Cattle farms are such a quintessential part of the Australian pastoral landscape, but rearing stock in the land of alternating droughts and flooding rains is a fierce challenge that many don’t think much about.
AgForce Cattle President, Anthony “Bim” Struss, knows this better than most.
He was “born rooted to the ground” and had his first cattle job at 18 years old. They say you can take the boy out of the farm, but never the farm out of the boy. So even when Bim later took up a successful career in marketing, far away from cattle yards, he and wife Susan continued his interest in their Havelock property in Queensland.
“I may be the President of AgForce Cattle, and also the Chairman of the Market Access Task Force for the Cattle Council of Australia, but I still get very involved in the day-to-day work on the property,” Bim said.
And in his role for AgForce Queensland—representing Queensland’s rural producers—Bim champions the interests of the organisation’s 5,000 plus members.
This would be enough for many people, but apart from Havelock Bim also has an interest in an abattoir and a feedlot in the Philippines.
With so much going on, Bim can’t afford to have unreliable equipment—hence his decision to buy an Isuzu FXD 1000 4×2 (FXD 165-350) as his latest cattle and horse transporter.
“I’ve already got a 20-year-old Isuzu tipper, and that’s still going strong… So I know a thing or two about equipment reliability,” Bim said.
“However, I’m not a trucking expert, so when I was looking for a new truck I spoke to a lot of people—and the general consensus was Isuzu trucks.”
When the new rig was delivered, Bim ensured that he put it through its paces personally.
“The FXD has been fantastic. It’s great to drive and very comfortable, and the ZF manual transmission shifts smoothly,” he said.
“We have a few areas of sandier country on our bush roads, and the truck handles it with ease.”
“Lots of Queensland farmers already use Isuzu trucks—they’re the truck of choice around here —so I wanted to partner with Isuzu, offering a fleet discount to AgForce members,” Bim said.
“It’s about the people as well as the trucks. The salespeople at Black Truck Sales provided their expertise to ensure that I had the right tool for the job.”
Bim continued, “Isuzu also stood out because the model we purchased didn’t require AdBlue for emissions control, which is very convenient for farmers. In our case, if we used AdBlue, it would expire before we used it up, plus we’d have to store it on the property.
“We need to get over some rough country, but we don’t do a lot of kilometres; I’ve filled that truck up only three times in six months.”
Bim believes service is just as important as the end product, because if he can trust the salesperson who sold the truck, then he can trust the truck as well.
“Tony Collins at Black Trucks Toowoomba was extremely good. I had little knowledge of trucks, but he never pushed the sale, he just gave me the basic information I required, and then left me to make a decision,” Bim shared.
When asked if he had a favourite feature in his new Isuzu, it was clear that Bim prizes the extra, personal touches.
“When I pulled up at home in the FXD, my three grandsons were all waiting for me. The youngest fella, who was eight, was very excited and he said, ‘Pa, it’s even got three windscreen wipers.’
“I don’t know if three windscreen wipers are a particularly great benefit,” Bim laughed.
“But Tony also threw in a free air blower to clean the vehicle. It’s minor stuff, but it made me feel appreciated.
“We’re very, very pleased with truck. And Susan and I have just bought some more country… it’ll get a lot more use from here on!”