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CONCRETE PROOF: ISUZU AGITATORS IN THE MIX WITH JDM AND HAZELL BROS

It’s messy, it’s wet… and if you stuff it up, you’ve got to do it all over again.

That’s the hard truth about concrete, and you won’t find anyone more invested in it than JDM Contracting, which has sister operations in JDM Civil and JDM Concrete.

Established in Tasmania by Jarrod Minehan, JDM specialises in all things concrete. They cover everything from smaller residential concreting jobs (like driveways and house slabs) to large-scale civil construction projects including upgrading works on Hobart Airport, which they’re undertaking together with the crew at Hazell Bros.

For such a broad range of activities in a niche application, JDM needs not only a broad range of trucks, but also application-specific trucks that can handle the rigours of their operations. So, sitting proudly in their truck fleet are five brawny Isuzu FYJ 300-350 Agitators, recently purchased off the back of feedback from JDM’s drivers.

“Jarrod asked us what sort of trucks we like to drive,” recounted Dan Maher, one of JDM’s long-term agitator drivers.

“We told him we like the Isuzus, they’re great trucks, so he went out and bought them!”

Proven to withstand the demands of the construction industry, the FYJ 300-350 Agitators are a popular choice with drivers and owners alike. The truck boasts a 30,000 kg GVM and 45,000 kg GCM, making sure that the payload capacity meets the requirements of the work JDM does.

With the concrete weight carried, soft ground at job sites will make you think twice. But Dan noted that with 257 kW of power @ 2,000 rpm, 1,422 Nm of torque @ 1,400 rpm and cross locks fitted for rough conditions, the FYJ has enough grunt to pull out of some sticky situations.

“When you get stuck in a boggy situation, you can throw the locks in and the truck will pull itself around,” Dan said.

And in the cab, the ISRI 6860 air suspension driver seat comes with pneumatic lumbar support, helping to increase comfort and alleviate driver fatigue. And the full floating cab with coil spring and hydraulic shock absorbers makes for an extra comfortable ride.

Dan said, “It’s just a really comfortable truck out on the road, especially when you’ve got a full load.”

In addition to the comfort, the design of the cab enhances visibility while driving.

“I can see heaps from the Isuzu, there’s a lot of vision from within the cabin, which is what I like,” said Dan.

“With no nose on the truck, I’m able to see the front left of the truck, and get in and out of tighter spots too, which is really good.”

Maximising the payload capacity of JDM’s agitators, Dan said, “If we’re going a long way, we may have to make the concrete mix a little wetter, depending on what the mix is.

“And the Isuzu agitators let us carry a larger water tank, which is really good when you’re travelling a longer distance, so you’ve got extra water to use.

“We’ve been doing a lot of work up at Tunbridge doing a highway upgrade, which is about 100 kilometres away, so this definitely helps.”

A trusty truck is paramount for JDM, and the Isuzu trucks provide that well-known reliability businesses count on, as well as fit-for-purpose features that help them get the job done.

Dan said, “The Isuzus just have all the features we need to do the job we do… and having reliable trucks is a must for our operations.”

Alongside their own jobs, they have a busy schedule subcontracting their Isuzu trucks to Hazell Bros, who run a range of operations from civil construction to concrete work. Hazell Bros operates state-wide in Tasmania, and also services Queensland.

Continuing his point about the need for truck reliability, Dan added, “And when you’re a contractor you need the trucks to be on the road, working.

“If a truck is off the road for a week, that’s a week’s downtime—that’s not what a business can work with.”

The two businesses, JDM and Hazell Bros, have a close working relationship—JDM supplies Hazell Bros with six agitators daily, while Hazell Bros supplies JDM with concrete for jobs such as the Hobart Airport upgrade.

“JDM and Hazell Bros keep each other busy,” said Todd Rusher, Southern Production Manager for Hazell Bros.

“We have a really good relationship, and that’s what quality service is about, building relationships.”

Dan agrees with this sentiment too. He said, “Good service is important to every business—and that’s what my boss, Jarrod, has done, in my opinion.

“He’s picked people who are going to do the job well, he’s picked his drivers, who are going to look after the trucks.

“He’s picked people who look after both JDM and Hazell Bros.”

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