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IT’S ELECTRIC: POWERED INNOVATIONS KEEPS YOU GOING WITH ISUZU

Powered Innovations may seem ordinary on the surface—perhaps spiffy with their smart-looking Isuzu NPR 65-190—but there’s more than meets the eye with this electrical and mechanical company. Martin and Louise Cordina, the owners of Powered Innovations, took home the Truck of the Year award in 2019 with their Isuzu NPR, and even in the midst of COVID-19 upheavals the business is working hard, keeping their customers’ machinery running smoothly.

But what sets the business apart?

Jaiden and Martin Cordina

Powered Innovations was founded in 2006 in Wetherill Park, New South Wales, by Martin and Louise. The business specialises in electrical and mechanical servicing, installations, machinery relocations, safety upgrades, repairs and modifications, such as of industrial machinery, with an added niche in printing and packaging equipment.

Simply put, Martin and his crew have the tools and the know-how to work on any project. They are a one-stop shop providing industrial machinery maintenance solutions, with expertise in AC and DC drives (in motion control). Martin and his team are accredited, and their training is done both locally and with large machinery suppliers in Germany, Switzerland, Italy, UK, Japan and Denmark.

Powered Innovations started operations with a small range of utes, and soon Martin grew increasingly tired of the utes struggling with the loads.

Not only were the utes expected to carry a wide range of tools and materials for each job, but they were also required to travel long distances, what with Powered Innovations servicing pretty much all of New South Wales and select regions of Victoria. Some of the business’s jobs even take them as far as South Australia, Queensland or Western Australia.

Dedicated to their work, Powered Innovations needed the best of the best, looking towards an Isuzu truck to help the business bring their tools and skilled services to their customers, wherever they may be.

Ten years ago, Martin sketched over an Isuzu technical sheet of an NPR 65-190 and drew his ideal truck, complete with the compartments and space he envisioned for all his tools, materials and paperwork.

Martin needed something with more power than his utes, which were severely underpowered for the nature of their work, and were having mechanical issues as a result. And so, in December 2018, Martin decided to start bringing his idea to life.

“We were on the cusp of the limited advertised payload almost every day,” Martin said, explaining about his utes.

Martin was drawn to the Isuzu NPR 65-190, the very truck whose technical sheet and chassis diagram he had used as a foundation for his vision. With the NPR’s 6,500 kg GVM and 10,000 kg GCM, coupled with 140 kW @ 2,600 rpm and a super flat torque curve with the ability to achieve the maximum 513 Nm from 1,600 all the way to 2,600 rpm. Payload capacity concerns would no longer be an issue for Powered Innovations.

Martin continued and said, “With the NPR 65-190, there was enough capacity to not overload the vehicle, so we still retain the ability to carry or tow a decent load without jeopardising our safety.”

Martin’s dream truck had to have enough power, but also enough space for his vision of a truck with compartments for every tool the business uses—which they need to bring with them to every job.

“We could get a call in the morning about an emergency breakdown and need to get there immediately,” Martin said.

“And until we get to the site, we won’t know whether it’s an electrical or mechanical problem… So, we have to be equipped with everything to tackle whatever problems the customer has.”

However, the sheer volume of equipment they need wasn’t the only transport hurdle. The way the tools and equipment were organised also posed a daily problem.

Martin said, “So much time can be wasted by trying to dig something out of the bottom of the ute tray, which can be buried under endless amounts of other equipment.

“I need something that lets me and my team access everything quickly.”

To solve this, and to realise his decade-old truck vision, Martin decided to go ahead with a custom build on his NPR.

“For our business, this was something very different to what we’d ever done before… Even though we’ve used trucks prior to this, having our first, our very own truck and customising it was something we hadn’t yet done.”

The NPR 65-190’s cab chassis was a perfect base for Martin’s idea of a customised truck body fitted with organisational shelves. Martin signed all the paperwork for his new NPR 65-190 at Gilbert & Roach in Huntingwood. He then took his sketch to Pacific Body Works in Wetherill Park, who helped to bring Martin’s drawings to life.

This included compartments, drawers and shelves to house all the tools Martin and his crew would need, including extra pallet space on the tray to let them transport other materials without needing a trailer.

A HIAB crane was also fitted on the back of the truck to remove the need for manual lifting and the risk of back injuries. Other customisations include fitting an automotive fridge, a compartment for a power generator, additional lighting for working at night, a solar panel, a microwave oven for heating up lunch… as well as a wash tank (and soap and hand sanitiser) to maintain good hygiene practices. All these features allow Powered Innovations to do their job more efficiently and safer than ever before.

Inside the truck, the NPR’s cabin allows for just as much organisation as the back.

Martin said, “There’s so much space in the cabin, and Isuzu has clever compartments that allow you to store anything you need within an arm’s reach.

“The hands-free system also lets me be contactable at all times, and the high-quality multimedia system also helps to make the long trips more enjoyable.”

Overall, Martin describes his Isuzu NPR truck as a “fit-for-purpose vehicle that breaks the mould of a normal service truck”.

The truck is also wrapped in royal blue livery, covered from cab to crane with their blue and green branding. The business’s logo and details stand out bright on the side, with their truck doubling as a mobile billboard. Their sleek truck is always impeccably presented, showing off the professionalism and quality Powered Innovations puts into their work.

And Martin believes this is what got him over the line to win the 2019 Truck of the Year Grand Prize, as well as the N Series prize.

“Attention to detail in design and look is always important to a company’s brand. It sets us apart from the hundreds of other vehicles on the road,” Martin said.

Taking home an Isuzu was never a question for Martin because of the brand’s excellent reputation.

“Isuzu is well backed in Australia, and has a reputation for being a reliable, competitive brand.

“Also, we are about a ten-minute drive from our dealership, Gilbert & Roach in Huntingwood, and I feel good about the level of backup that they can provide for me.

“So far, I’ve had no problems with my truck, but I know that if I ever do, I’ll be supported by Gilbert & Roach until I’m back on the road.”

For now, Martin is looking to buy another Isuzu with the exact same customisation as the current one in the near future, but that’s not what he’s spending his Truck of the Year winnings on.

Martin Cordina

Matthew Morosin, Powered Innovations crew member

Instead, Martin said that the prize money will go towards investing and upgrading the business for now.

“We’re constantly updating and renewing our equipment to keep up with tech changes… It’s important for us to be able to adapt to any change.

“We’ll invest in some new equipment for the business… and maybe put some of that prize money aside for the family and me,” he said, finishing with a laugh.

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