Injury meant no more long-haul, but Steve found new calling
WHEN a work-related injury upended Steve McClintock's life as a long-haul truckie, he was determined not to let it dampen his spirits.
It was at this turning point in his life that he embarked on his entrepreneurial journey, birthing Com N' Get It, a food truck based in Ayr, Queensland.
What has worked favourably for Steve is that Ayr has limited gastronomical options after hours-which is also what spurred his decision to start his food truck.
"Apart from the obvious chain cafes, there were barely any restaurants or food services open after hours. I saw this as a great opportunity to open a food truck for people who work late at night, and for those who have been out on the town and are looking for good food," Steve said.
With advice and support from the knowledgeable team at Patterson Cheney and A&B Food Truck Outfitters Australia, Steve chose the Isuzu NPR 65-190 to be his restaurant on wheels.
"Both the teams at A&B and Patterson Cheney recommended that I go with the Isuzu NPR based on the specifications I need for the food truck. And to be honest, I am so glad they did.
"This baby of mine is excellent on the road; it's so smooth and easy to drive. It's a six-speed AMT and the manoeuvrability is great, I love it," Steve enthused.
And the truck looks its part, fitted with a body that accommodates a 4.3 m x 2.4 m kitchen, which houses three sinks, a hot water system, fryers, a refrigerator, freezers, and a 7 kVA generator, among others.
With a gross vehicle mass of 6,500 kg, power of 140kW @ 2,600 rpm and torque of 513 Nm @ 1,600-2,600 rpm, the Isuzu NPR 65-190 is more than capable of carrying heavy loads, and makes for a comfortable drive that is apparent, especially when travelling long distances.
Steve shared, "Sometimes I need to travel to different regions for events and driving to these can see me travelling up to 350 km one way.
"Thankfully, these long drives in my Isuzu are comfortable."
The food truck is certainly eye-catching with its perky red and white truck exterior, and the sleek new Isuzu bullbar looks great up front.
But it's not just all about the looks as Steve explained how his Isuzu truck always delivers, no matter what.
"I drove the truck to a few events at the start of the year and I remember, the drives were comfortable all along. I have had no difficulties with the truck at all, it goes so well." he said.
Com N Get It's delicious food speaks for itself as the business has steadily grown since its inception in August 2017. As is the case with any new business, Com N Get It food truck has grown from being a one-man show to a staff of three, despite being only a year old, and Steve's delightful food truck has created quite the buzz.
"The pressure-cooked chicken prepared with my own marinade recipe is one that I am personally very fond of, and it resonates with the public too," he shared.
And the menu too is full of delicious bites that are a perfect pick-me-up after a long night out. From everyone's favourite fish and chips to chicken nuggets and garlic balls, Com N' Get It has a delectable selection of finger foods.
Their unique operating hours-till 3 am on Fridays and Saturdays, keeping all the night owls well-fed and happy-also make it a highly popular stop for locals and travellers.
And for Steve, because of the extended opening hours to cater to the people, any downtime would be an absolute no-no.
"This past year has been a lesson in running a food truck business. From dealing with a wide variety of people, training new staff, dealing with equipment breakdowns… It's been a busy year.
"But despite all the hiccups, my truck has never disappointed and has always been reliable with no downtime issues at all, which is vital in this business."
Business-wise, things have been steadily picking up. Spruiked mostly by word of mouth, Steve and his team have already taken the food truck to a swarm of regional festivals this year, including Groovin The Moo in Townsville.
"The drives so far have all been smooth and comfortable, and in terms of food, this time I'm definitely better prepared to handle large crowds, so I am looking forward to the upcoming events," Steve said.
So, overall, what does this truckie-turned-business-owner think about his rig?
"I love it-the vehicle is smooth and reliable.
"And knowing that I have Isuzu Care service, I know I don't have to worry about a breakdown!"