WORK HARD, TOW LARGE: ISUZU’S TRAYPACK WITH COLONEL’S MOWING
Growing an attractive lawn from less than desirable conditions can be a struggle for lots of homeowners. Attaining that picture-perfect green is never as simple as gardening shows or magazines would have it, despite the casual ease which presenters turn over delectable and healthy, haven-for-worm soil.
Whether there’s major compaction and rubble underneath the surface, or the ground feels like cracked toffee as you shovel endlessly for no discernible result—there’s a lot more to lawn and garden care than first meets the eye.
In the hot, dry and mostly sandy ground soil conditions of Western Australia (WA), growing healthy green gets even tougher. That’s where professionals like Dan Clynk from Colonel’s Mowing—using an expert set-up including the Isuzu NLR 45-150 Traypack—step in to lend a hand.
Dan Clynk started Colonel’s Mowing in 2015 and as the name suggests, he’s a bit of a Hogan’s Heroes fan. With a nod to the long running television program, he worked a play on character Colonel Klink’s name into the business.
But while Dan’s focus is managing the lawns of Perth residents into tip-top shape, his work doesn’t stop with a 4-stroke mower. In WA, demand is steadily increasing for lawn improvement, and Dan is moving with the times, offering top dressing, lawn aeration, vertimowing (for lawn restoration)—just about any service that a lawn in need of good doctoring could desire.
“In Perth we have a lot of sand… the soil is really lacking in important growing materials,” said Dan.
“And in modern home builds, I see a lot of turf being put straight on top of sand, rubble and building waste. I use an organic compost soil mix, combined with wetting agents for top dressing and leveling of lawns, and an aerator for de-compaction.
“The hydraulic aerator pulls out soil to a depth of about 75 millimetres and around 120 holes per square metre, allowing oxygen in and carbon dioxide out, as well as nutrients and water… it’s very good for compacted or thinning lawns,” Dan added.
It’s a holistic turf management service like no other, and Dan has a substantial 12-foot by 6-foot trailer loaded to the brim with mowers, aerators, barrows and other equipment which means there’s some solid towing involved.
In previous years, Dan relied on utilities to move the load around but found them lacking in both load capacity and safety for towing the trailer.
“When I started the vertimowing and aerating and carrying a lot of weight, the ute lacked in performance.
“Even though it’s advertised as having a ton and a half capacity, put a cube of soil on the back and it really sagged.
“After more than a few dramas I decided that was that. It was time to find something stronger and with space for everything I needed.”
With that vow firmly in mind, Dan checked in to Major Motors Isuzu at Forrestfield in April this year for a spin in the 4,500 kg GVM Ready-to-Work NLR 45-150 Traypack, and in it found a safer, more capable transport solution for his business—and better looking, too, he noted. To top it off, he visited local print and signage experts C Results Printing & Display for a sleek wrap on the trailer.
Dan had a few non-negotiables in mind; namely secure access at his home base to ensure his gear was safely locked away overnight. Eventually opting for the short wheelbase variant, Dan explained the logic.
“I went for the shorter wheelbase because I’ve got limited space at home to get through the carport. In the end I had 40 millimeters to spare and can now back the trailer into the shed and have everything locked up. I didn’t want 50 grand worth of equipment sitting outside, for someone to help themselves to, so it was important to me that I could do that.”
“I also didn’t want to go too long because with a trailer on it, it keeps my overall size down and I’m not blocking off people’s driveways on jobs, especially in the more modern estates where they end up having a very narrow driveway frontage.”
Storage and access aside, Dan also opted for Isuzu’s Torque Convertor fully Automated Manual Transmission (TC-AMT), with optional manual operation mode, for ease of use in and around the suburbs of Perth.
“I bought the automatic because it’s easier for me day in, day out, no changing gears all the time and stop-starting. With a load in the tray and a trailer out the back, the AMT has been great.”
Another key advantage of the AMT, and the use of a truck in this application more broadly, are the productivity and fuel savings under towing. Benefits Dan has noticed since switching from a ute to the NLR Traypack.
“It’s really good on fuel. It uses less fuel then my ute does, which I was not expecting. My first thoughts were that getting into a truck was going to cost me a fortune to run. So, it’s been great to see some savings there.
“It handles the towing so much better than a ute does, too. The driving position is higher with better visibility and a standard Colorado with my trailer behind was struggling. I actually had to tune the ute to try and cope… now I’m probably taking more weight than I have ever done, and my truck’s still standard.”
Standard is a relative word, with the NLR 45-150 Traypack powered by Isuzu’s efficient 4JJ1-TCS, 4-cylinder, direct injection engine. And it is no slouch, producing 110 kW (148 HP) @ 2,800 RPM and torque of 375 Nm @ 1,600 – 2,800 rpm.
When quizzed on the prospect of switching back to a ute, Dan’s response was concise.
“When it comes to a truck, there’s so many pluses over a ute. I’ll never buy another one.”