BUILDING SAFER CONSTRUCTION SITES WITH ISUZU F SERIES

Grappling with uncompromising safety standards and a truckload of regulation is all par for the course when you operate in domestic construction – one of Australia’s most hazardous, but in-demand, industries.

A Safe Work Australia report* released in 2015 stated that an average of 35 construction employees are seriously injured at work each day, with over 400 losing their life on the job from 2003 – 2013.

The figures are staggering, but one Australian company is determined to bring the numbers down by keeping the safety of construction workers firmly in their sights.

Founded in Melbourne in 2001 by Peter Horton, Buildsafe has since expanded into Queensland and New South Wales, taking their innovative and effective safety solutions to more and more construction sites around the country each year.

Buildsafe offers a full suite of safety equipment; designing, engineering, and implementing everything from platforms, walkways, and scaffolding, through to edge protection and temporary fencing.

Now with over 120 staff in Victoria alone and a 30-plus truck fleet, Buildsafe’s Procurement Manager Alison McCurdy says their continued growth comes from steadily raising the benchmark in domestic fall protection.

“When we started out we had just two trucks in Melbourne and we’re currently running 34 trucks out of our metro Melbourne branches, and Australia-wide we’re in excess of 100 trucks,” Alison says.

“Our main customers are the large volume builders such as Metricon, Simonds, Henley, Porter Davis, and Burbank, who are very safety and brand focused.”

A continued focus on using technology to streamline customer service and on-site delivery has meant Buildsafe makes life that much easier for time-poor construction managers.

“We have live online reporting, which means construction managers don’t even have to go to site – they can simply log-in and see that all of their jobs and handovers are complete.

“It also means if there are any issues with Worksafe, they have all the information they need to demonstrate they’ve provided the proper protection for their workers.

“We’ve certainly set a new benchmark in height safety solutions that just didn’t exist before we entered the market, Peter doesn’t settle for mediocrity.”

Transporting Buildsafe’s tailor-made safety equipment to work sites around Victoria is their distinctive fleet of bright orange work trucks – 14 of which are Isuzus.

After first purchasing two Isuzu F Series trucks back in 2011, Buildsafe has since added another 12 to the Victorian fleet and Alison says Isuzu is now her first choice when it comes to new vehicle purchases.

“The Isuzus were initially a choice because they’re a quality supplier – they’re tried and true trucks and reliability was a key priority for us.

“Jim MacKinnon and Nick Marcolongo at Paterson Cheney have taken care of us since the beginning and the fact they can offer us overnight servicing with pick-up and delivery is just another advantage of going with Isuzu.

“We’re currently running 10 FSD/FSR 850s and four FRR 500s across the Melbourne fleet and we’ll definitely be purchasing more. We’ve opted for automatic transmission on all the trucks and the drivers absolutely love driving them – the Isuzu trucks are the pick of the fleet!”

All of Buildsafe’s Isuzu trucks are fitted with custom-built cages that allow for safe transportation of equipment from the Keysborough base to the next construction job.

“We use the FRR 500s for transporting roof rails and fallguard systems, and we use the 850s specifically for carrying our scaffolding and platform systems to site.”

While the Isuzu trucks travel only a modest 40,000 km a year, Alison takes a preventative approach to all service and maintenance to ensure any off-road time is kept to an absolute minimum.

“You want to avoid breakdowns at all cost, and I’ve always been of the mind that preventative maintenance is the best way to go.

“If you’ve got three people in a truck clocking up wages, and that truck breaks down, it very quickly becomes an expensive exercise.”

To keep on top of any servicing issues, Alison has all drivers file detailed weekly reports and photographs on the condition of their truck, making it easier to quickly identify any areas of concern.

“The drivers are also responsible for checking oil, water and that sort of thing, and we also make sure they clean their trucks at least once a week.

“We also have a GPS tracking system which reports to our central database so we can closely track how long a vehicle has until its next service is due and to monitor driver behaviour.

“Our brand is a top priority for us, so it’s incredibly important our trucks look good when they’re out on the road – we have all the Buildsafe trucks painted up by Andy King at Dawsons Truck Refinishing who does a fantastic job.”

And while steadfast reliability and exceptional after-care service remain a strong reason for staying with Isuzu, Alison says the resoundingly positive driver feedback is certainly hard to ignore.

“The drivers just love them. The airbag suspension in the rear and the Allison auto transmission make for a really comfortable drive even when you’re carrying a decent load on the back.

“Our drivers will choose the Isuzu trucks over others in the fleet for that comfort and ease of driving, and that is definitely another reason we’ll be choosing Isuzu again.”

*http://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/sites/SWA/about/Publications/Documents/926/fatalities-in-construction.pdf

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For further information, please contact:              
Jeff Birdseye                                                          
Marketing Manager                                                  
Isuzu Australia Limited                                            
Phone: (03) 9644 6666

For Isuzu Truck Releases and Photos:
Arkajon Communications
Phone: (03) 9867 5611
Email: isuzu@arkajon.com.au

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