Isuzu and Sydney Horse Transport: A winning quinella
ARGUABLY one of Australia's biggest horse transport companies, Sydney Horse Transport is a story spanning two decades. Having begun as a two-truck operation in Coffs Harbour, New South Wales (NSW), owner Adam Maley then expanded the business further within NSW and into other regions and states, such as Victoria and Queensland.
The business specialises in transporting horses on a daily basis-to and from spelling paddocks, the races and the barrier trials, and between different states. Their dedication to the work they do is evident, and their reliability has resulted in being trusted by the best trainers in the world, including Chris Waller, Gai Waterhouse, Gerald Ryan and Gary Moore.
So when Winx made her way onto the racing scene, trainer Chris Waller knew he could trust his prodigy with Adam and his Isuzu trucks.
On the working relationship between Chris Waller and Sydney Horse Transport, Adam mused, "It's pretty routine, if it's working there was no reason to fix it."
With transporting cherished, prize-winning racehorses such as Winx, Adam had all the answers to accommodate Chris's needs.
"He would request the same driver, the same Isuzu truck and same procedure, and we were there to supply and meet his expectations.
"There was a lot of welcome pressure during those days, analysing traffic reports and keeping our eyes on the live cameras so there are no accidents or hold-ups and Winx isn't spending more time than she needs to on the road.
"Being a part of that process and watching her continue to win was extremely satisfying," Adam said.
Adam and his team aren't strangers to handling other animals and interesting requests as well, such as a client who requested the transport of 30 miniature cows from Queensland to Tasmania, and also moving radio personality Kyle Sandilands's camel.
"We also had the opportunity to move Kyle's camel from Victoria up to NSW for him, that was a pleasure," Adam said.
With big names comes big responsibility, and that's why Adam has chosen Isuzu as his brand of choice.
"We were with a different brand around 12 years ago and we had a lot of mechanical trouble with that brand.
"I went back and did a lot of research. We also looked at what the councils and other larger companies were purchasing-as they also did their research-and saw that they were buying Isuzu as well.
"So we made the call to switch to Isuzu and we've bought Isuzu ever since," Adam said.
The stars of Adam's Isuzu fleet? The ever dependable FXD 165-350 and the FRR 110-260.
"We don't have issues with downtime now," Adam said.
"Reliability is paramount in my industry, you can't afford to have horses sitting on the side of the road with trucks breaking down and not being up to standard" he said.
Adam exclaimed his satisfaction with the Isuzu trucks' power; the FRR is rated at 191 kW and torque of 761 Nm @ 1,400-2,400 rpm, and the FXD is rated at 257 kW and torque of 1,422 Nm @ 1,400 rpm.
"The power of our Isuzu trucks is more than ample-it's really good compared to other brands in the same size, which we found to be lacking in power," Adam said.
Both trucks run Allison automatic transmission featuring fifth-generation electronic controls with adaptive shift, resulting in the smooth drive the racehorses require.
"Both trucks are automatic and they're good in and out of traffic.
"They're very smooth vehicles to drive, which is important because the horses need to be comfortable," Adam said.
Both trucks are fitted with horse-carrying bodies, the FRR sporting a six-horse loading body and the FXD boasting a nine-horse side-loading body-all fitted with airbags and other features necessary to keep the horses safe.
Adam finds that, in his experience, Isuzu offers increased value in multiple facets of his business application as compared to other truck brands.
"Compared to others, the Isuzu trucks' reliability, payload, and smoothness and comfort of the drive are all better, and Isuzus are very cost-effective," Adam said.
"The trucks have a great turning circle and they're very comfortable to drive.
"The drivers can be in them for quite a number of hours and they're not returning sore, tired or stressed, and instead returning quite fresh."
Additionally, Adam says the biggest benefit Isuzu gives his business is convenience.
"Convenience and service, those are key.
"Gold Coast Isuzu's very quick, when you get a vehicle serviced and maintained they have it ready to go quite promptly.
"And if there are any potential problems looming, Gold Coast Isuzu has them resolved before they can start.
"We stand out in our industry due to the size of our business, which is achievable through the quality of the trucks and the continual service with limited downtime that we are able to offer," Adam said.