ATS Building Products finds Isuzu Trucks make the ideal business partner. Words and images by Ed Higginson
ATS Building Products has set itself apart from others in the retail hardware sector by offering a rapid and efficient delivery model.
Haytham Moshi founded the business from his suburban garage in 2003 as ATS Timber.
With a name change to better reflect the core business, ATS Building Products now employs more than 100 staff and has expanded rapidly into a wide range of construction materials and tools, making it one of the fastest-growing building material suppliers in Australia.
Headquartered in Northmead, Western Sydney, the company has expanded into five warehouses across Australia − in Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide and Brisbane. With such a wide range of products from conventional timber to engineered wood products, formwork, panel lines and kitchens, the fleet must be as flexible as possible.
Supporting this expansion is a fleet of new Isuzu trucks, all fitted with their own Hiab rear-mounted crane. ATS also has a wide mix of equipment from trucks to utes, giving it a reliable and cost-effective service to carry a wide variety of construction materials in various quantities.
ATS takes pride in its premium delivery service, believing it greatly complements its business services, and helps to retain loyal customers both small and large. With a dedicated centralised logistics team, it ensures hassle-free delivery of construction materials and timbers to its customers and emphasises the importance of timely delivery. To help the team track loads and keep customers informed of schedules, all of the fleet is fitted with the latest Vericon GPS tracking (previously known as Fleetmatics).
Sean McNabb, National Operation Manager for ATS, explains: “All of our new trucks come fitted up from Gilbert & Roach ready for us. They come with a standard tray with headboard cradles to allow for longer timber, toolboxes and storage, then the rear frame is reinforced for the Hiab crane so our drivers can load and unload the product themselves.
“We have a fleet of 15 trucks now, mainly made up of Isuzu. This year we’ve bought two new Isuzu FXY1500 6×4 and another two are on their way. Last year we purchased four FXY1500 in the same specification which have been going great. Our account manager from Gilbert & Roach, Adrien Meurant, is very good to work with.
“The Isuzus are all 6×4 configuration, so our drivers can access small sites and they rarely get fully loaded. They are equipped to take trailers, but only two drivers pull them regularly as it limits where they can go. We also have around 15 utes, one of them being an Isuzu D-Max SX.”
All the Isuzu FXY 1500s feature the SiTEC Series 3, 9.8-litre six-cylinder engine which produces 355 hp (265 kW) at 2000rpm and 1422 Nm of torque (1049ft-lb) at 1400rpm. The trucks also use cooled EGR with exhaust diesel oxidation catalyst (DOC) to meet the ADR80/03 (Euro 5) emissions without the need for AdBlue.
With a GCM of 42,500 kg, the rigid truck is more than capable of delivering building products onto construction sites around the cities. With an electronically controlled variable nozzle turbocharger with air-to-air intercooler, and a direct injection high-pressure common-rail system, the trucks are extremely fuel efficient as well.
The new FXY1500 also comes fitted with the six-speed automatic transmission and gets a driver-controlled, inter-axle lock and cross locks on both axles. The combination is great around the city and for driving onto construction sites, which is why it’s such a popular choice for tippers and agitators.
Sean says: “The rest of the fleet is a mix, with a MAN TGS 8×4 purchased in 2016, a Volvo FM9 from 2006, a couple of small HINO, then everything else is an Isuzu. We bought an Isuzu FTR in 2017, two Isuzu FXZ1500 6×4 in 2014, a FVZ1400 in 2005 and a 94 model FVR991 which is still going well.
“As we continue to grow, we’ve just been adding trucks rather than replacing them, but we are starting to look at this now. We like to take the driver’s feedback regarding the trucks, which is why we order the Isuzu entertainment system with the GPS function and reversing camera, to help them in the city.”
The Isuzu Digital Audio-Visual Entertainment unit, affectionately called DAVE, is designed with the driver in mind. It’s a radio/CD/DVD and DAB+ digital radio with a 6.2-inch LCD touch screen and features a fully integrated Bluetooth system with voice recognition. For driver comfort, the Isuzu comes equipped with an Isri 6860 air suspension driver’s seat with pneumatic lumbar support, height, rake and automatic weight adjustment.
One of ATS’ long-term drivers, Brad, pilots the newest Isuzu FXY that joined the fleet in Sydney.
“I enjoy driving the Isuzu because there is a lot more room in the cab, especially for my knees which is good when I’m over six foot. It’s got much more leg room than the Volvo and MAN, and with the auto transmission it’s great around the city,” he says.
Sean appreciates this too, adding: “The drivers take pride in the fleet, so we purchase new trucks which keeps them positive and helps to keep our driver turnover low. We are a big family, so we try to create a positive environment.”