Powering Up The Family Business

Power’s Country Express is an Australian success story forged from hard work and the desire to succeed in a highly competitive industry.

What began as a one van transport operation doing the night run between Bendigo and Swan Hill has today grown into a 25-vehicle company servicing regional Victoria.

You’d be hard pressed to find a business with greater family involvement than Power’s Country Express.

Founder and owner, Damien Power, has driven the company’s expansion with the help of family members including his wife Emma, mother June, father Tony, sister Camille and brother Jason, who all still work in the business. Damien’s other sisters, Michelle and Sarah, have also provided valuable contributions over the years.

Damien still works from the company’s Bendigo headquarters, and along with the other staff members, ensures that personal and professional service remains a feature of the expanding business.

"We initially started with a transit van in 1998 and around four months later we bought our first Isuzu – a 1989 model FSR 450," Damien said.

"We have 13 trucks now, eight of which are Isuzus. They range from a 1987 NPR 300 right up to a 2010 Giga 455."

It’s understandable why reliability is so important to Power’s Country Express when you consider the distances covered by the company’s trucks each year.

"Some of our older trucks will just run around locally, but others will be doing up to 200,000 kilometres a year on the night run to Melbourne," he said.

"We have very little down time with our trucks so the availability of parts, a helpful point of contact at the dealership and reliability are important factors when we’re looking to buy. I’ve found Isuzus to be extremely reliable and the staff at Poyser have been great."

All five of the Isuzus purchased new by Power’s have come from Poyser Trucks in Epsom, near Bendigo. Damien says their working relationship was part of the reason why he continued to return to the Isuzu Dealership.

Power’s Country Express currently runs two Gigas – a Giga 455 with a hydraulic tailgate and a pig trailer, and a Gigamax 510 B Double – two FVD 950s, two older NPR 300s used predominantly for local work, an NQR 450 and a medium duty FRR 525.

The company’s truck bodies are fabricated by All Truck, with Freighter manufacturing the trailers for the Isuzu Gigamax 510 B Double.

Damien said the user-friendliness of the Gigamax 510 B Double meant it could be used to teach staff how to handle larger trucks.

"It’s been a really good truck for our guys to learn how to handle B Doubles because of the automated manual transmission," he said.

"And you get all the information you need in the cabin without having the often complicated dashboards of the big American trucks."

The Gigamax 510 may be user-friendly but it’s no slouch in the power stakes with its 383kW (510 hp) of power at 1800rpm and 2255Nm or torque at 1300rpm - the highest of any Japanese prime mover.

To see more about Isuzu Trucks, Australia, go to http://www.isuzu.com.au/.

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