Saturday 23rd Oct, 2021

Nelson Silos’ special delivery

Nelson Silos’ strategy of shipping pre-assembled silos has allowed it rapid installations. ABHR speaks to the company’s Managing Director to find out more.

Eric Nelson believes the quicker equipment can get up and running, the quicker the customer can start making money.

That’s why his business, Nelson Silos, ships its products on one or two pieces.

“Silos that come in pieces or that need to be entirely put together on site can take weeks to install, depending on the size or the support structure” he says.

“There’s an opportunity cost to that downtime. The longer it takes to install the silo, the longer it takes for the customer to start generating returns.”

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Nelson’s silos are joined together and assembled in the factory. They’re then either split into two pieces or three pieces for particularly large silos and shipped around the country by the company’s fleet of heavy-duty trucks.

The company has been shipping silos this way since 1962, developing experience in handling oversized loads and a close relationship with road regulatory agencies. Riding alongside the trucks are Nelson Silo’s specialised pilot cars, equipped for onsite work and driven by the installation team.

While enroute, the customer is provided with the specifications it needs to prepare the foundation, following a soil test and geotechnical analysis. Once on site, the installation team fit out the silo while it is horizontal, reducing the time spent working at heights. When it’s ready, a pair or cranes lift it up and move it into position.

Nelson says installations can take as little as three days to complete.

“One of our silos was delivered to a gold mine in Western Australia, transported in two, large pieces – each about 18 metres long,” he says.

“The sections are manufactured, tested and fitted together in the factory environment, meaning we know the product will be installed as intended. This method keeps it all simple, safe and effective.”

Transport plays a major role within the business. The company owns a fleet of eight prime movers and eight low-loader trailers, along with three heavy trailers. This allows the company to deliver silos to Darwin, Port Headland or Kalgoorlie itself, instead of through contractors.

The fast installation process has proven to be popular among industrial customers, and demand for the silos has led Nelson Silos to expand its factory in Rochester, Victoria.

The aim is to be able to build several large silos for multiple customers at the same time.

“We’ve had quite a few customers come back to us for repeat orders,” Nelson says. “To cater for the lead times the customer requires, we need to significantly increase our fabrication capacity.

“The Rochester factory will be expanded by 2000 square kilometres and will have a large paint spray booth.”

It is also looking to expand its operations on Australia’s east coast. With operations in Parkes, New South Wales, and southern Queensland, the business is positioned to support the northern NSW region.

“There’s a big demand for these silos there,” Nelson says. “Larger companies are starting to re-evaluate expansions in the future and recent issues with global supply chains have highlighted how important it is to buy local.”