ADELAIDE’S FORK & CRANES RIDING HIGH WITH ISUZU
Specialising in the building supplies industry, Fork & Cranes moves, lifts and forks everything from pre-fab house frames to scaffolding, concrete retaining walls, and even portable dunnies.
It’s a fairly niche service and to turn a buck, you need up-to-date, reliable and dependable equipment. To cover every eventuality, Forks & Cranes boasts new or near-new equipment across its operations, from its 21 metre cranes to the trucks they’re floated on.
The latter is especially important too, because without reliable and affordable transport, the competitor gets the gig, simple as that.
Fork & Cranes recently added an Isuzu FVZ 1400 with an Allison 6-speed automatic transmission, to their seven-strong Isuzu fleet, their second Isuzu purchase in just two years – following an FYJ 2000.
Owner Eddie Koncewicz says the recent addition was a result of learned experience.
“We can’t stop buying them, they’re reliable, well-priced, and the trucks are great for the market we operate in and excellent for what we do.”
From humble beginnings, Eddie’s business has grown steadily, underpinned by a constantly improving transport fleet and a long-standing collaboration with the Isuzu brand.
“We started out 10 years ago when I bought a truck from my neighbour. I won a contract with a building company, and it all grew from there.
“We’re now up to seven Isuzus within the fleet, across the F and FY Series. We’ve had a great association with the product and the company over the last 10 years, so the decision to buy again was an easy one.”
Predominantly operating in and around Adelaide and servicing a number of the largest scaffolding and construction contractors in the region, Fork & Crane’s fleet also offers transport services to “just about anywhere in Australia.”
Transporting equipment as far as the Pilbara mining region in remote Western Australia, the reliability of the trucks cannot be left to chance.
“I can’t stress enough the importance of having a good vehicle when you’re out in the countryside.
“The FVZ 1400 model gets taken on some longer runs interstate and being able to rely on it is absolutely essential when you’re on the open highway.
“The automatic transmission is a real hit with the drivers, it’s just a button to press and means they can give their full concentration to the road.
“We usually have the trucks serviced every 20,000 km so it will hit that a bit quicker than other models due to the runs, but we’ve had no problems, and Isuzu have been excellent at getting it turned around quickly.”
Both the FVZ and FYJ models have cruise control and coil spring cab suspension as standard, making those country runs a bit less daunting and more comfortable for Eddie’s drivers.
Eddie says the new Isuzu FVZ and FY models have helped Fork & Crane snare a larger slice of the local and interstate building supplies pie.
“These days we have a number of major customers who are building housing and commercial construction projects around South Australia and beyond – we’re doing a bigger cross-section of the industry now than ever before.
“We’ve changed over most of our fleet to Isuzu now as they handle so well, whether it’s long-haul jobs in the country or in and around metro areas, they have a great turning circle and getting in and out of tight spaces is no hassle at all.
“The trucks are very comfortable in terms of suspension and a smooth drive. The drivers are very happy with the Isuzu trucks.”
Contributing to the superior comfort of Isuzu’s FYJ 2000 is its innovative load-sharing front suspension equaliser with shock absorber, coil spring cab suspension to reduce impact on the driver, and the industry standard ISRI seat.
Under the cab is Isuzu’s SITEC Series III 6 cylinder turbocharged engine producing 257 kW (345 PS) @ 2,000 RPM, with a max torque output of 1,422 Nm @ 1,400 RPM.
Needless to say, there’s plenty of grunt under the right foot to ensure Eddie’s team have the ways and means to reach their destination in a safe and timely manner.
Fork & Cranes is committed to providing their staff with a safe working environment in and around construction sites, and in turn, the same devotion to safety had to be applied to their trucks.
“The safety factor is really important to us. We have reversing cameras fitted in the back of all our trucks so we can see anyone in the area and clear the path for the truck. Overall I rate the vehicles very highly in safety and comfort,” Eddie said.
On board, the FYJ comes with driver airbag, an ECE-R29 compliant cab, Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) and a Front Underun Protection Device (FUPD) as standard, ensuring a safe and hassle-free drive.
With a portion of Eddie’s eight drivers spending anywhere up to 10 hours a day behind the wheel on the longer hauls, comfort is also a major factor for Eddie.
The FYJ comes equipped with an ISRI 6860 driver’s seat with pneumatic lumbar support and integrated seatbelt, Digital Audio Visual Entertainment (DAVE) unit with 6.2” LCD touch screen and digital radio to make sure drivers are well looked after.
The transmission is Allison’s rock-solid 4430 Series six-speed automatic with adaptive shift, meaning Eddie’s drivers have every advantage when it comes to the more chaotic metro driving.
“Using the automatic transmission, the drivers find it extremely comfortable around metro areas, they’re not continually changing gears and gear ratio is very good, even going up-hill we don’t tend to slow down, even with a big load,” Eddie said.
The nature of the work means Fork & Cranes demand strength from its trucks, which is why the FYJ’s load-carrying capacity was an important consideration for Eddie. With a GVM of 30,000 kg and a GCM of 42,500 kg, the FYJ is more than up to the task.
“We don’t always have to race to a job, so the vehicles we purchase are usually in the medium range in terms of power and once we put a crane on the vehicle, it does the job extremely well.
“Half the fleet has cranes on the body, and the other half has forklifts that attach to the vehicle or if we need the tray clear for carrying freight we’ll tow it behind, it depends on the job.”
As business continues to grow, Eddie plans to further expand the Isuzu fleet.
“We try to keep our schedule 90-95 per cent full so that we’ve always got a little bit of margin for a new customer,” he said.
“We don’t want to turn away work. Once we start filling up to 100 per cent we then look at adding a new truck.
“We’re a family company that does a really good job and the industry seems to see that. We’re getting steady work just now, so there will be more Isuzu purchases in the future for sure.”
For further information, please contact:
Isuzu Australia Limited
Phone: 03 9644 6666
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Phone: 03 9867 5611