COOL CUSTOMERS LIQUID NITROGEN SERVICES CHILLING WITH ISUZU N SERIES
Working with huge amounts of dangerous goods in metro areas requires the safest vehicles possible, those tight corners and car parks present risks for drivers who are charged with keeping themselves, their cargo, and everyone else on the road safe.
However, Liquid Nitrogen Services has found their perfect vehicle in the Isuzu N Series, which covers all bases for their delivery and servicing business in Melbourne and greater Victoria.
Their day to day work involves transporting huge amounts of liquid that can reach as low as minus 196 degrees Celsius to hospitals, science labs, veterinary centres and food processing plants.
Based in Hallam, Victoria, husband and wife team Les and Wendy Filliponi have five N Series trucks on their fleet, their most recent additions an NQR 450 and NLR 200.
“Hospitals use liquid nitrogen for haematology and pathology, we have veterinary clinics that use it for artificial insemination in animals, and even food processing plants use high purity nitrogen gas for storing food, there’s a broad range of customers,” Les said.
The clever N Series trucks are perfect for Les and Wendy as they provide excellent urban handling with enough legal payload to carry over 500 litres of liquid nitrogen in one journey.
“I had a job selling liquid nitrogen equipment 24 years ago and identified a real gap in the market to service and supply the liquid nitrogen straight to the customer.
“We had two young kids, and took a real chance on it, but when the bank gave us a loan it grew from there, and now it’s a family business with my wife, children and niece all on board.
“There’s a lot of competition, but we give excellent service and that’s why we’ve survived all these years.
“We’ve expanded into a few different new areas as the market is tougher than it used to be but we give 100 per cent and work hard as we depend on word of mouth from our customers for additional business,” Les said.
Pride in their appearance has always been a big factor for Liquid Nitrogen Services as their trucks’ impressive livery helps bring in the majority of their work, and their model from 15 years ago even ranked in the semi-finals of an Isuzu Truck of the Year competition.
“I won a t-shirt from Isuzu which I still wear around the farm, it’s important the trucks look professional, the artwork is now much better now than it was then,” Les said.
After growing tired of break down issues with competitors, Les returned to Isuzu to invest in his future.
“I had an older model Isuzu from years ago that was still in great working order after many years, and I knew the reputation Isuzu had for reliability,” Les said.
After working with Patterson Cheney Isuzu in Melbourne, Les decided on the N Series, with its ready-to-work features and car license requirements, it fit the bill as a no hassle workhorse safe enough to carry their tanks.
“We choose the model by the size of the tank we have to put on the back, so the N Series is ideal for what we use, we’ve finally got the model right after all these years and we’re going to stick to that.
“We buy the cab chassis, and fit the tank on the body and add a box so we can store equipment,” Les said.
Les has six drivers who work up to nine hours a day in the trucks, so cab comfort is important.
All N Series models now come with 2 DIN, two speaker radio/CD/DVD Digital Audio Visual Entertainment (DAVE) unit with 6.2” LCD touch screen. DAB+ digital radio and fully integrated Bluetooth with voice recognition and a contoured adjustable driver’s bucket seat to ensure the drivers are taken care of.
“The drivers always say the Isuzus are very comfortable, they like the adjustable spring seats and the extra room in the Isuzu, as they found the others to be a bit cramped.
“They’re great for urban delivery as the mirrors are big, I can manoeuvre around car parks and tight spaces with no worries.
“The power and payload are ideal, and the specifications from Isuzu are accurate, whatever weight they say it can take, it takes it, no problem.
“I’ve found with competitor trucks they say it takes a certain amount and twelve months later the springs sag and you have to work on them,” Les said.
All Les’s N Series trucks are fitted with Isuzu’s 6-speed AMT which ensures a smooth drive like an automatic, but offers the versatility of manual shifting, a perfect combination for those tight Melbourne side-streets and car parks.
Safety is of the highest priority for Les and his team as liquid nitrogen is classed as a dangerous good, and trucks have to be approved by a regulator before they can hit the road.
In both the NLR and NQR models safety is taken care of with Anti-Lock braking systems, an ECE-R29 cab, driver and passenger airbags with seatbelt pretensioners and Anti-Skid Regulators that all come as standard.
“If the volume is over 500 litres, the truck is classed as a dangerous goods vehicle, which most of our trucks are.
“The drivers have to have a dangerous good license, which involves a three day course, and we train them in house for a further for three months.
“We don’t want any accidents, although it’s non-flammable and nontoxic – people tend to panic when they hear liquid nitrogen, it’ll freeze anything it touches, so we don’t want any hiccups.
“We avoid downtime with regular servicing at night and weekends so everything is kept in proper working order.
“We got caught up with competitors for a while but had a few issues and went back to Isuzu.
“They’re just excellent to drive, if they weren’t perfect we wouldn’t keep going back to the N Series.
“We’d definitely buy Isuzu again, my daughter and son are taking over the business and I’ve recommended that they stay with Isuzu, it works for us, and we’ll stick with it, we’re staunch people.”
For further information, please contact:
Isuzu Australia Limited
Phone: 03 9644 6666
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Phone: 03 9867 5611