Being in the right place at the right time can offer a life changing moment, as Charles and Jerry Nipper of Focus Machinery can attest.
Chatting one night to friends in the United States who owned a quarry which was busy during the summer months, Charles and Jerry Nipper asked what the business did during the cold season. The answer was dry hire, and the Nippers knew they had hit on a winner to bring home to Australia.
When the Nippers first went into business in 2010, the plan was to import machinery from the United States and sell it on to the Australian market. This was put to rest quickly in favour of local dry hire as international market pressure bore down on the Aussie dollar.
“It was dollar for dollar for a time there,” explains Focus Machinery Founder and Branch Manager, Charles Nipper. “Once the dollar started dropping again, it wasn’t feasible to do that, and that’s what made us really get into dry hire.”
Focus Machinery has amassed quite the substantial fleet with over 500 machines available to rent. This is complemented by an arsenal of attachments, over 1,000 varieties, from loading ramps and pallet forks to augers and grinders.
Their range covers everything from large excavators and ground compactors to a keenly honed selection of medium-and light-duty Isuzu factory Tippers. Charles has been very pleased with performance across the Tipper fleet, noting customer demand as a motivator for continued purchase of the Isuzu product.
Charles says business has reached a stage where much of the work performed by the hire fleet is now on Tier One government projects such as the West Gate tunnel in Melbourne. Their equipment lockers are expanding to reflect this progression.
“We’re trying to keep up with the demand, which is always a good problem to have so we have up to 30 Isuzu Tippers across the size range and another 11 Isuzu trucks on order for 2023,” says Charles. “They’re a great vehicle for our customers on site; they’re versatile and very popular with our customers.
“In previous years, we were trying to say yes to everyone and anything that came our way, now we’re being a bit more selective with our opportunities to ensure we can cater for larger projects. It’s not just about being able to have equipment available for big projects, we also need to make sure the gear that’s going out under the Focus Machinery banner is up to spec.”
Ready to rumble
This is where the business finds sustained value in Isuzu’s tough as they come Ready-to-Work Tippers, which offer a GVM range of 4,500 kg to 8,700 kg on N Series models through to a rugged 11,000 kg or 14,000 kg GVM in the FRR and FSR model range.
With new 2023 Isuzu trucks now standard with 6-year warranty (distance dependent on model) and 3-year unlimited km body warranty, as well as a suite of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) in many N and F Series models, an Isuzu Tipper means safer conditions for drivers and decreased downtime prospects for Focus Machinery.
Their medium-duty Isuzu F Series Tippers are also specified with a GCM of either 16,000 kg or 21,000 kg, capable of handling all but the most massive towing and dumping jobs. Rope rails, tie-down points and the auto-release two-way tailgate fitted as standard help clients achieve better productivity, and this combined with Isuzu’s promise of reliability on the job is satisfying their needs.
“We understand our clients have time restraints and time-critical projects,” Charles notes. “Providing only quality equipment means we can eliminate downtime for us and our clients to the best of our ability.”
Another way in which they maintain a full client list is by treating one and all with transparency and honesty.
“We had a client who had a piece of equipment break down on site,” Charles recalls. “It was going to cost a lot of money to be idle, a lot more than the hire price. We made sure to replace this very expensive piece of equipment and have it available for him on site the following morning. Because of that speed of response, we have a customer for life.”