Pick of the flock: Williams farming family choose Isuzu

May 08, 2024 3min read

With over three decades of experience raising sheep, Mark Williams is also a highly skilled shearer with a great intuition for the animals under his care. He’s confessed to being a bit sheep mad—and proud of it—like the rest of his family.

The Williams have a strong reputation in the area as primary producers and shearers, with family members lending their expertise to the local industry.

“My wife Sally gets involved in the business, and I couldn't do what I do without her,” said Mark of their farm located in regional New South Wales.

“Our daughter Piper has also started her own business, building a name for herself as a shearer and pregnancy scanning sheep and cattle.”

Mark Williams and daughter Piper Williams on the family farm

Flock together

A life on the land requires a deep understanding of how things work; this follows across to the type of capital equipment the Williams need to support their day-to-day operation.

Mark said Isuzu trucks have been a constant presence in their part of the world, playing a vital role for his family and neighbouring farms.

He explained that a strong preference for a product can influence others working in the local region.

“When I was a young kid, livestock trucks would go off in the morning, so whenever I could I'd spend the day with a fellow by the name of Arthur Rowlands who had an Isuzu truck.

“I was sitting up in the trucks and the smell of sheep and everything else was so good… I knew even then that I wanted my own Isuzu truck one day.”

The Williams’ Isuzu NQR 87-190 AMT Crew Cab

For Mark, this long-held dream came true as he chatted trucks with Richard Pineros from Blacklocks Isuzu in Wodonga. He wanted a versatile truck that could go the hard yards transporting sheep and tackle a multitude of other tasks; loading up gear for fencing repairs, carting hay or taking food and drinks out into the field for a day’s work.

With assistance from Richard, Mark settled on a NQR 87-190 Crew Cab model with two-pedal Automated Manual Transmission (AMT) and a custom sheep crate fitted to the tray.

The medium-duty NQR Crew Cab weighed in with a Gross Vehicle Mass of 8,700 kilograms and a Gross Combined Mass of 12,200 kilograms, soothing any concerns about overloading with the weight of the sheep on the tray or towing their custom-built trailer.

“The NQR is an amazing work horse with great capability for a customer like Mark, who requires a vehicle for multiple purposes,” said Richard from Blacklocks Isuzu.

“He wanted a truck that could take on any job around the farm, like moving livestock between paddocks and transporting feed, as well as being able to tow his trailers or take the vehicle on location when shearing.

“He also wanted the ease of an automatic truck without having to compromise on power or towing capacity which the whole family could drive, so the AMT model was the best fit here, suiting their needs perfectly,” said Richard.

Mark added his thoughts on Isuzu’s driver-friendly AMT transmission. “I am an old school fellow and usually prefer a manual truck.

“I was dubious at the time, but Richard told us that AMT was the way to go... looking back, I’m glad we took his advice, it’s been fantastic.”

Hay day

Sheep shearing is one of those iconic Australian occupations that has a storied history spanning back hundreds of years, with a skillset passed down through generations. It’s a line of work that Mark reckons is born into the blood.

“I'm a shearer,” he said succinctly. “I'm also a primary producer, breeding sheep for wool and fat lambs.

“The day starts about six o'clock in the morning, and just goes from there, often late into the night if it's birthing season or if the weather is frosty and we need to shed the sheep and lambs in from the cold and safe from predators.

“Some weeks I will be on location, camped out and shearing, then the week after I will be back home on my own farm.”

Whatever the task, Mark's NQR is on hand to assist. The truck is powered by Isuzu’s 4-cylinder 16 valve 4HK1-TCC engine, producing140 kW @ 2,600 rpm and torque of 513 Nm @ 1,600 - 2,600 rpm, packing a punch with a large payload capable of handling paddock duties through to carting sheep to shows.

Mark’s crew cab model provides extra room for storage inside the cab, seating up to six passengers alongside himself and the option for using the spacious back seat to roll out a sleeping bag after a hard day's work.

With signage on the cab by Studio 4 in Goulburn, Mark takes advertising to the next level as he heads into town for feed or takes the sheep to stock shows, towing their brightly coloured trailer.

“Out of all my vehicles it's my favourite one to drive,” said Mark.

“I just love getting up behind the wheel.”

Best in class

When it comes to long days of physical labour, creature comforts in the truck cab can provide a little relief, Mark explained. He finds the NQR’s adjustable steering wheel and seat useful, allowing him to adjust the posture and drive position.  

The MyIsuzu Co-Pilot Audio Visual unit (fitted to all new N SeriesIsuzu models) is also a firm favourite with the family. With a 10.1-inch touchscreen, 32 Gigabytes of internal storage and an easy hands-free call system, it makes the time spent in the cab more enjoyable and safer all-round. 

“We think is has a nice stereo and the touchscreen is really easy to navigate,” said Mark.  

“When my daughter Piper is in the truck, she always claims it!” 

Despite the five-hour drive to Blacklocks Isuzu in Wodonga, Mark chooses to have all maintenance for the truck done there. The dedicated service from Richard and the team of Isuzu-trained technicians at the dealership ensures the truck is kept in tip-top shape supporting operations—without any costly downtime.

“I tell Richard about a week before I'm coming, and he will have a loan vehicle for me to drive which allows me to take the day however I please,” Mark said.

“In the future I would love a bigger F Series Isuzu truck... I would get it in a heartbeat if I could.

“In the farming game, there’s certain bits of gear that just work,” he concluded.

“Isuzu Trucks are reliable for us farmers, they are bulletproof.”

Playtime’s over, get $3,500* to spend on extras.

If you’re ready to get serious about tackling bigger jobs, grab yourself an NLR 45-150 AMT SWB Traypack from the Ready-to-Work range for $62,990 drive away*. And to prove we aren’t playing, buy any NLR Traypack before June 30 and you’ll get $3,500* to spend on genuine accessories or an Essentials service agreement.

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