When the founder and CEO of Brooks Hire Service started his mechanical apprenticeship with Major Motors in 1972, Isuzu trucks were little more than a fleck on the far horizon in Australia.
In those now distant days British Bedford trucks and light commercials ruled the roost at Majors, but it didn’t take long for the keen-eyed young Brooks to recognise the superior quality of the Isuzu products when they started rolling into the workshop during his third year.
“There was a lot more attention to detail on the Isuzus compared with the Bedfords,” Doug says. If there was a hose that ran along the chassis of the Bedford he recalls, it would be P-clamped every 1.5 metres whereas with the Isuzu it would be P-clamped every 300mm. “It actually took longer to work on the Isuzus because you’d have to undo all the extra P-clamps, but in saying that the hoses wouldn’t chafe like they did on the Bedfords, so in the end the Isuzus were far more reliable.”
Brooks Hire now has over 3,000 units of plant equipment available for hire through its nationwide network of branches. Prior to delivery, every machine is thoroughly checked by experienced staff to ensure everything is operating correctly. For mining applications, equipment is fitted with hazard lights, rotating beacons, fire extinguishers and reverse alarms in accordance with mine spec regulations.
Interestingly, it took quite a while before Isuzu trucks made their first appearance in the Brooks Hire fleet, with Doug saying the first units were bought in 2008. At this point the range of hire equipment was considerably broadened to include a range of tippers, table-tops, water trucks and 4WD service trucks.
Doug describes the Isuzu products as solid, reliable and relatively trouble-free.
“They’re a good truck — we don’t have a lot of problems with them. I think over the last few years we have bought around 120 Isuzus in various sizes and guises,” he says. “We’ve been buying quite a few of the larger F Series 350hp models with Allison automatic transmissions including six-wheel FXYs and FXZs and eight-wheel FYs for water truck applications.”
Doug adds that the addition of a Diesel Oxidation Catalyst (DOC) rather than the Diesel Particulate Diffuser (DPD) used on the smaller F Series variants is a major advantage.
“Water trucks operate at relatively slow speeds in off-road conditions which means the burn-off of the DPD needs to be done manually. As these vehicles often have multiple drivers, sometimes they neglect to manually activate the burn which can lead to issues with the DPD getting choked up with soot,” he says. “We’ve found the 350hp engine with the DOC to be the best choice for our water trucks because there’s no requirement for the manually actioned burn.”