Meet Our Staff
Meet the Torquepower Staff
During his time with Cummins, Ken Roberts served as truck section fitter, Warranty Administrator and finally Truck Section Supervisor. In August 1978, Ken left the company and as a sole trader, set about building a business that would provide a more personalised and adaptive service for many of the truck owners he had come to meet. Torquepower operated on a mobile basis during the first six months, working out of truck stops, trucking yards and on the roadside. In March 1979 premises were leased in Beatty Road Archerfield wherein a single prime mover could be accommodated – providing the cabin was lowered at the end of the day so the workshop door could be closed. Additional space was arranged as the business grew until ultimately a larger workshop was necessary to accommodate the rapidly developing operation.
By 1985 the company had expanded substantially with sales volumes continuing to climb, and Jude Roberts joined the company as a director. Against that background, Torquepower negotiated a Cummins Dealership agreement ( a Cummins Certified Dealership) with Cummins Engine Company and thrived. In December 2013, Torquepower opted to become an independent Cummins supplier.
Today, the Torquepower business comprises a number of corporate entities and founder Ken Roberts retains the position of Group Managing Director and CEO. It has provided employment for nearly 300 families and has been publicly recognised among the Queensland (Q400) Top Private Companies.
Born in Bundaberg, Jude married her long-time partner Ken Roberts in 1985. After initially qualifying as a hairdresser, Jude spent a number of years as Brisbane/ Gold Coast Manager for the Jon Le Court Group. She understood both business and people management by the time she joined Torquepower. Her demanding role covers all aspects of company finance and financial administration.
Jude has managed to successfully juggle home and work while raising a young family . “ After 30 years I still enjoy it. Because we are our own bosses, we spend a lot of time brain storming together. I’m very proud of Ken and what he has achieved. We really work hard to give people what they need , we do that very well because as small business people ourselves, we realise our customers have the same challenges we do. Managing business and cash flow and people, it’s a fine balance. “
Andrew Lawrence is one of those quiet unassuming guys who get things done. His poignant industry experience coupled with exceptional personal and work ethics and a strong customer service focus make him a natural leadership choice for Torquepower. Andrew brings a wealth of industry experience and formal management qualifications to his GM role. After almost three decades with Cummins in Australia, followed by a senior management position with Australia’s largest transport supply company, Andrew is taking Torquepower to new levels of customer service and efficiency.
Paul started his working life as an apprentice automotive technician with Denmac Ford, then began a career with Cummins that spanned 16 years. Initially employed as a warehouse storeman, Paul became a trade qualified parts interpreter and progressing to Customer Support Representative at Cummins in Brisbane, Paul was appointed Cummins Parts Manager in Mackay for five years before returning to Brisbane to be with family. As Torquepower’s Parts and Sales Manager for the past three years, Paul has enjoyed the challenge of small business and managing a small but experienced team. Going out of his way to problem-solve for customers and staff is a real strength. A family man, Paul says,“ family and friends are really important to me.“
Fiona Gunalan likes working with parts stock, is studying for a Bachelor of Business and … is also a Chef ! After working as a chef, Fiona found she preferred “organising things”. Cummins took her on as an apprentice parts interpreter, and after 8 years, Fiona found the most enjoyable part of the role for her was inventory management and the warehouse. She spent a few years with Caterpillar, and then moved to coal train logistics. Early in 2015, Torquepower General Manager Andrew Lawrence offered Fiona the role of Warehouse and Logistics Manager.
“I’ve done plenty of stock-takes over the years, and I have introduced cycle stock counts so we do a bit of the hard work every day. It helps the customer in the end as the parts are better organised and controlled. Studying a Bachelor of Business in Supply Chain and Logistics Management, Fiona doesn’t get much spare time, but when she does, enjoys the beach, reading or spending time with her husband and the menagerie – 2 dogs, one Havenese and one Pug cross, and 2 tame parrots Charlie and Catalina.
Qualified Parts Interpreter, Diego, celebrated his fifth anniversary with Torquepower this year. Since February 2011, Diego has been part of the parts team at Beatty Road, Archerfield. With a background in Parts Interpreting, and a previous role at Brown and Hurley for 17 years, Diego knows Cummins and diesel truck parts well. Diego has product knowledge you can rely on.
As an employee with a long history at Torquepower, we have heard many tall tales and true about “Scotty”. Born in Dunedin, South Island New Zealand, Bruce enjoyed carpentry at high school before he left to begin a Diesel Mechanical Heavy Industry apprenticeship at a bus company where he would work on Leyland Buses. Each Leyland model is named after an animal; Leopard, Lion, Panther and Tiger… “I liked working on buses so much that I went back for a second stint. In the interim period I worked on Hydroelectric power projects, building dams at Twizel. I loved the countryside and working on earthmoving equipment – big Dozers and Cats.”
“I applied and was accepted for a Ministry of Works role at Scott Bay, Antarctica for the New Zealand Antarctica Research program. It was surprisingly mild in summer when the support crew and scientists would come down, but winter is the key Repairs and Maintenance period. It is difficult to get tactile feedback with big gloves on so we would use the cold port to bring the machine in to defrost the ice off the tracks, and then move it into the relative warmth of the workshop to work on the machines.”
“The living conditions were both different and challenging. At the time I was one of only 200 people who “wintered over”. Just 10 people stay on base through the dark freezing winter each year. The worst thing was, there was little to do. I met my future wife, Anne through the summer. She had been seconded from the police force to help on the Base with the duty free shop, and to assist the Chef.”
Now married 31 years, Bruce and Anne came to Australia for a holiday and fell in love with the weather and the economy, and came to Torquepower in 1988. “ I was working first as a technician – then Workshop Foreman – then I transferred to the Parts Department . I left for a few short years but returned to Torquepower for the people. I really appreciate the team here. “ When not looking after parts enquiries, Bruce enjoys time with his two grandchildren and three dogs . This June (2016), the Scotts will travel to Canada and Alaska for their first big cruise.
Sue has worked on three different continents, and has a wealth of experience in business. Running a family business in Zimbabwe exporting African art to the UK, USA and South Africa was challenging , but helping to run a family Truck and Trailer business here in Australia was perfect background experience for her role at Torquepower.
It’s a busy workplace in the phone room with phone accounts and customer enquiries, but after 11 years, Sue is always patient and pleasant. “ This role is like the old fashioned Girl Friday Role, it’s always different. Torquepower have lots of happy customers, and I like talking to them. “
EX-ARMY CLEMENT is a HERO in the Torquepower warehouse. An Army Reserve member since the year 2000, Clem was a mechanical operator and forklift driver for some private companies, and joined the Australian Regular Army as a transport driver. Clement was deployed overseas to Iraq in 2006 and 2007. Clement gathered a raft of skills supervising warehouses for big West Australian companies, and also for Hastings Deering Caterpillar in Mount Isa. As Torquepower Warehouse Supervisor, Clement enjoys a smaller family business . “ Workers are well looked after and get the resources they need to do a good job. What I like best about Torquepower is that it is a family-oriented close-knit and family-run group. There is an increased desire to get everything correct for the customer, which means for me parts need to be spot on location-wise . My goal is to make the warehouse flow. A very definitive location saves everybody time and improves productivity.”