PROFILE: Ark sails on for 40 years
If you're into towing then the chances are you use a product manufactured by Ark Corporation.
Forty years after it was founded, Ark Corporation is the leading local supplier for towing and trailer parts to the marine industry, encompassing just about everything needed to pull a boat behind a vehicle. The company handles around 1,400 different SKUs and holds about 70 registered patents and designs for a wide range of trailer parts and other accessories.
Based in Sydney, the company was founded by Richard Arakelian, a fitter and turner by trade, who started out by machining tow balls. Demand soon outgrew supply and the company branched into designing and manufacturing a growing number of towing-related products, from galvanised hard parts like hubs, springs, axles and couplings, to electrical plugs and sockets, locks, lighting and towing accessories.
Arakelian is one of life’s great tinkerers, the sort of person who, when faced with a particular problem, cannot resist trying to come up with a solution. Over the years, many of the company’s innovations in the trailer and 4WD market have gone on to become standard pieces of equipment, such as the lockable jerry can holder, the tow ball shin protector and the quick assembly 7-pin flat plug.
Ark components are used by many leading trailer manufacturers – both for boats and caravans – as well as being distributed nationally via wholesalers and retail chains such as BCF and Repco.
Innovation, not imitation
Product manager, Gary Afarian, said the key to the company’s success is exemplified by its slogan ‘Innovation, not imitation’; rather than copy other products, the company, led by Richard Arakelian’s ingenuity, is constantly on the look-out for new solutions to common outdoor and towing issues. The company is staffed by people who love the outdoor lifestyle of boating, fishing, camping and four wheel driving and it is from their first-hand knowledge and experiences that many of the company’s new products find their genesis.
“With a team that is dedicated to this lifestyle, Ark can continue to grow its product range and develop products which will stand the test of time that the harsh Australian environment throws at them as well as make life simpler for those who are out on their own adventures through this great and vast land,” he said.
Recent products developed by Ark include the Extreme Offroad (XO) series jockey wheels designed for durability and ease-of-use in the toughest of offroad conditions, and the ArkPak range of portable power systems – a design idea suggested by a member of staff - which give users a range of options for charging and recharging outdoors and camping equipment.
Looking further ahead, this Australian-owned company is already preparing for the next phase of growth with an upcoming rebrand which will set it up for the next 40 years.