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"We're committed to building trailers that are the most economic, that give the best value for money, that will last and be virtually maintenance-free." - Brian Ford

A trailer is a trailer is a trailer. Or so most of us think.

Well, if you're one of most of us, you should have a chat with Brian Ford, whose Brian Ford Engineering Ltd business specialises in making trailers under the Briford brand.

His Christchurch-based team of 20 can produce virtually any sort of trailer you can think of - "if you can tow it, we can make it" is the way he puts it.
Brian Ford
"if you can tow it,
we can build it"

Brian doesn’t have to consult the catalogue or brochure; he has the stats in his head - 140 models with 27 sizes in the standard range, shuttle trailers, crates in two heights and two sizes, 30 colours, galvanising, vinyl or metal canopies, three tipping options (hydraulic, winch or gravity), various axle heights, brakes, brake conversions, 16 stud patterns, trailers for all classes (750kg, 1000kg, 2000kg and 3500kg).

And he has two staff devoted fully to custom-building specials to meet the specific needs of clients from around New Zealand. Almost all parts of his trailers are New Zealand-made.

It's 25 years since Brian built his first commercial trailer in his garage. He began with four models of the conventional garden-type trailer and reckons he's seen around 23,000 trailers pass out his doors since.

An electroplater, welder and self-taught engineer, he began building trailers because he sighted a gap in the market - "it was hard to find a good steel trailer then, there was no one really professional around". He worked part-time from his garage for seven years before going into the trailer business full-time in 1980.

"Amost everyone uses a trailer in New Zealand, but their needs are so varied. You’ve got to cater for everything in a small market." - Brian Ford

The trailers he sold for $150 in 1975 now cost around $1000. But, he adds quickly, they are far better quality. "We're committed to building trailers that are the most economic, that give the best value for money, that will last and be virtually maintenance-free."

The breadth of models reflects the diversity and small scope of the New Zealand market. "Amost everyone uses a trailer in New Zealand, but their needs are so varied. You’ve got to cater for everything in a small market."

In a market where cowboys appear regularly, he believes Briford offers customers the security that they are dealing with professional, experienced people who know the business and can assess their needs very quickly and accurately.

You can also buy your trailer by credit card or hire purchase, and Brian is very happy to buy, sell and trade. He also does repairs and insurance valuations.

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