ISUZU HEAVY HITTER POWERS REGIONAL FREIGHT
The regional freight task in Australia is rarely very easy on equipment, a fact Damien Power, owner of Power’s Country Express in Victoria, knows all too well.
Along with investing heavily in the development of his 38-strong staff, Damien’s business model has centred on the procurement of quality, dependable equipment – namely trucks carrying the Isuzu badge.
This savvy business approach was recognised in 2012 when Power’s was awarded the Investment in People Award at the Australian Freight Awards. Damien made more room in his trophy cabinet the following year when Power’s took out the Transport and Logistics Industry Skills Council’s Innovation and Excellence in Workforce Development Award for Road Transport.
2014 saw another award on the shelf when they were awarded the Victorian Small Employer of the Year at the Victorian Training Awards.
Based in Bendigo since 1998, the regional freight transport company run by Damien and his wife, Emma, services the Goldfields region of Victoria which includes Castlemaine, Maryborough, Kyneton, Rochester and Echuca. Power’s Country Express also complete overnight runs to and from Melbourne.
The family-run transport business has grown from humble beginnings – with only one van in circulation back in ’98 – to Damien recently adding to a ten-strong Isuzu fleet.
“Across our Isuzu fleet we have little baby trucks right up to the Isuzu FYJ 2000. We got a couple of Isuzus not long after we started, second-hand, and they’re still running. Even the ones we purchased new in 2003 are still great trucks to drive,” Damien said.
His most recent purchase is a smart looking 14-pallet curtain-sider which tows a custom trailer, from Isuzu dealer Poyser Trucks in Bendigo.
“The FYJ has extra carrying capacity, so it’s purpose-built for what we needed. We installed a tailgate and mezzanine floor on it and, for the larger loads; we bought a trailer that can be towed.
“The trailer option has been a great move for us. It gives us the ability to deliver the load of a semi without the upfront capital cost of purchasing one. We’re not doing interstate runs, so for the local region, it’s a perfect solution.
“The FYJ does urban routes as well as rural long hauls, it’s a good combination because of the weight you can put on it, and there’s the flexibility to use it as a rigid truck or a combination,” he said.
“We use it to cover a few different industries. We can deliver pallets and parcels to hardware shops, and use it to deliver equipment to the local mine up here.
“The reliability of the trucks is what brings us back to Isuzu every time, and the aftersales service from Poyser has been excellent.”
With a full load, and even towing the trailer, Damien’s FYJ 2000 has plenty of power out on the highways and byways.
Benefitting from Isuzu’s intercooled and turbocharged SiTEC Series III, 350 6-cylinder engine, Power’s FYJ unit produces 257 kW at 2,000 RPM (345 horsepower) and 1,422 Nm of torque.
The transmission Damien selected is the popular Allison 4430 Series 6-speed automatic which, when coupled with the SiTEC 350 is more than equal to handling the task at hand.
“We ‘dual purpose’ the FYJ so it can perform local deliveries during the day, in and around Bendigo, then it does longer runs at night into Melbourne. Some of the drivers could be in the cabin for as long as six hours driving through the night, so comfort’s important,” he said.
The FYJ’s combination of load-sharing front suspension and Hendrickson’s HAS461 airbag system at the rear delivers a stress-free ride though, ensuring both Damien’s drivers and their deliveries arrive safe and sound.
“The drivers really enjoy driving it. They’ve commented on how quiet it is and how well it handles,” he said.
The ISRI 6860 air suspension driver seat and ADR 42 compliant sleeper make the overnight runs to Melbourne more all the more comfortable, while Isuzu’s renowned visibility and reduced road noise all contribute to a sound operating experience.
A standout feature of the Isuzu FYJ 2000 is its emissions control system, featuring cooled EGR with Diesel Oxidation Catalyst (DOC). The simplicity of the DOC system is apparent when compared with some of the more complicated SCR or particulate filter systems offered by the other brands in the weight group, while driver intervention for the Isuzu is almost negligible.
“There’s no doubt we’d go for Isuzu again. We’ve had a really good run with all our Isuzus.
“Some of the older ones have done well – with over one million kilometres on the clock and they’re still going strong.
“The majority of our recent purchases are all Isuzu. For us it’s down to the reliability, the after-sales service has been excellent. The quality of the product is second to none.”
- ‘Power’s_1’: Damien Power, owner, Power’s Country Express Bendigo, Victoria.
- ‘Power’s_2′: Collaboration: Poyser Trucks Sales Manager Craig Gordon and Damien Power.
- ‘Power’s_5’: The Power’s Country Express Isuzu FYJ 2000 on the streets of Bendigo, Victoria.
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