BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA — Plastic buckets notoriously have a short lifespan before they crack, break or leak.
But an Australian company has developed linear low density polyethylene tubs and buckets it guarantees will last at least five years.
Tuffy's Tough Tubs & Buckets, a trading name of Batphone Australia Pty. Ltd., based in the Brisbane suburb of Geebung, are distributed across Australia. Co-owner Garry Fraser expects international demand, particularly from the United States.
Fraser said Tuffy's tubs and buckets are manufactured in Australia by Queensland Plastics Pty. Ltd., in the neighboring Brisbane suburb of Banyo. They are available in eight colors and have maximum UV sun protection for Australia's harsh climate.
The company slogan is: “Don't be fooled by cheap imports. You deserve a decent bucket.”
Fraser previously sold Chinese-manufactured tubs and buckets. But, after problems with delivery times, quality control and inventory, Fraser and his co-owner decided to seek a domestic manufacturer.
“We have dramatically increased the thickness and strength ... so [the buckets] can take the weight,” he said. The 11-gallon tubs and 5-gallon pails are used in horse paddocks and stables, and by fruit pickers. Tuffy's also sells standard 2-gallon buckets and 3-gallon tubs.
Fraser said Tuffy's bucket handles are stronger, as is the plastic around the connecting points so it is not cut or broken by the metal.
“We have certainly done our homework; we have put a lot of work into research. In 18 months we have not had one product return, not one single claim on warranty,” he said.
Fraser said the competition is tough: his buckets are up against cheap imports that cost as little as 50 cents in bargain stores.
“The industry, as a whole, wants a bucket to last five minutes so you have to keep buying them. Our hope is that people will pay a little more for quality. They get a tub or bucket that lasts five years or longer and is covered by our guarantee.”
Fraser acknowledges A$10 is not cheap for a bucket, but that's the price, regardless of the size.
The company also donates A$1 to a charity of the purchaser's choice for each tub or bucket sold.
“Our profit margin has been cut significantly to do this, but we believe it is worth it,” Fraser said.