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It’s 2 am and the lights are still on in Darryl Moore’s home office.

It’s not an unusual occurrence. For the past ten years, Darryl has owned and operated Darryl Moore Electrical, specialising in major insurance and emergency electrical repairs in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs.

The COVID-19 crisis has ground many of Darryl’s daily bread and butter contracting jobs to a halt. But nevertheless, he’s still on call, providing an essential service to any emergency electrical situations—with his Isuzu NLR 45-150 AMT Servicepack X loaded up and ready to go at a moment’s notice.

A current job has him on-site at a client’s house, working on an insurance claim for a house fire and Darryl is investigating the extent of the damage.

“This one is a challenge, like most of the jobs I do,” he said.

“They’ve had a fire and the whole roof has had to be replaced, which means they’ve cut all the cables that run between the two levels. I’m going to find out what’s been cut and fix it back together.

“On a regular day, I’ll go to two or three different houses in the morning, usually disconnecting lights, and then go back in the afternoon to do reconnections after the other tradies have finished their jobs.

“But I’ve worked on all sorts of stuff, doing skybridges and electrical work on the runway widening at Melbourne Airport, wiring houseboats on Lake Eildon… I like to turn my hand to a few different things.”

Darryl’s unique (and varied) electrical detective work means he needs an extensive range of tools and testing equipment—including a one-tonne excavator that travels in a trailer behind the truck.

Originally, Darryl had relied on his ute to help cart around the necessities, but eventually the daily grind caught up with it, costing him time and money with constant repairs.

“I had a ute which was good in the beginning. I spent a lot of money on it, but it just ended up costing too much as things got worn down… I had the engine rebuilt, drum brakes replaced, brake pads, fuel filters, you name it… the clutch went too,” said Darryl.

“I eventually spoke with my finance broker, who said, ‘You’ve just spent five grand on repairs in a week… that’s five months’ worth of payments on a new car or even a truck’.”

Following this, Darryl set out looking for a van to replace his ute, but found the multi-step process of having racking installed both time consuming and painful for his finance company to sort out.

“It just got too complicated,” said Darryl.

“From the point of view of my finance guys, it’s much easier if they have one invoice and a total cost to work with.

“Then when I started looking into trucks, I realised that it might actually be more economical than getting around in a van with mods.”

After seeing a Ready-to-Work truck advertisement online last year, Darryl checked in at Patterson Cheney Isuzu, who helped him settle on the NLR 45-150 AMT Servicepack X with automated manual transmission (AMT), featuring adjustable internal shelving and body mounted roof racks—perfect for Darryl’s ladders and multitude of tools.

He was out on the road again with less than 14 days between purchase and pickup, and he hasn’t looked back.

“How many drills does a person need? I don’t know… at one stage I had eight,” joked Darryl.

“Size-wise, the truck is smaller than my old ute in regard to height, width and length, but with the cab sitting over the engine, my Servicepack X actually gives me a lot more storage space.

“In terms of payload, the ute always struggled to tow my equipment around, but with the Isuzu I can put the excavator on the trailer along with a full load of tools and it barely feels it.”

With the NLR 45-150 AMT Servicepack X sporting a sturdy 8,000 kg GCM, power of 110 kW @ 2,800 rpm and torque of 375 Nm @ 1,600–2,800 rpm, Darryl says he has no worries about the truck being overweight or put under strain like his ute. And in the long run, that equates to savings in downtime and repairs, not to mention monetary savings for Darryl.

“Having a breakdown or a long repair job is just painful for a business like mine. The rescheduling is a real headache and I don’t like to let people down,” he said.

“Services can be an issue too. When I’m busy, I’m travelling around 5,000 kilometres every two weeks, which means a lot of servicing… so reliability was very important to me when I bought the truck.

“My last service with the Isuzu was $700, now that’s alright, hey? I can drop it off at Patterson Cheney Isuzu at eight in the morning and it’ll be ready by midday.”

Buying a new truck built has meant fuel savings for Darryl as well.

“My ute chugged down 17 litres for every 100 kilometres, and it was over $200 to fill up the tank.

“With my Servicepack X it’s easy to get 100 kilometres out of 11.7 litres… and I think, well, isn’t that wonderful,” Darryl said and grinned.

If running a full-time electrical contracting business doesn’t sound like enough meat on the bone for any regular working person (alongside a family of three kids and an unlikely mix of hobbies including unicycling and 3D printing), Darryl also runs a side gig cheerily named Darryl Moore I Dug a Hole.

And there’s no doubt the new Servicepack X gets pressed into service there too, towing the mini-excavator and mini-loader around to small-scale excavations and site cleans.

Versatility is obviously a quality that Darryl prizes, but when asked about his favourite part of the Servicepack X there’s a little silence before he answers, “Am I allowed to say I like how it looks?”

“Because it does look really sexy.

“And… I just had a thought. I think I need to go out and get some blue ladders to match the wrap,” he mused.