VICTORIA'S Browns Sawdust and Shavings has chosen to add two more Fuso Fighters to its fleet thanks to the durability of a model it bought in 2006.
"Reliability is the key factor in the decision," says Browns Sawdust and Shavings owner, Scott Brown.
"We have a lot of trucks we can choose from in the market, you have got a truck that has proved itself and done the job so we see no reason to change," Mr Brown said.
"You don't often get trucks that give you a million km that don't give you any grief, from the cab right down to the driveline." The reliability was a key driver, but there were other reasons, Mr Brown says.
"It also came down to driver comfort, they have come a long way with the design of the cab and the additional visibility through the passenger door."
The man behind the wheel of first new Fighter is Barry Evans, who has driven for the company for 22 years and he is pleased with the new truck.
"Barry is very tall and needs a bit of room and the Fuso provides that," says Mr Brown.
"He had a choice of any truck for his next million km and he was happy to stick with the Fuso."
His old truck, the one with more than a million on the clock, is still part of the fleet and there are no plans to move it on, given that it is working well.
Browns Sawdust and Shavings has a total fleet of 14 trucks including American models and a small Fuso Canter tipper.
The new Fighter models are 2427 6x4 specification and feature 7.5-litre six-cylinder engines generating 199kW and 784Nm of torque.
A fully-automatic Allison six-speed transmission is available as an option, but Browns chose the nine-speed Eaton manual for its two units.
The Fighter has class leading 30,000km service intervals, but Mr Brown has them serviced more regularly because the high PTO usage.
Browns Sawdust and Shavings, based on the Eastern fringes of Melbourne, supplies sawdust and wood shavings to the equine and agricultural and equine industry across Victoria, covering everything from hobby farmers and horse racing stables to chicken farms and piggeries.
It also delivers woodchips to ports for export.
The design of many of the sheds on the farming properties means that the Fighter's compact dimensions are appreciated, along with the rear air suspension that allows it to drop down lower when some of the air is released.
The Brown's Sawdust and Shaving trucks are equipped with bodies using Pumpa walking floors that enable the sawdust and shavings to be delivered into the dray area of the confined barn space, rather than emptied out beneath a tall hay shed.
Browns Sawdust and Shaving was started by Scott's father Geoffrey in the 1970s with two trucks. Scott Brown, who took over the business in 2003, says a lot has changed since the company started off.
"We have changed with the technology and the environment," Mr Brown says. He adds that sawdust and shavings are also view differently these days.
"Back in the 1970s and 1980s, sawdust and shaving was a throw-away product that people had trouble getting rid of, but now it is being used for generating power, in kilns, tomato hot houses in addition to agricultural uses, it is a unique product."
Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.