Royal Park Salvage – a growth story
From small beginnings, Royal Park Salvage has grown to be a major player in the growth of the city of Adelaide, and Mack are key part of their success.
Back in 1956, Damjan and brother Nikola Jurkovic spent their weekends loading his car with salvaged doors and floor boards from demolition jobs around Adelaide. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, and he managed to supplement the modest income he made from his factory job with a view to the future.
The newly arrived migrant from Serbia could never have imagined that, 65 years later, Royal Park Salvage would be three generations in, boast an impressive fleet of 28 trucks, provide livelihoods for 120 employees and own land and infrastructure to cope with the expansion of the company’s versatile range of operations.
Damjan is now 92, and his grandson and namesake Damjan, 19, who is Royal Park Salvage’s Transport Coordinator is careful to give credit where credit is due.
“My grandfather, with his brother started the business as a means of survival. He can't believe that a small idea has grown so much over the years,” says Damjan.
But it was Damjan’s father Petar, 55 and Managing Director who really led the expansion.
“I don't think he would ever admit to it, but my father has always strived and worked hard for what he wanted. The only reason the company is where it is today is because my father worked for it, day in and day out,” says Damjan.
These days the business is thriving from its main depot in Wingfield on the outskirts of Adelaide to the point where Damjan says, “We are at a size where we have been able to afford to buy and keep a fleet of relatively new and late-model Macks.”
The company has five Trident prime movers, two Trident quad dogs and one Super-Liner to cater for the broad range of jobs on the Royal Park Salvage books.
“You'd only need to spend a day with us to see that each day and job is unique,” Damjan says. “We work across the state, from running demolition jobs or big city site cuts, to bulk outs in the heart of town for a new skyscraper.”
While salvage is still a part of the business, it’s no longer the core work.
“We have demolition, earthmoving and site remediation. We also have the Wingfield recycling centre where we dump our concrete, run a crushing plant and recycle industrial waste. We have the contaminated soils part of the business for transport and safe storage. And then there is the building development,” he says.
On any given day, the fleet might swell to an additional thirty vehicles run by subcontractors to cope with the volume of work.
With such a versatile business, it’s inevitable that the Macks are put to a wide range of jobs.
“The application of the Macks is quite diverse in our business. We've got everything from semi-tippers in town and local demo jobs, to pulling road trains, to B-double work in the country and heavy haulage float work," Damjan says.
“Take my Trident 535. One day I’m running into the back streets of North Terrace reversing in a semi-tipper and the next day I’m floating a 25-tonne excavator into a house demolition in tight back streets again. Two days later I’m running a machine out to South Australian borders on the open highway. The Mack is set up perfectly so that we can do all these jobs,” he says.
Comfort and Reliability
Damjan says that driver comfort and a smooth ride mean less fatigue.
“In the Mack, there’s just so much space in the cab. You've got a nice comfy seat and everything within arm’s reach from your radio and two-ways to your storage and switches. The mDRIVE auto system takes out any sort of driver error in comparison to the old 18-speed, and you don’t have to worry about clutches and shifting gears being thrashed,” he says.
But it is vehicle uptime that is most important to Royal Park Salvage.
"We’re relying on our trucks to be on the road every day. When you turn that key and the computer comes up, you want to hear the engine kick over. You don't want warning lights coming up a thousand kilometres from Adelaide. It’s also about durability, because we’re not always running over bitumen. A lot of our sites are really rough and there is a lot of wear in that respect, but the Macks handle it,” says Damjan.
“Then there’s the back-up service that Mack provide. When a truck goes down we can usually have it back within a couple of days, or if not they’ll loan us a loan,” he adds.
Royal Park Salvage continues to be a family business. As for Damjan, the company is in his blood. “Ever since I could really walk I have been around the company,” he says. “People ask if you’re happy doing what you’re doing, and I can't see myself anywhere else.”