Ipswich business pumping as supplier spreads its wings
SKYLINE Pumps has grown from humble beginnings to a major player since it commenced in 1994.
The Ipswich-based enterprise has recently made a significant investment in its new Ipswich home, making it a state-of-the-art facility.
The local business has built a national and international standing.
Owner-director Richard Hull started as a one-man-band in 1994 from his home in Laidley.
"I started out as a mechanical engineer and I am a fitter and turner by trade," Mr Hull said.
"I worked in Newcastle, then in Sydney, and after that had nine years working for Southern Cross and from there started out on my own.
"I moved from our family home into an old butcher shop at Forest Hill where I converted it into a shop.
"From there I moved to Silkstone and had two employees. At that stage I was divorced and moved away to Bribie Island and really back to being a one man band again."
Mr Hull had a long association with local business Louie's Light Engineering in Cooney St, Ipswich.
"I used to get pumps built by Louie and he was talking about closing down," he said.
"I decided to buy it and Louie worked in the business."
Today Skyline Pumps operates out of Monique Ct in Raceview in a purpose-built, multi million-dollar location.
The business has 26 employees, with David Poussart as general manager.
"It is a two million dollar investment and I needed to future-proof the business," he said.
Skyline Pumps is a major supplier to the commercial, fire protection, industrial, and mining sector.
It has clients across Australia and a growing profile overseas.
Skyline Pumps can provide full support and technical data for all pumping requirements.
The business specializes in selection, design, manufacture; installation and commissioning of pump sets.
"We invested a quarter of a million dollars into a test rig," Mr Hull said.
"We have a fully mobile and on-site service division. I have excellent staff who bring a wealth of experience.
"We have a lot of work in New Guinea. Recently we worked on the new Dulux factory and have other projects in Port Moresby.
"We have projects in Africa and Asia as well as across Australia.
"David was known to me before coming into the business. We had been involved in our mutual love of motorbikes for around 15 years.
"He was talking of a change in employment and I asked him if he would like to head Skyline Pumps up for me.
"We have built a strong management team.
"David is a motor mechanic by trade and had run a service division and his own business for a period of time.
"He was state manager for Tech-Sound and grew that business significantly. David is doing a wonderful job along with Mark Teirney, Sales engineer and our new appointment to be announced soon for service manager."
Skyline Pumps is the sole Australian distributor for SA Armstrong pumps of Canada.
"Our quality is being noticed around the world. We get a lot of referrals, which is pleasing," Mr Hull said.
"We have started work in the Middle East for mining and oil.
"These require urgent responses, which we can handle. In many ways we are still an old style-engineering firm. We provide an individual service by understanding the clients needs and from there we design and build to their needs."
Skyline Pumps is testament to good leadership and passion for the industry. Richard Hull and his team have navigated the GFC, tough local challenges and have ridden out the storm.
"We are in a good place now. There is confidence right now in Australia and that is being seen across the board," he said.