TAKING THE ROAD LESS TRAVELLED WITH ISUZU F SERIES
Cairns based Heritage Tours are out to rekindle the spirit of adventure.
Owner and Founder Gary Waddington seeks to share the unique beauty of Cape York, The Kimberley and Outback Australia with new and eager audiences.
Unlocking these natural mysteries is no mean feat, given they’re usually closed to anyone without a four-wheel-drive and a solid history behind the wheel.
But Gary delivers it all with comfort, clear views and just enough mod cons, in his seven-strong fleet of Isuzu F Series 4×4 trucks.
“It’s the vehicles that really make us stand out,” said Gary.
“We have fantastic service and we go to great lengths to make sure people enjoy themselves, but the trucks definitely attract the customers.
“They know they’ll be doing the trip in comfort and style.”
Gary has just added three brand new FTS 139-260 models to the fleet, and is impressed with how easily they handle the rough country and difficult conditions.
The FTS 139-26O offers 191 kW at 2,400 RPM. It’s a full-time four-wheel-drive, with a convenient push-button centre differential lock that provides equal drive between front and rear axles when there’s a need for maximum traction.
This gives Gary the grip he needs for battling through outback creeks and powering up crumbling, gravel tracks.
He’s put modified bodies on the back, with the newest models in the fleet seating 26 people comfortably and boasting panoramic windows, reclining seats, an on-board toilet and even a television to complete the luxurious experience.
“I started Heritage Tours in 1989 with seven Landcruisers, but pretty soon I knew I had to expand,” Gary said.
“Looking around, I saw that all the successful companies had Isuzu trucks – I figured they’d done their homework and wouldn’t be using them unless they were reliable.
“I haven’t looked back since!”
Gary certainly puts his trucks through their paces, hauling them over long stretches of corrugated dirt road, up steep inclines and even through water.
His typical clientele is retirees and people over 55, and while they’re willing to push into the wild, they want to get there in one piece.
As such, Gary’s relying on the FTS’s exceptional spring suspension to ensure as smooth a ride as possible.
“The drivers find the trucks comfortable and the passengers love them too,” he said.
“If anyone complains about it getting a bit rough I tell the driver to slow down, because I know the trucks can get around there without a problem.”
With Heritage Tours, “getting around” means a 4,000 km round trip, ambling through some of the most breathtaking and iconic landscape Australia has to offer.
This includes expansive beaches, idyllic rainforests and rushing waterfalls, all featuring a cavalcade of diverse Australian flora and fauna.
It’s stunning country, but it’s also the kind of place where an unreliable vehicle would be a real problem.
“We once had to get a bit ‘bush mechanic’ with one of the old Landcruisers,” Gary fondly remembers.
“We had to make glue out of powdered milk and water so we could make a repair.”
The only thing better than having the know-how to get yourself out of a jam, is staying clear of trouble altogether.
“With the Isuzus, we don’t really have downtime,’ he said.
“In 10 years, I’ve only had two breakdowns, and I’m taking the vehicles through some pretty extreme country – putting them through water and over plenty of rough roads.”
Gary loves introducing his guests to Australia’s secluded natural playgrounds, bringing them to remote areas they’ve never seen and would have little chance of reaching if unaccompanied.
Most of all, he enjoys bringing them there in comfort, with no worries about how his vehicles will handle the trip.
“I’ve had 14 or 15 Isuzu trucks since 2003 and I wouldn’t go back,” he said.
“I’ll just keep buying them now – I wouldn’t get anything else.”
For further information, please contact:
Isuzu Australia Limited
Phone: 03 9644 6666
For Isuzu Truck releases and photos:
Phone: 03 9867 5611