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HIGH-STAKE HAZARDS WITH ALPHA HAULAGE

Carting a trailer full of hazardous and dangerous chemicals is a tough and stressful gig, but Daniel Johnson isn’t afraid to take it on — even with the added pressures and demands from the COVID-19 pandemic. He’s well-practised in adhering to strict health and safety regulations and like many essential freight operators, he’s keen to keep the wheels moving and businesses supplied during the crisis.

Daniel has been doing the truck driver gig for 23 years­­­. He established his one-man transportation company Alpha Haulage in 2018, delivering hazardous and dangerous goods across Victoria and New South Wales.

Responsible for transporting hazardous chemicals such as sodium hydroxide, sulphuric acid, hydrochloride and sodium hydrochloride — and clocking up to 6,000 kilometres per week — Daniel needed a high-quality truck to get those volatile materials from points A to B. On the hunt for his first prime-mover, he came across a factsheet for the Isuzu Gigamax EXY 260-520.

“It has a 70-tonne GCM, so it’s graded for a B-double. That was the first thing that caught my eye,” said Daniel.

“The prime mover itself only weighs about eight and a bit tonnes, which means I can tare off about 23 tonnes with my trailers on.

“That leaves me up to a 45-tonne payload — that’s five tonnes more than what some other prime movers are pulling with the same trailers.”

Daniel was also impressed with the truck’s power, but it was the prime mover’s price that sealed the deal. He went on to purchase his Gigamax EXY from Westar Truck Centre in Derrimut.

“You’re looking at $100,000 more in other brands than the Isuzu just because of the badge.

“A lot of my mates have bigger prime movers and they get about 1.7 to 1.8 kilometres per litre — but my little Isuzu gets 2.1 kilometre out of a litre, so I’m getting an extra 300 kilometres out of a tank,” said Daniel.

“My truck is doing the same work, using less diesel and I can carry a bigger payload. It was a no brainer.

“At the end of the month when we’re walking to the bank paying our fuel bills, I know who’s got the biggest smile on.”

While detailing the attractive qualities of price and payload, Daniel also notes that the Gigamax EXY 260-520’s true beauty is hidden within. Featuring an air-controlled exhaust brake and electronic braking system (EBS), the Gigamax also sports a Voith hydrodynamic retarder to assist in load control when going down hills, heavily reducing the likelihood of locked-up brakes and subsequent trailer fires.

“You’ve got a lot of options when it comes to slowing down and stopping.

“People on the road are safe because I’m in total control of this prime mover,” said Daniel.

The Gigamax EXY doesn’t let Daniel down in cab space either.

“I love the headroom, there’s plenty of storage space and everything is within arm’s reach.

“It’s very ergonomic for spending hours in the truck cabin.”

And for Daniel, the Isuzu Priority Total service agreements package was truly the icing on the cake for his first buying experience. He believes that little bit of extra cash spent on after-sale care is worth the ongoing stress relief.

“To buy a prime mover and have it break down within the first 12 months would be detrimental to my little business,” he said.

“To get this Isuzu with the Priority Total is just such a peace of mind for me.

“Come servicing time, I drop the truck off and I pick it up, everything is covered in-between.”

While Daniel is a veteran driver — you name it, he’s driven it — he’s never owned a truck before. But he’s confident he made the right decision with Isuzu.

“For my first truck, to tell you the truth, I couldn’t have asked for a better truck.

“10 out of 10 for manoeuvrability, it has a truly great turning circle.

“For what you pay, you definitely get your money’s worth.

“I’d recommend Isuzu to anyone who’s starting out and just want something that’s going to be reliable and cheap to run. You can’t go wrong with Isuzu.”

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