Third generation family business, Bartlett Equipment, reflects on its humble beginnings as a trailer builder and how it became a leading specialist provider of integrated towing solutions.

May 9, 2021, marks 75 years since Norm Bartlett set up his engineering and fabrication business in Caulfield, Victoria. Using his design talents, metal working and electric welding qualifications, he designed and built a unique range of trailers for the Australian agricultural and road transport sectors. A reputation was quickly gained for his innovative, high quality products. Through the 1960s into the late 1980s, Bartlett designed and manufactured load sharing suspensions for Bartlett semi-trailers and later versions of these suspensions were adapted into truck lazy axle conversions on most truck makes and models of the time.
The early 1960s also saw the development of the renowned Bartlett Ball trailer couplings a range that continues to excel in tough Australian conditions nearly six decades later. Through the decades, a breadth of knowledge has been acquired relating to heavy truck and trailer towing, this knowledge underpins the design philosophies behind the modern range of Bartlett products.

Knowing how much a vehicle can tow or how to correctly distribute loads on trailers are some of the daily tasks, while a sound knowledge of the National Heavy Vehicle Law, Chain of Responsibility and safe work practices are also critical to successful operations.

Bartlett manufactures industry leading equipment solutions such as their professionally engineered Towbars for Trucks designed to suit virtually all trailer coupling types, Bartlett Ball trailer couplings, and the Bare Knuckle safety chain system to protect against accidental trailer separation. All products are designed to meet the requirements of ADR 62 and to operate in all conditions on a wide range of heavy vehicle towing combinations. In addition to leading equipment solutions, Bartlett also provides comprehensive supporting information with every towbar to assist with the successful management of fleets. Detailed charts explaining maximum safe loading and how to correctly distribute loads on trailers are provided with the towbar rating plates on application.

“Today, we are still a proudly family run operation and therefore we wish to celebrate the past, present and future of our company’s achievements, together with all those who have worked for us or been a Bartlett customer during this time,” Bartlett Managing Director, Allan Bartlett says.

Bartlett has built its business on a foundation of customer trust, quality, and experience, but that does not mean that the company is not evolving. Bartlett is a growing, diverse, and innovative enterprise, which is why the management team and staff members describe themselves as ‘75 years young’. Representing the Bartlett third generation, Allan is committed to continuing the company’s legacy of innovation, with a strong focus on the brand’s flagship range of towbars and allied towing solutions.

“Our integrated towing solutions are unique and represent world best practice, bringing safety and compliance to the forefront, so that transport operators, truck dealers, equipment suppliers, body builders and vehicle outfitters can be assured that they are meeting their legal obligations.”

Originally published in Trailer Magazine MAY 21