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One Scrap At A Time: Hains Metal Recyclers Choose Isuzu

Recycling is an integral part of the waste cycle, and while the process isn’t pretty, it’s hard to imagine what the world would look like without it.

Brad Johnson from Hains Metal Recyclers in Saint Marys in Sydney’s west, has played an important role in waste management for over a decade, with Isuzu Trucks supporting the operation at every step.

It all started after Brad was made redundant from his management position at one of Australia’s major scrap metal yards during the Global Financial Crisis. During that tough financial climate, work was hard to come by—so Brad took it upon himself to create his own future and set out building a business.

He started out with a second-hand Isuzu truck and a backyard workshop as the processing plant.

“In the beginning, I’d drive my Isuzu truck to manufacturing companies and deliver bins out the front. Once the bins were full, I would go and pick them up, sort through the scrap, value-add it and then resell the refurbished scrap to bigger operators,” Brad said.

“Those companies range from car manufacturers, all the way to the businesses that make coat hangers.”

Value-adding, as the name suggests, means adding value to the product being handled. In Brad’s line of work, that includes processes such as removing screws from scrapped aluminium sheets, increasing the value of the material.

Over the last eleven years, Hains Metal Recyclers has grown steadily, allowing Brad to invest in a larger scrap yard, employ his own team and upgrade his old Isuzu truck to a newer model; and the opportunity to add another secondhand, medium-duty truck to his fleet. His client base now consists of several multi-national automotive companies and other major brands in food and retail industries, amongst his other smaller customers.

Speaking of the position the business now enjoys, Brad says he cannot ignore the enormous contribution that first Isuzu truck made to the business’ rapid growth.

“The first Isuzu truck I bought was 20 years old and it did not skip a beat,” he said.

“Everyone who starts a business should look to buy a little Isuzu truck, just because of the guaranteed reliability and how easy they are to use.

“It will do what you need it to do, and you won’t need to spend a lot of money on it.

“From the get-go I was set on owning an Isuzu because I knew I could trust the brand. I could trust it down the highway, turning into tight city streets, to get me to my customers and back to the yard with no issues,” Brad continued.

“Obviously, the value of an Isuzu is pretty well known, because it actually got stolen from me! A 20-year-old truck! It just goes to show the solid reputation these trucks have as an asset,” he added ruefully.

Staying true to the brand, Brad recently purchased a new Isuzu NNR 45-150, installing a caged tray and an in-built light crane on the truck with the help of local Isuzu dealership, Gilbert and Roach Huntingwood.

Sporting a 4,500 kg GVM and 8,000 kg GCM, Brad finds confidence in the NNR 45-150’s capability to safely load waste loads onto the tray and move those loads all over the regions he services—all while being driven on a standard car license.

“The NNR 45-150 is a great model to continue to grow the business,” Brad said.

“I can put my staff into it and send them into those less accessible areas of this city, and feel confident it’s going to make its way back to the yard at the end of the day.”

Complimenting Hains’ demanding line of work is the NNR’s compact size, combined with a power rating of 110 kW at 2,800 rpm and 375 Nm of torque at 1,600 – 2,800 rpm. This means they can transport full skips of aluminium, plastics, timber and other metals for processing and resale through Sydney’s hectic traffic with ease.

Brad is also passionate about sustainability in Australia and appreciates that a positive by-product of his work is driving waste out of landfill, and into the processing plant to be repurposed.

“A large percentage of the stuff I see get dumped into landfill could be recycled,” noted Brad.

“We’re seeing some positive steps being taken now towards a more sustainable future, but there’s still a lot of work to be done.

“I’m conscious of doing as much as I can for the environment, while still putting food on the table for my family.”

Brad’s next step is to buy himself an eight-wheeler to replace the other medium-duty truck in his fleet; with the aim of making metal transport from Hains’ bigger contracts easier to manage.

“I’ve already looked into it,” said Brad” And it’s always going to be Isuzu.”

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