‘Stunner’: Prize-Winning Isuzu Fxl Turning Heads
There’s taking pride in your ride, and then there’s folks like Andrew Webber, who take it to another level. White line warriors like Andrew shift normal transport jobs up a gear by treating their trucks like, well, their kids.
A contractor for Toll Tasmania for the last seven years, Andrew likes to show a bit of pizazz when he’s on the road.
“It’s fair to say my truck stands out a bit,” Andrew said, grinning. Andrew takes his Isuzu FXL 1500’s aesthetic appeal seriously, so he needs a deep breath before reeling off his truck’s list of modifications.
“I added heaps of stainless steel fittings, LED lights, chrome grille, rear door handles and hinges, a range of different kits, sun visor, roof scoop, custom tyres and alloy rims, line and scrolled pin striping, sign writing, custom mudflaps, shining black tautliner sides, personalised number plates…”
Andrew trailed off for a second. “That’s just off the top of my head, I know there’s more.
“I took it to the Alexandra Truck Show and it won the best rigid award. I didn’t think I’d win anything but they looked at it and said, “That’s a stunner”.
“I get a ridiculous amount of good comments.”
The result is a happy and proud truckie who loves his career because he loves his workplace.
So what advice does Andrew have for truckies everywhere? The most important contributing factor to enjoying your job: choose the right rig for the role.
“I have about 16 pickups from around Dandenong every morning – all general cartage – and I transport the lot down to the docks, where it gets shipped off to Tassie.
“If you’re in my industry, your priorities are comfort, power and efficiency, and my Isuzu FXL 1500 ticks all those boxes.”
With those parameters in mind, the FXL was a natural choice. With a GVM of 24,000 kg, 257 kW @ 2,000 rpm and 1,422 Nm @ 1,400 rpm, the FXL is efficient yet powerful.
“My FXL has a 12-pallet tautliner body with a ring feeder, and it tows another 12-pallet dog trailer,” Andrew said. “It can haul anything without a problem.
“The other Japanese truck brands I’ve owned were underpowered compared to my Isuzu, but I’m still counting my pennies because those brands used to cost me $150 a week more in fuel.
“I have no idea why somebody would choose another Japanese truck.”
Andrew’s full of praise for the benefits his FXL has on his business and daily life, but there’s a lot more to his truck than meets the eye.
Andrew’s gleaming rig looks so impressive it’s hard to focus on what’s inside, but with features like cruise control, an Isri 6860 air-suspension seat with pneumatic lumbar support and a Digital Audio Visual Equipment (DAVE) unit with Mp3/DVD/CD playback, digital radio and Bluetooth with voice recognition, the FXL is more than just a pretty face.
“My favourite feature’s still the looks,” Andrew laughs. “That and the power, which means I don’t feel as fatigued constantly having to change gears.
“Because the other Japanese truck I owned was underpowered, it was a big physical effort to drive, but the Isuzu’s power and comfort means it’s more like driving a car.
“The FXL’s safety is also a big plus, but it’s the little things that make a big difference. The doors open wider than other trucks so you can just step up and have contact the whole time.
“With a reversing camera and airbag as well, I don’t think you could add anything more to it.”
The FXL 1500 has Anti-lock Braking (ABS), a driver airbag with seatbelt pretensioner, an ECE-R29 compliant cabin and front underrun protection device, a front stabiliser bar and 90 degree wide-opening doors with heavy duty non-slip entry steps.
“I bought it from Patterson Cheney and my experience was unbeatable,” Andrew said. “The salesman, Matt Evans, went above and beyond for me and his service was unreal.
“I also chose Isuzu Priority Service Agreements, which is a brilliant idea. You go on a payment plan, so when you drop the truck off for servicing you don’t have to find the money to pay for it.
“It helps my business hugely – everything’s paid for, I don’t need to suddenly come up with cash, and the amount you save in fuel with an Isuzu can pay for your insurance and servicing.”