Sumner People (Alumni)

Many of the people employed by Cummins Diesel Sales & Service, Sumner Park during the late 1970’s to very early 80’s went on to do other things – many within the same industry.

Here is a list of those known to the writer. If your name is included and your listing is incorrect or if you think you should be included and you are not – or if you know of someone else who should be and isn’t, please let us know and we’ll try to set the record straight.

These people started their own businesses:

  • Ken Roberts…………………………Torquepower
  • Graeme Becker……………………..Columbus Diesel
  • Keith Wolfe………………………….Columbus Diesel
  • Ron Petzke………………………….Indiana Diesel; Diesel Technology; Dieseltech>
  • Kevin Powell…………………………Performance Truck & Trailer
  • Peter Caine………………………….Caine Power Injection Service
  • RobRoy McGreggor…………………Generator Management Systems
  • Ray Marshall…………………………Marshall’s Diesel Service
  • Wayne Gill…………………………..Mobile Diesel Service
  • John Davis…………………………..Davis Transport Service
  • Ron Bunce…………………………..Lakeside Diesel Service

At some point, these people joined one or more of the above businesses:

  • Peter Caine………………….. Torquepower; Diesel Technology
  • Derek Marriott…………………Torquepower
  • John Davis……………………..Diesel Technology
  • Kevin Powell…………………..Torquepower
  • Dick Ellicott……………………Columbus Diesel
  • Ray Marshall…………………..Torquepower
  • Gavin Pearce………………….Torquepower
  • Craig Roseneder (decd.)…….Torquepower

These people worked for other companies within the general industry:

  • Bill Shapcott…………………Queensland Diesel Spares (co-owner); Fleetguard Australia
  • Steve Kelly…………………… MTU Detroit
  • Lindsay Arndt…………………Energy Power Systems (Caterpillar)
  • Colleen Briggs………………….Davis Transport Service (co-owner)
  • Bob Gibson…………………… ANI Komatsu
  • Cliff Magee…………………… National Bolt Company
  • John Gear…………………….. Newcastle Coal Mines>
  • Ian Goodall…………………….”The Island” river cruises
  • Ross Ferris…………………… Aviall Aviation

These people are still with or had returned to (or have retired at) Cummins:

  • Ian Muller……………………… Technical Training Manager
  • John Honhke…………………… Field Service Supervisor
  • Gary Piper……………………….Branch Manager; Engine Sales Manager
  • Bob Goodrich……………………Branch Manager (was recently retd. 3 weeks) has returned to the Cummins world.
  • Bob Walker……………………..Branch Manager; Power Care Manager
  • Gordon Ngan……………………Branch Manager
  • Peter Caine…………………….Assistant Warranty Administrator
  • Bert Vanderwestern…………..Technician

If you know more, if you can help us make this list more comprehensive and perhaps even more accurate by making a personal contribution. Your comments will be considered and the records will be added and/or amended, as soon as possible. Apologies to those who we missed or whose names are incorrect or whose details are in any other way inaccurate. Once we are advised of and can confirm an error, we will endeavour to correct the record promptly.

Cummins Diesel Sales and Service – Sumner Park

In the 1970’s, Cummins Engine Company was an engine manufacturer based mostly in USA and supported by a large number of Distributors and Dealers around the world. Much like what you might consider might be a “normal” distribution network.

Cummins logo in the 1970's

In Brisbane, Australia, the then Blackwood Hodge Group of companies held the Cummins Diesel franchise – interestingly, along with a Detroit Diesel franchise.

Blackwood Hodge was based at Eagle Farm and serviced the Detroit product from that location while leasing another building in the new industrial sub-division of Sumner Park in Brisbane’s south west from where it would base its Cummins business.

Cummins Diesel Sales & Service (CDS&S), under the leadership of general manager, the late William (Bill) Goldie, operated from 61 Spine Street, Sumner Park, from the early 1970’s. The business comprised a modest Genuine Cummins spare parts section, engine sales, truck section, fuel injection overhaul section, component recon section, engine dynamometer and a V12 (28 litre) rebuild section. Total staff numbers were about thirty. It was the only Cummins Distributor in Queensland and one of just a handful in Australia.

Products of the day included:

  • H/NH/NT small cam engines and we saw the introduction of the first Big Cam with its AFC fuel pump;
  • V6-140, V8-470 (185) and V8-504 (210) engines in gems like the ubiquitous “butterbox Acco” and “D Series” Fords;
  • C/CT/CS160-195 464 cubic inch six cylinders;
  • V8-300 (marine and military) and V/VT/VTA903’s, and V12’s (1710 ci) from 400 to 800HP.

In 1977 we saw the first KT-450 (K19) failure in a Big Bud tractor. Specialist technician of the day, Ian Muller, had the privilege of conducting that repair after the engine was extracted from the tractor onto a tilt-tray and brought to Sumner Park workshop. From the “V12 section” the company serviced the engine needs of the burgeoning Queensland coal mines with a re manufactured exchange V12-1710 (V28) Cummins construction engine program. The engines were “cycled” at 8,000hr intervals for overhaul – if they lasted that long.

But the Cummins Brisbane camp was not always a happy camp and the Sumner Park business model came to an end in the mid 80’s at which time Cummins Engine Company (USA) directly acquired its distributor network in Australia and reshaped the Cummins Diesel Sales & Service business firstly as “Cummins Diesel” and soon after as just “Cummins”. Cummins then embarked on an expansion and building phase that has seen it develop into a much larger organisation (a listed company) today.

But before it did, and from the Sumner Park days in particular, many of its good employees found reason to leave and create their own paths. (Here, you will find a summary of some of the people and the paths they took – with apologies to those I have missed).

One of those people was Ken Roberts.

Torquepower People

Some amazing people have contributed to the success of the Torquepower business.

They include:

Rangi - with us since 1993

Jude Roberts; Ian MacAlpine; Gavin Pearce; Derek Marriott; Lester Burgoyne; Glen Stephen; Bruce Robinson; David Shannon; Annette Nash; Ray Marshall; Clay Burns; Terry Bremmer; Malcom Wallace; Paul Wemberley; Kevin Powell; Wayne Ashton; Ian Robinson; Craig Roseneder; Ian Hermon; Garth Smith; Tom Fisher; Jeffrey Todd; Ken MacAlpine; Denis Arrol; Esther Romano; Paul Shields; Adrian Deede; Ian Debenham; Tony Bradley; Peter Bramman; Ross Heppell; Colin Buckley; William Thompson; Bob Renton; Greg Thorne; Mark Upton;
Mike DcDiarmid; Mike AcAllister; Frank Milaudi; Danielle Webb; Wayne Herd; David Hanson; Dave Goodwin; Allan Brown; Peter Forbes; Mark Hile; Geoff Rooney; Paul Smith; Paul Wmberley; Peter Morgan; Mathew Keighley; Robert Harrison; Graeme Ross; Garner Simpson; Geoff Truscott; Jackie Griffin; Nigel Inglis; Sean Hill; Margret Hodges; Michael Kaminski; Bruce Scott; Michael Bright; Adrian Deede; Joel Ross; Daniel Kelly; Matthew Ney; Che Nguyen; Matthew Stephan; Dennis Yore; Bruce Dyker; Andrew Steer; Shayne Shepherd;

Red - once an Apprentice, now a Sale Rep

Peter Leach; Andrew Watson; Shayne Parnell; Scott Davis; Allan Brown; Maurice Haines; Luke Parsons; Adrian Deede; Neil Newnham; Brett Innes; Linda Grenfell; Peter Caine; Joanne Grenfell; Adam Kennedy; Bernie O’Brien; Trevor Rummney; Simon Morris; Hector Suenzalida; John Doyle; Tracey Gander; Shane Cruikshank; Wayne Lewis; Geoffrey Orr; Andrew Watson; Steve Howe; Darren Lawson; David Wheeler; Craig Carmody; Jamie Heslam; Jason Green; Con Williamson; Michael Masci; Tyran Haines; Yas Deen; John Hutchins; Kerri-Anne Lewis; Jenny Davidson;

Denis - a legend

Casey Caire; Graham Haines; Roger Nichols; Robert Arrol; Grant Brennan; Michael Truscott; John Naysmith; Wayne Lewis; Maurice Haines; Peter Hinds; Shaun Cant; Carl Giesemann; Chris Smith; Shaun Cameron; Arthur Guimaraes; Keith Roberts; Paul Stanley; Graham Bird; Melanie Dickson; Matthew Weise; David Greenacre; Troy Anstis; Paul Munro; Jarrod Elmers; Martin Dredge; Andy Hall; Ted Sanders; Jamex Baxter; Simon Donbi; Christopher Mancell; Nigel Piazee; Keith Greig; Peter Frommalt; Nathan Greig; Paul Standley; Scott Hurst;

Wayne Lewis; Mike Glover; Trevor Smith; Matthew Carruthers; Jose Campos; Joanne Paulin; Cameron Russell; Mark Green; Daniel Clayton; Carl Bickel; Michael Swindley; Steven Sanderson; Andrew Gardner; Michael McCormack; Adam Honey; Matthew Gardner; Jason Stanfield; Greg Sands; Stewart McCormack; Brenda Arlow; Greg Dwan; Justin Becker; Andy Masterson; Martin D’Arcy; John Graham; Suzanne Parnell; Paul Arthy; Damien Norberry; David Bryant; Joshua Malcolm; David Henderson; Steven Young; Ashley Dundas; Michael Riedel; Claire Kaloo;

Block - now a proud father

Aaron Ewart; Jasmin Roberts; Trent Fogarty; Craig Johns; Arachchige Don Saman; Ken Picton; Sue Marx; Michael Pearce; Robert Marshall; Rob Biske; Sergio Ponce; Mark Wright; Matthew King; Daniel Davis; Vincenzo Nastasi; Ron O’Brien; Stephen White; Costas Birdas; Travis Schiebel; Telecia Lee; Tony Armstrong; Keyna Roberts; Steve Hall; Chantelle Reyes; Brad Miles; Neil Johns; Eric Johns; Steven Farquhar; Ross Pickford; John McKenzie; Jesse Pavan; Scott Temple; Darren Manning; Christian Blocksidge; Alan Holman; Sona Singh; Des Williams; Daniel Baxter; Robin Bain; Sam Burgess; Stephen Aberley, Peter Collins, Tony Power, Andrew Massie, Rob Schulz, Shane Brown, Corey Beckham, Josh Stewart, Gerard O’Donohue, Daniel Watson, Liam Khan

Wheelie - still does our Fuel Pumps

Torquepower’s comprehensive training of its people has enabled many of them to take key roles with competitor businesses or start businesses in the industry in their own right. We commend their efforts and individual contribution and wish them every success.

If you think you have the right experience and skill sets to become part of the Torquepower team, you can contact us.

Torquepower Business Objectives

Torquepower was developed to fill a perceived gap in the service chain for operators of Cummins powered equipment. It seemed that the top end of town was being looked after while the owner/operators and smaller fleets had to fight for all the support they could get from the manufacturer – and sometimes came up, in their view, short-changed.

Whether that remains the case today, or not, it is clear that a significant percentage of Cummins operators prefer, for their own reasons, not to deal with the manufacturer but rather they take their business to smaller and more Dealerships like Torquepower.

Torquepower is a small business when compared with its mostly multi-national competitors.

But this is good.

Being smaller enables Torquepower to treat all of its business relationships very personally because most times we are dealing with real people, face-to-face, and we like it that way. When a client has a problem he will never get the big-business-run-around. Such an open policy has enabled us to retain a loyal and supportive client base.

Torquepower has a “one-stop” mentality. Where we simply cannot provide the service that a client may require, we will contract the task to an approved “partner” organisation that meets our own high standards of customer service. So inclusive is our business, we don’t want our customers to ever feel compelled to go elsewhere for service support.

Should you, as a customer, have a special business case that you would like to discuss with us, that may warrant an arrangement seemingly, “out of the ordinary”, come and put it on the table. You will find that we are very accommodating when it comes to commercial good sense.

Our objective therefore is to retain our flexibility, diversity and personal service while maintaining up-to-date training, technologies and know-how for the ultimate benefit of our Cummins operating customers.

Visit Torquepower Diesel

Ken Roberts

During his time with Cummins, Ken Roberts served as truck section fitter, Warranty Administrator and finally Truck Section Supervisor reporting to foreman Gordon Ngan.

In August 1978, Ken left the company and as a sole trader, set about building a business that would provide a more personalised and adaptive service for many of the often disgruntled truck owners he had come to meet.

The business name Torque Power was adopted.

The business operated on a mobile basis during the first six months, working out of truck stops, trucking yards and on the roadside. In March 1979 premises were leased in Beatty Road Archerfield wherein a single prime mover could be accommodated – providing the cabin was lowered at the end of the day so the workshop door could be closed. Additional space was arranged as the business grew until ultimately a larger workshop was necessary to accommodate the rapidly developing operation.

By 1985 the company had expanded substantially with sales volumes continuing to climb. Against that background, Torque Power negotiated a Cummins Dealership agreement (now a Cummins Certified Dealership) with Cummins Engine Company and this relationship remains strong to this day.

In that same year (1985) Jude Roberts joined the company as a director.

Today, the Torquepower business comprises a number of corporate entities and founder Ken Roberts retains the position of Group Managing Director and CEO. It has provided employment for more than 250 families and has been publicly recognised among the Queensland (Q400) Top Private Companies.

Visit Torquepower Diesel

History of Torquepower with Cummins

Torquepower can trace its roots back to mid-late 1970’s when founding director Ken Roberts worked with Cummins Diesel Sales & Service (now Cummins) at the franchised branch in Sumner Park, Brisbane.

During his time with Cummins, Ken served initially as a truck section (automotive) diesel mechanic, then a Cummins Warranty Administrator and finally was the branch On-Highway Truck Section Supervisor.

In August 1978, Ken left the company and as a sole trader, set about building a business that would provide what he envisaged as a more personalized and adaptive service for Cummins truck owners and operators in the region.

The business name Torque Power was adopted.

Factory's Spare Parts Entrance at Front

The business operated on a mobile basis during its first six months, working out of truck stops, trucking yards and on the roadside. In March 1979 a workshop in which just a single prime mover could be accommodated, was leased in Beatty Road, Archerfield. The business grew rapidly and additional space was acquired adjacent to the original premises. By 1984 a larger building was necessary for the business and it was moved into its current location. This building was the original assembling factory for Seddon- Atkinson trucks in Australia so its historical significance was appreciated and its layout was appropriate for the new operation.

By 1985 Torquepower had continued its business expansion and sales volumes continued to climb strongly. Against that background, Cummins offered to recognise the company’s success and its excellent reputation within the industry by formalising a Cummins Dealership agreement with Torquepower. The appointment has enabled Torquepower to provide authorised service for Cummins powered equipment that is covered under factory warranties. This has the effect of both expanding on Cummins support in the field as well as allowing Torquepower to retain and promote relationships with its customers who update to new Cummins powered truck equipment.

Today, Torquepower is listed by Cummins as one of the most outstanding Cummins Certified Dealers in Australia.

Visit Torquepower Diesel