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23 CARPENTRY KNOCKING FLEET INTO SHAPE WITH ISUZU TIPPERS

Formed 10 years ago in Albury-Wodonga, 23 Carpentry have a firm foothold on regional commercial projects straddling the New South Wales and Victorian border that need that touch of something extra special.

From striking wooden outfits on council buildings and cladding on Wodonga Library, through to a stylish re-cladding of the Bendigo GOTAFE and the Wodonga Justice Centre to ensure safety compliance, it appears the dynamic team can turn their expertise to just about anything.

The company currently has a large staff team of carpenters and apprentices, captained by father and son duo, Paul and Chris Seaton.

A builder and carpenter by trade, Chris manages overall operations and contract management. He brought in Paul to help manage the workload after business really started to take off.

A bricklayer for over 50 years, Paul now oversees the driving and delivery team that transport materials on site.

At the moment, he’s most often found in the cab of 23 Carpentry’s new NQR 87-190 AMT Tipper. The new NQR is the latest and largest addition to their trusted line-up of Isuzu NLR Tippers—which Paul mentioned also earn their keep in a side hustle of pool renovations as the NLR cab fits perfectly in tight spots under resident garage doors.

While constructing and putting the finishing touches on buildings is obviously their stock in trade, it’s also evident Paul and Chris are driving enthusiasts.

Paul said his own father did some racing under the number 23 back in the 1950s, his brother in Auscar in the 80s, while Chris had a stint racing in Europe, also under number 23.

There’s nothing like keeping a good thing going; it certainly seems to be a lucky number for the Seatons.

Their enthusiasm for all things automotive gets serious when it comes to sourcing the right Tipper to support their growing business.

“With my son Chris expanding the business, we purchased an all-terrain scissor lift and a bobcat which we needed to get around,” Paul explained.

“We already had a range of Isuzu NLR Tippers which are very convenient for the staff to drive on a car licence, but we needed something specifically to transport machinery and materials to job locations.

“The NQR Tipper ticks all the boxes—it’s able to carry the load we needed and comes with a 3.8 metre tray, so we can use it for delivery to forklift material on and off.

“The reverse camera is irresistible, and the interior lighting is like a stadium, we couldn’t be happier with those extra features.”

Under the hood, the NQR 87-190 AMT Tipper is fitted with Isuzu’s 4HK1-TCC four-cylinder turbocharged engine, featuring power of 140 kW (190PS) @ 2,600 rpm and max torque of 513 Nm @ 1,600 – 2,600 rpm.

With a healthy 8,700 kg GVM and an option of 8000 kg LR licence model, and 6-speed Automated Manual Transmission (AMT), the NRQ AMT Tipper provides operational flexibility.

This is doubled down with a considerable 12,200 kg GCM and industry leading 4,500 kg towing capacity.

“In terms of drivability, it has good visibility and an unbelievably tight turning circle, none of that going back and forth again to negotiate an exit turn,” Paul said.

“The convenience of being able to pick pallet loads of cladding and also attach something like a splitter behind to cut wood, and load what we need, is just great.”

Paul also noted the NQR’s fuel efficiency is comparable with a dual-cab ute, as was the packaged purchase price they settled on with Richard Peneros at dealership Blacklocks Isuzu.

However, it’s a bit like comparing apples and oranges, considering the NQR’s available payload with a 3.6 cubic metre volume in the tray and practical features, including auto-tipping function and auto-release tailgate, drop sides and non-slip steps.

Chris and Paul’s decision to invest in a fleet that has payload to spare and can efficiently manage building supplies (and waste) has proven to be a major accomplishment for the business.

Paired with their unique reputation for end-to-end service and a focus on preserving customer relationships in the region… it’s simply a winning combination.

“We offer a broad range of supplies and price options and we also like getting involved in the project from the start…we just try and develop a good relationship with everyone we work with as opposed to the usual ‘thanks, see you later’ line,” said Chris.

“Having started off with a ute for the business, we can see the savings in upgrading to a truck fleet.

“We’ve effectively eliminated having to get someone to pick up materials and equipment, we can just take materials and equipment anywhere we want ourselves. The trucks have been really good for the business, they fit perfectly for the tasks of 23 Carpentry.”

Paul chimed in, “An old fellow told me years ago when I went to buy my first truck, ‘Stick with Isuzu and you won’t go wrong’.

“We’ve got our fourth truck here now and never had a warranty claim on any of them, even though Isuzu just upped their warranty to six years on the 4×2 N Series models.

“Backing the product… I think that’s one of the reasons why a lot of people like us in business are coming back to Isuzu again and again.”

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