Grate expectations

Brent Frampton explains to Roads & Infrastructure magazine about how Weldlok’s custom grates fill a niche in the construction industry.Construction jobs come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Every site is different, each with its own specific needs and parameters. With such a broad range of potential measurements, it can be hard finding a one-size-fits-all method.

That’s where Nepean Building and Infrastructure has stepped in with Weldlok custom grates.

Weldlok is an Australian brand that has been around for more than 40 years in the residential, commercial, industrial and civil industries. Specialising in both the design and supply of high quality durable grating, industrial handrails, steel flooring and drainage grates, the company has adapted to the needs of the industry.

Weldlok National Sales Manager Brent Frampton says the company is proudly Australian and provides a unique service.

“When we’re talking about civil products, we make anything outside the norm. Specifically, in civil drainage, other companies provide a standard line of grates that come in preset sizes. But, often there are requirements for odd sizes, outside of that range,” Mr. Frampton says.

Accordingly, the company designs grates to customer’s exact needs and specifications. These range from class A (footways for pedestrians or cyclists), to class D (carriageways, roads and areas with heavy vehicles). Mr. Frampton says Weldlok will also advise on what type of material will be used before manufacturing for the client.

“We’ve got over 40 years of experience in managing the design and manufacture of drainage grates. We’re also a local manufacturer, meaning we can do everything we need to on one site in Australia. Weldlok has its own grating manufacturing machine which is the only machine of its kind on the east coast,” Mr. Frampton says.

“We find out what kind of grate our customers need, design it, build it and galvanise it, all in-house. Because Weldlok is an Australian company, we’re able to provide faster turnarounds,” Mr. Frampton says.

“When it comes to finding a way around those odd sized holes, you need a custom job. We have the same standard stock as all the rest, and we have the capability to produce these locally as well as handle all the manufacturing for specialised products.

“If you were to buy a grate for an odd shaped hole overseas, you’re looking at 10 to 12 weeks to have it imported. We’re able to price a special product on the day, provide a drawing for sign-off and supply it in less than 15 working days.”

Mr. Frampton says this speed and efficiency really helps construction companies get the job done. An example of Weldlok at work was at the Rosehill Gardens Racecourse in Sydney.

“The racecourse was undergoing an upgrade which included drainage. Right along the inner track there’s an open pit concrete drain. A while ago, a jockey had fallen off a horse and landed on his back in the drain,” he says.

“Weldlok provided a solution to cover up the open drain. There were some odd sizes and accessibility issues too. We went in and helped with the design, did the measurements and provided the special sections.”

Mr. Frampton adds that Weldlok can handle all sizes and kinds of jobs and is growing the business.

“We have our own engineering team and a National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA)-accredited laboratory which has really expanded our capabilities. A test rig gives us the ability to accurately measure compliance and provide warranties and test certification for up to class G products for airports and wharfs,” he says.

Mr. Frampton says that Weldlok’s agility and ability to fill this market niche has set it apart from others and has landed the business some high-profile contracts.

“Our products are quite a mix, which has led to contracts with massive projects all the way to supplying a local plumber,” he says.

“We’re supplying drainage covers to NorthConnex and all the products going in are non-standard. They told us what they wanted, and we went away and brought them a non-standard product design which won us the contract. We were able to offer all of the necessary compliance and meet all of their specific requirements.

“Few companies, if any, are able to offer that. Others might say ‘we can give you this standard size’, but for us, it’s no worries doing the difficult, non-standard stuff.”

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