Thursday, October 16, 2014

ISUZU TAKES FORKS '4' U WORKSHOP ON THE ROAD


Forklift sale, hire and service company Forks ‘4’ U has found an innovative way to cut down on service times: take the workshop right to the customer’s door.

A leading material handling company with branches in Townsville, Mackay, Cairns and Rockhampton, Forks ‘4’ U purchased a NQR 450 in 2013 and put in the hard yards to develop a fully equipped service vehicle to enable on-the-spot servicing to customers.

The company is now in its 15th year of operation and attributes the continued growth to hard work and a commitment to exceptional customer service. Forks ‘4’ U Director Darren Gardiner says the company’s new NQR 450 shows the industry and its customers they plan to be in operation for the long-haul.

“We’re very proud of the new truck; it really is our flagship in terms of service vehicles. We have a lot of people who are interested in just having a look at it to see how we’ve built it. It’s been good for the company as it shows we’re serious about we do and we’ve already secured additional business just from people seeing how well we’ve set it up,” Darren said.

The NQR’s custom body was completed in Sydney and took four months, but Darren says the time spent getting the truck right was well worth the wait.

“It truly is a mobile workshop. We previously ran with vans, which we still do for inner city jobs, but sometimes we need to have our technician heading out west from Mackay for up to a week at time, and this new truck really gives us the ability to carry enough parts and oils to do that. In the past we’d only be able to operate for about two days’ work away,” he said.

The truck’s design was the brainchild of Forks ‘4’ U Service Manager, Tom Edgecombe, who is still pinching himself that his “mobile workshop” is out on the road and vastly improving on the field service team’s operational efficiencies and service delivery.

“This body really is one-of-a-kind. Basically I was given free rein to develop the truck I wanted as Darren knew we had to build it. So I sat down, and put all my field service dreams on paper, and it all went from there,” he said

“The new truck has two 200 litre clean oil tanks for engine oil and hydraulic oil and both have digital flow meters and pneumatic pumps. It is also fitted with a 300 litre waste oil tank connected to a pneumatic 1-inch Greco diaphragm pump. This has really cut down on our major servicing times, because we can now pump out the hydraulic tank and pump it all back in, it’s a lot quicker and a lot cleaner.

“In the past we’d have to do a lot of to-ing and fro-ing to the workshop, to drop off the empty oil containers and used parts like hydraulic filters etc. Then we’d have to restock and head back to the customer again, it cost us a lot of downtime and I’d say we’ve now cut our service times down by a third with the new truck,” Tom said.

The NQR is also fully stocked and equipped with a hydraulic hose crimper, a range of fittings and hoses, and a hose saw which enables the mobile technicians to replace hoses on the spot, saving their customers’ time and money in calling external hose doctors to complete the job.

“The truck has also been great for handling the tough road conditions out west of Mackay as there’s a lot of heavy trucks and mining vehicles getting transported along those roads. The truck handles it all fine, it’s a beautiful truck to drive, it’s like driving a car and performs really well in those conditions,” Tom said.

“It’s also got cruise control and you can do things like run your mobile phone through the stereo – all of those features make the day a lot more enjoyable. Some of the sites we service can be a seven-hour drive away, so now it’s not just what’s on the truck which is making work easier and a lot more efficient but the truck itself is making life more comfortable for the road technicians.

“With the NQR we managed to get everything we wanted on there. I’ve been doing field service for 12 years now so it was good to have an opportunity to build my dream service truck, and I couldn’t be happier with it,” he said.

Forks ‘4’ U have been so impressed with the performance and comfort of the Isuzu NQR, they have already placed an order for a smaller NPR 275 Premium which will operate from their Townsville branch, allowing for greater flexibility with the region’s servicing requirements.

See more at www.isuzu.com.au

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