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FLEET FOCUS: ISUZU DELIVERS ESSENTIALS FOR EWH FOOD SERVICES

When they’re hours deep and a few dozen deliveries into a run, there’s a few things that are a saving grace for EWH Food Services’ drivers: a strong coffee, a comfortable seat, and most importantly, a fail-proof Allison automatic transmission or Automated Manual Transmission (AMT) on their Isuzu truck.

While EWH Food Services delivers to metro locations, they also make regular deliveries up to the Blue Mountains in New South Wales as part of the daily run. This can mean up to eight hours on the road for a single truck driver navigating tricky mountain roads.

“Goods are picked and packed by our store person at night, ready for the trucks to be loaded for the run in the morning,” explained Operations Manager, Vincent Yee.

“Once loaded, our drivers start working their way through a set run of 10 to 30 deliveries that are required to be unloaded by hand and taken into the kitchens of hospitals, nursing homes, restaurants, pubs and cafes.

“We’ve opted for Allison auto transmission and AMT models in our new Isuzu fleet because these long-distance drives on a manual truck is a very strenuous job,” Vincent said.

“And they’re usually performed by the single driver, so we definitely want what’s best for them.”

The company has been in operation for over 40 years, servicing a diverse range of clients across New South Wales. From little bistros to hotels, childcare centres to correctional facilities, EWH Food Services caters to them all.

They’re a family business operating out of a head office in Kingsgrove and two branches in Newcastle and Coffs Harbour, enabling distribution along the coast, as well as inland areas like Glen Innes, Merriwa and Bathurst.

Carrying over 6,000 items that are food of the dried, chilled and frozen variety, as well paper and cleaning products, EWH Food Services has the essentials necessary to run a commercial kitchen.

“We predominantly carry dried goods such as salt, sugar, oils, rice, pasta, and all different pre-made sauces—anything that is shelf sustainable.

“We do chilled goods too, such as cheeses, butters, cream, and condiments.

“Lastly, we also provide frozen foods, such as pre-cooked seafood, vegetables and chips. Hundreds of cartons of chips. It’s amazing how many chips get consumed across the state, actually!” Vincent added with a chuckle.

Ensuring customers get their essentials without fail is serious business for EWH.

The company has previously run other truck brands, but they recently decided to turn over the entire fleet, purchasing solely across Isuzu’s light-duty N Series and medium-duty F Series range to support operations.

“Historically, we have been largely relying on a different brand, but after some recent changes to their truck models, we decided to move on.

“A mechanic we trust recommended Isuzu and their reliability, and we haven’t been let down,” Vincent said.

EWH’s fleet now sees an impressive lineup of 40 Isuzus, including the NLR 45-150 with AMT, NQR 87-190 with AMT, FRR 110-260 Auto, FSR 140-260 Auto and FVL 240-300 Auto.

And their 45-strong, fully licensed (and double-vaccinated) driving team has nothing but praise for their new Isuzu trucks.

According to EWH Food Services Warehouse Manager, Adam Tilbrook, some of their trucks travel between 500 to 2,000 kilometres each day.

“Our drivers are very happy with Isuzu’s automatic and AMT gearboxes, which helps reduce fatigue on long distance drives,” he noted.

“Automatic trucks also make it easier for us to employ new and younger drivers, who may have less experience in the cab.”

EWH have also taken full advantage of Isuzu’s dealership support to help them outfit the fleet.

“Matt McKenna and the team at Suttons helped us with the designs and fitting. They have been been wonderful to work with throughout the years and go the extra mile when providing service to our company,” Adam said.

“We’ve gone for the smaller models and tried to design a body with maximum payload on the smallest chassis.

“We now operate a range of Isuzus of varying sizes to meet the requirements of different runs and locations, and we are very satisfied with their overall performance.”

Though COVID-19 has had a substantial impact on EWH Food Services and their client base, Vincent is confident the business is well placed to fully recover in the coming months.

“We have lost a few clients due to the pandemic, but we managed to keep our staff on the whole time through lockdowns, and we feel extremely fortunate to be where we are now.

“Things have really picked up and we are starting to get busy again. We’re looking forward to growing our fleet in future.”

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