The Humble Farm Truck: An Australian Love Story
Bim Struss, like all other farmers all over Australia need reliability and safety when taking on the harsh Australian environment.
As an island nation, Australia relies on our farmers to deliver first-class produce and healthy livestock to market 365 days a year.
Our farming communities are the life blood of our nation and are synonymous with Australian culture and our rich and ancient history.
In fact, although seldom celebrated, Victoria’s Gunditjmara First Nations people are credited with being the first modern humans to practice organised farming at scale, by using a system of channels and weirs constructed from the abundant local volcanic rock (carbon dated to a remarkable 6,600 years old) to manage water flows from nearby Lake Condah – to exploit eels as a food source.
According to the Australian Department of the Environment and Energy, this large and settled Aboriginal community farmed and smoked eels for food and trade at what is considered to be one of Australia’s earliest and largest aquaculture systems.
Indeed, the importance of farming to our way of life cannot be understated, which is why, in 2019, it is vital that our farmers have robust and reliable equipment at hand.
Australian farmers live and work in some of the toughest and harshest environments imaginable, which means their vehicles must be ready for just about anything.
In addition, Australia is also highly dependent on road transport to get goods to market, which means farm transport must be reliable and cost effective to repair, especially when the nearest mechanic could be 1,000 kilometers away.
To pay homage to some of these paddock warriors, we decided to ‘have a yarn’ with some Aussie farmers who have found their farming solutions with Isuzu Trucks.
Australian farmers swear by their Isuzu farm trucks to get their livestock to market safely.
Tony Schaefer Transport
Ask any livestock farmer and they will tell you raising animals in Australia is a constant battle.
With dry spells lasting decades, devastating floods and other harsh weather conditions to contend with, the effort put into raising livestock can sometimes be all for naught. Which is why it is so important farmers are able to transport their precious cargo safely and with minimal stress on the animal.
Tony Schaefer started in the business of livestock transport seven years ago and has since come to appreciate the high demand on his vehicles.
“There’s a lot of off-road, a lot of work through paddocks and a lot on dirt roads that haven’t been graded in a long time. The truck’s handling it all – it’s standing up to the rough stuff brilliantly,” Tony said.
Tony purchased an Isuzu Giga CXY 455 Long Premium which is fitted with a 12 speed Automated Manual Transmission (AMT), allowing Tony greater control over his truck in varying terrain.
“The visibility’s excellent, it’s doing very well on fuel – it’s perfectly suited to what I use it for,” Tony said.
The Isuzu truck is perfectly at home on the Australian farm and can be customised to suit any industry.
Australian wine is highly regarded around the world as our unique and varied climate produces both cool and warm climate grapes. This gives our wine a versatility and quality unique to our country.
The Dimchurch vineyards started as a dairy farm but when owner, Jeff Hoffman, took over from his father, he helped transition the family farm to a full-time grape growing operation in the prestigious Barrossa Valley north of Adelaide.
“We sell grapes to eleven different wine companies, but we also produce a small batch for our own enterprise. Our biggest customers are Glazer Wines, Rockfords, Torbreck and Two Hands”, says Jeff.
Dimchurch’s produce is in such high demand that they needed to purchase a truck that could keep up with the steady flow of stock to buyers and winemakers.
“We chose Isuzu because of its reliability. Owning a truck that’s as reliable and as easy to drive as the Giga, gives our business a lot of certainty going forward.
Indeed, Isuzu’s Giga CXY 455 6×4 Premium can is an excellent, fit-for-purpose solution, especially for agricultural applications where a balance between power, access and flexibility is required.
“The truck works seven days a week and is on the road for 10 hours at a stretch,” Jeff said.
“We previously had a prestigious European truck brand and the thing blew up!
Australian dairy farmers depend on their vehicles’ reliability to get their perishable stock to market.
Dinning’s Kelly Country Dairy
When we run out of milk, we simply pop down to the shops and pick up another carton and rarely do we spare a thought for the logistics involved in the process of transporting that milk from the dairy farm to the customer.
The pressure placed on refrigerated freighting means businesses such as Dinning’s Kelly Country Dairy, need a vehicle that is reliable above all else.
Cold chain logistics relies on the refrigerated vehicle being operational at all times and having the staying power to travel great distances when required, without loss of performance.
“Our customers know us for delivering on-time – which generally means the same time each delivery – as well as having professional and helpful staff. Everyone from office staff to those in the cool rooms – to the driver that delivers the goods – uphold this mentality,” says owner Geoff Dinning.
“Today my fleet consists of eight refrigerated trucks and we turnover in excess of $12 million per annum. The fleet now includes seven Isuzu’s including an FTR 900, FVL 1400, FSR 500 and an FRR.”
The Australian dairy industry consistently battle low profit margins, exorbitant capital investment and narrow delivery windows, so they need to ensure that no time or money is wasted in purchasing redundant machinery.
“From my first Isuzu back in 1990, they’ve continually provided good value for money, have a good lifespan and a comfort level not seen in many other trucks”, said Geoff.
Australia’s history is inseparable from farming and land cultivation and with such a heavy reliance on our world-class fresh produce and livestock, transporting these goods safely and economically becomes a huge requirement.
Far from a just a tool, in many cases these trucks are the very livelihood of those working the land. Indeed, the Australian public have a heavy reliance on our farming community to put food on our tables, and such is the famer’s dependence on a reliable truck to get it there.