ISUZU N SERIES A BREATH OF FRESH AIR OUT WEST
Hot and Cool Haulage has been delivering air-conditioning in and around Lockridge, Western Australia for 20 years.
Despite its longevity, owner-operator Bruce Watts says it started from the humblest, and most incidental, of beginnings.
“A friend told me they needed trucks to deliver air-conditioners and I had a truck, so I went in and got the job.” Bruce said.
“Now we’re 20 years old and most air-conditioning companies have their own drivers, but I’m still an independent going to multiple businesses and moving their units around for them.”
Its niche, word of mouth work that Bruce has curated over many years, but it’s also work that’s critically dependant on reliable equipment, something Bruce clued into very early on.
“I service the entire Perth area, anywhere from Mandurah to Yanchep,” he said. “I reckon I’ve only got about five years left before I retire, but with an Isuzu I don’t expect a single problem and I’ll be able to re-sell it and get a good price for it when I’m done.”
To keep his business running smoothly, Bruce has always stuck with Isuzu’s, and he’s now the proud owner of an Isuzu NPR 400 Premium. He certainly knows quality when he sees it –just one of the benefits of his past training.
“I’m a fully-qualified mechanic, so I know my way around an engine, and that’s why I was happy with the Isuzu over their competitors,” Bruce said.
“Since I founded the business I’ve had three Isuzu trucks. I’ve bought them over the years and I’ve stuck with Isuzu whenever I’ve updated.
“I picked up the NPR in June last year. I put a tail-lift on it and a Pantech body and because I got an extra-length chassis, there was a bit of a gap between the cab and my pan, so I had an extra box bolted onto it to store moving blankets and other gear.”
“The Isuzu’s have always been very good. If they weren’t, I wouldn’t have kept buying them.
Isuzu’s reliability comes from the attention to quality-construction across the range. A cold-riveted ladder frame chassis and an ECE-R29 compliant all-steel construction cab exterior headline a list of key ‘nuts and bolts’ features that continue to set the brand apart.
“I had my first Isuzu for about four years before I sold it to my brother-in-law when he went into business with me,” Bruce said.
“I bought another straight away and had it for 12 and a half years, did 880,000 km in it, and it was still going strong when I sold it on.
“I originally chose Isuzu trucks because they had the heavier frame, an automatic transmission and it just looked like a better, heavier duty truck than the competition.
“I based my choice on Isuzu’s reputation that ‘reliability is everything’, because it really is everything.
“Over 20 years of driving Isuzu’s I’ve had hardly any downtime.”
While reliability is Isuzu’s top priority, the NPR 400 also has a swathe of features directed to enhancing the comfort and overall safety of the driver, such as driver and passenger airbags with seatbelt pretensioner, Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Anti-skid Regulator (ASR) and cornering lamps.
“I’m travelling about 80,000 km a year, and that’s metro driving. I’m always happy to drive it around, the only problem is other road users, but I feel a lot safer in this truck than I have previously,” Bruce said.
“The fact the trucks also have disc-brakes all-round is the best thing Isuzu’s done. I had discs on the front and drums on the back of my first truck and the brakes were pretty good. But my new truck stops on a dime, I’m really happy with the responsiveness.
“The Isuzu’s have always offered the best range of safety features.”
Air-conditioners are precious cargo in the west where temperatures regularly top 40º C, so it’s important the NPR also has the power and engineering to make sure these valuable items get to their destinations on time, every time.
Thanks to a Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM) of 7,500 kg driven by 114 kW of power at 2,600 rpm and torque of 419 Nm at 1,600 – 2,600 rpm, the Isuzu NPR can handle just about anything that’s thrown at it.
When you add to the mix Isuzu’s latest generation 6-speed Automated Manual Transmission with fully manual and clutchless operation modes, you can see why Bruce has been leaning towards Isuzu for near on 20 years.
“I’m a big fan of the AMT transmission. Mainly I deliver to warehouses and homes but I go down dirt-roads here and there and I don’t have any issues with it at all,” Bruce said.
“I’ve got a bad arthritic knee on the left and can’t push a clutch in all day, but the automatic transmissions in all my Isuzu’s have worked a treat.
“The average day for my truck is a lot of stopping and starting, dropping off at homes and businesses, plus all the lights and traffic in the city, but I find it does the job well, there are no issues.
“Driving the NPR feels great. It’s powerful enough, that even with a full load, I never worry about reliability because I know how well Isuzu’s run now. I can trust it.”
With his latest truck, Bruce is looking forward to an enjoyable and stress-free wind-down towards retirement.
While his customers will miss Bruce’s down-to-earth nature and the consistent reliability Hot & Cool Haulage offers, Perth’s Major Motor’s Isuzu will miss a dedicated customer as well.
“I’ve bought my trucks from Richard at Major Motors,” Bruce said. “He measured up the truck body, worked out how the tailgate would fit, and for the service in general he’s first rate – best in the business.
“Isuzu always compares favourably with other brands. I’ve driven anything between two and twelve tonne trucks over the years while I’ve worked for transport companies and I really think Isuzu stacks up the best in the market for rigid trucks.”
For further information, please contact:
Isuzu Australia Limited
Phone: 03 9644 6666
For Isuzu Truck Releases and Photos:
Phone: 03 9867 5611