x6 and the 15-tonne 8x8, in ten variants. Some of the trucks are fitted with winches and cranes to allow completely independent operation. They include dump trucks for combat engineers, trucks fitted with specialized pallet and container handling equipment, and tractor/semi-trailer combinations to carry heavy vehicles and equipment.
The contract included vehicles, armour protection kits, weapons mounts, personnel modules and an extensive range of specialised military equipment. It also covers spares, logistic support arrangements, project management and extensive training packages, including six additional vehicles specifically for training purposes. All 200 trucks were
successfully delivered between October 2013 and September 2014.
The NZDF deployed a fleet of the trucks to bring much-needed supplies to quake-damaged Kaikoura in the days immediately after the 2016 Kaikoura earthquake. A convoy of Rheinmetall MAN trucks ferried 7320 litres of diesel and 1540 litres of petrol to Kaikoura’s petrol stations and emergency services. It also brought 10,000 litres of potable water for distribution and nine Army chefs who were to cater for emergency workers and volunteers as well as about 250 patients at Kaikoura Hospital.
An In-Service Support agreement was signed for a 10 year period with the New Zealand Defence Force expanding the company’s operating footprint to include a warehouse facility and spares parts supply, the establishment of the RMMVA New Zealand Dealer Network which undertakes repair activities as part of the Heavy Grade Repair obligation, and the establishment of the New Zealand Office based in Trentham, Upper Hutt.
None of these activities would be possible without trusted local partners ensuring the Rheinmetall MAN fleet has reliable through-life support. These partners include:
- TRT, Hamilton
- Mobile Mechanical Solutions, Palmerston North
- 360 Logistics, Wellington
- Penske Commercial Vehicles, Auckland, Christchurch
- Mills-Tui, Rotorua
TRT has been a long-time industry partner to Rheinmetall and has supplied tippers for the Rheinmetall MAN range of high mobility logistics trucks to the Commonwealth of Australia’s Land 121 Phase 3B program.
A privately owned business with over 50 years’ experience, TRT has over 210 staff across 4 integrated businesses: Design Engineering and Manufacturing; Truck and Trailer Parts; Heavy Transport Service and Repair; and Crane Manufacture Sales and Service. The company’s head office and key manufacturing facility is in Hamilton, NZ while its growth has also seen the company establish an Australian operation in Brisbane, Queensland offering integration services and through-life support.
TRT’s expertise draws on a long history of research and development focused on innovative design and investment in manufacturing capability. Through training, qualification and experience the company has established expertise at every level focused on delivering fit for purpose solutions for their customers from acquisition through to sustainment.
“Our products are built to last, offering real value for whole of life,” says TRT Director Bruce Carden. “Our company traverses best practice design, engineering and manufacturing processes, quality standards from raw materials to paint quality and application that guarantee real value. In-house maintenance, spares, parts and technical support that complement our own OEM products, including the PC28 TIDD Crane.”
TRT’s success has been acknowledged locally with the company winning the 2015 New Zealand Minister of Defence Award of Excellence for the provision of excellent equipment to Defence. Mr Carden says this award is a credit to TRT employees as well as its products. “We continually invest in training and equipment within fabrication, supported by a team of qualified and experienced tradespeople in all areas of the design, engineering and manufacturing process,” he said.
Recognising the significance of the high mobility logistics vehicle and combat vehicle programs now being delivered to regional users, Rheinmetall has established its newest global business unit – Vehicle Systems Asia Pacific – to be headquartered in Brisbane and focused on delivering and sustaining military vehicles for the Australian and New Zealand defence forces, and in key nations across the region.
Gary Stewart has taken on the additional role of Chief Executive Officer of Vehicle Systems Asia Pacific, alongside his current role of Managing Director of Rheinmetall Defence Australia and New Zealand. “This new business unit will improve Rheinmetall’soperational and program performance to ensure delivery of key programs to Australian and New Zealand customers while leveraging the establishment and operations of MILVEHCOE and enable regional growth and exports.”
Mr Stewart said TRT exemplified Rheinmetall’s commitment to establishing a high-quality logistics supply chain across the region. “TRT’s commitment to innovation, expertise, design excellence and supply of quality products has enabled the Company to stand out amongst competitor companies,” he said. “Their commitment to Land 121-3B has provided a foundation for future collaboration with Rheinmetall and underscores the engineering skills and expertise within the Company.”