Apprentice mechanic to workshop manager, he's seen it all
FROM an apprentice mechanic to managing a workshop, Robo's Fulcrum Suspensions manager Peter Robinson has seen many industry changes throughout his career.
If one thing has changed in the Rockhampton company's car park, it's the evolution of motor vehicle technology.
Recently, the business moved to their new location at 102 to 104 Elphinstone St on the city's north side, and merged with another beloved local brand.
Peter Robinson from Robo's Fulcrum Suspensions said the opportunity arose for the business to take its steering and suspension service to the next level and "move into bigger and better premises”.
All the while, the business took on the existing and well established four wheel drive business, Active Gear Rockhampton.
Once the decision was made, Fulcrum Rockhampton along with CQ Manual Gearbox and Diff Centre moved into the new premises on August 1 before the former acquired Active Gear Rockhampton.
"We now offer a one stop shop for everyone, catering for all passenger vehicles, not just four wheel drives, from steering and suspension repairs, wheel alignments, log book servicing, manual gearbox and diff repairs, tyres and batteries, four wheel drive accessories and all mechanical repairs,” he said.
Peter joins industry
"I finished school after Grade 11 and then completed a pre-vocational course at Rockhampton Tafe College which led me to choose the mechanical industry as my path,” he said.
"At the end of 1997, I was 17 (when) my father gave me the opportunity to join the family business and give me an apprenticeship working under a very knowledgeable mechanic by the name of Bruce Lucas.”
The Robinson family has played an important role in the business's network for more than 22 years which has brought "a wealth of knowledge and a vast range of quality steering and suspension components”.
Those 22 years have seen the demise of Australian manufacturing and the increase in families choosing SUV and four wheel drive vehicles as their preferred family car.
But what's stayed the same is customers are still welcomed with smiling faces after they pull into the store.
"Our steering and suspension business has evolved a lot over the years from its humble beginnings in the back workshop of the service station on Wandal Rd in South Rockhampton to where it is today,” he said.
"Our main focus at the time and still is today was to ensure the wheel alignment on the vehicle was set up correctly and the steering and suspension components were all in good condition and set up correctly for optimum handling and ride quality.
"I have been interested in the automotive industry since I was a boy as my mum and dad used to run service stations and I was always in and out of the workshops tinkering and also serving customers on the driveway and checking their oil, water and tyres,” he said.
Six years ago, the team decided to dedicate their time and energy to start a Fulcrum partner store, and the business has only grown from there.
"We have always strived to offer the right products and advice to repair our customers' vehicles and explain what really needs to be replaced now if there is a failure and what we would recommend be replaced in the future and why, to ensure the customer is well informed about the condition of their vehicle,” he said.
"This now gives the family the opportunity to get to more destinations with their loved ones and enjoy the great outdoors.
"The four wheel drive sector is now a large part of our steering and suspension business due to this shift in the market.”
Their experienced team in the workshop and sales departments come with over 50 years in the industry.
"We are dedicated to offering our customers the best possible service and product knowledge available,” he said.
"Our team of technicians are constantly updating their knowledge on late model vehicles with technical training sessions and regular information bulletins sent from the engineering department at Fulcrum Suspensions to keep our team at the top of the game.”
Fulcrum offers a vast product range of steering and suspension items, with brands from Bilstein, Formula 4x4, Superpro, Koni and more.
The business offers free steering and suspension checks, plus a free drop-off and pick-up service.