For almost 40 years, GJ Drivelines has specialised in the repair and manufacture of tail shafts for heavy vehicles, cars and industrial needs.
Started in Keysborough, Victoria, in 1983 by Gary Sadler, the business is now in its second generation, run by his son and current director Matt Sadler. It also now has a second location in Somerton, in Melbourne’s north, which was opened in 2021 and specialises in heavy vehicles.
“My father started the business after the tail shaft company he was working for closed down. That company manufactured brand new tail shafts for Kenworths and many of the other large Australian truck manufacturers. He bought some equipment from them and started doing it himself. He got a contract with the Australian Army, which we still have today, and business just grew from there,” explained Matt.
“We opened our second branch to specialise in the heavy vehicle side of it. We chose Somerton because we wanted to cover both sides of Melbourne.”
Now 37 years old, Matt joined the family business in 2001, at a young age. “I left school when I was 16 and started working for Dad. I’m a fitter and turner by trade, then I also did night school and got a Diploma in Mechanical Engineering.”
GJ Drivelines is a true family business in every sense of the word. Though Gary retired six years ago, Matt says he’s still there to offer advice, adding that his mother is part of the business too, working as a bookkeeper.
Along with providing its customers with exceptional quality and service, key to GJ Drivelines’ offering is its fast turnaround time, which ensures trucks are back on the road as soon as possible.
“The Somerton branch offers a drive-in drive-out service for trucks. What that means is that you can drive your truck in there, the boys will remove the tail shaft, rebuild it, balance it and put it back in the truck all in the same day, so there’s only minimal downtime – our truckie customers love it!” added Matt. “We also have a Schenck digital balancing machine, so we use the best balancing equipment available.”
While Somerton specialises in heavy vehicles, Keysborough now specialises in performance vehicles, with tail shafts manufactured out of aluminium and carbon fibre. “We’re the only ones doing that in Australia.”
GJ Drivelines employs eight technicians across its two branches, with Matt working alongside them to get the job done.
“All of our technicians are fully qualified tradesmen. We have mechanics, diesel mechanics, fitters and turners, and auto electricians, so GJ Drivelines covers a broad range of trades and skills,” said Matt.
“The owners of the business are also in the workshop, physically working alongside our staff to do the job. We offer the fastest turnaround times compared to any other driveline business in Victoria – and Australia. Carrying all the parts in stock means we can offer same day service, which is especially important when your truck is your workplace. We understand that time off the road costs you money.”
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