Rearing chickens since 1938, Hazeldene’s Chicken Farm is now the largest single employer in Bendigo, VIC – transporting over 700,000 birds around Australia each week.
Employing 750 staff and 300 specialised contractors, the proudly family-run business continues to thrive, delivering quality produce to major retailers like Coles, Woolworths, ALDI and local butcher shops in Victoria and across the country.
Fleet Maintenance Manager Michael Patton says with so many important factors dependent on service and delivery logistics, it was an easy decision to opt for the Isuzu FYJ 2000 when looking for a vehicle that delivered optimum efficiency and value for money.
“We process around 700,000 birds a week here, and they’re transported all over Australia, so it’s a big operation,” Michael said.
“With all our trucks we travel over 100,000 km a year so we’re always looking at how we can be more efficient and save money on running costs, and reliability is a big part of that.
“We have another older Isuzu FVR 950 that we had good results with, and we did look around at a few different makes and models, but the reputation and the reliability of the last model drew us back to Isuzu and the FYJ.”
Started out by Dick Hazeldene and his wife Mavis, Hazeldene’s is now operated primarily by their children and grandchildren – who ensure the breeding and rearing farm hatchery, processing facility and delivery service runs smoothly seven days a week.
“This is a family business, so reputation is important. Hazeldene’s has a great reputation in the community and with our customers. We have to build on that reliability, it’s important to the business,” Michael said.
When looking for their most recent Isuzu, Hazeldenes approached Poyser’s Isuzu dealership in Bendigo – eventually settling on the Isuzu FYJ 2000 8×4 medium wheel base, fitted with a the Allison 6 speed fully automatic transmission, 14 pallet refrigerated body and tail lift for keeping deliveries as efficient as possible.
At the heart of the FYJ’s lofty performance credentials is the SITEC Series 111 engine which delivers 257 kW @ 2,000 RPM. Plenty of power on take-off is also taken care of – regardless of the load you’re carrying – with the FYJ demonstrating maximum torque of 1,422 Nm @ 1,400 RPM.
The FYJ 2000’s twin steer and load sharing front suspension means Hazledene’s is also well equipped to avoid diminishing load imbalances and overloading the front axles on daily delivery runs.
“This particular truck does a lot of metro runs, both urban and rural centres. It will clock up well in excess of 100,000 kilometres a year so it’s important we can rely on it every time,” Michael said.
“We have a vehicle replacement program and have enough trucks to cover one or two breakdowns, but it’s definitely not something we want happening regularly.
“We plan for the worst and hope for the best, but we try and avoid downtime at all costs. The older Isuzu is still running so we were confident the new vehicle could help us avoid off-road time and save money.”
Keeping Michael’s drivers happy while they’re on the road has been made easier with the FYJ’s car-like comfort.
The FYJ boasts an ISRI 6860 air suspension driver’s seat with pneumatic lumbar support, fully integrated air conditioning and Isuzu’s Digital Audio Visual Equipment unit, all of which come as standard to make drivers as comfortable and happy as possible.
“The drivers enjoy the excellent visibility and road noise in the cabin is also kept to a minimum,” Michael said.
For Michael and his team of drivers, it’s just another reason their new FYJ 2000 is a highly-valued addition to the fleet.
“The drivers have had no problems with the new Isuzu – no complaints at all,” Michael said. “We’re very happy and I’d have no problem going for an Isuzu again, that’s for sure.”