Think everyday, unsung heroes. The people who show up virtually out of nowhere, at whatever time of the day they’re needed, keeping our roads and relevant infrastructure in good working condition, saving you from a roadside emergency.
Ranging from road and infrastructure maintenance and repair, to breakdowns and accidents, Gateway Motorway Services is prepared for it all. Based in Brisbane, Queensland, and working with Transurban Queensland, Gateway’s typical day sees them work the Transurban open road networks in Brisbane, keeping a keen eye on 60 kilometres of motorways, such as the Logan and Gateway motorways. With such an extensive and intensive operation, Gateway’s truck fleet is integral.
Closely aided by Holden Leasing’s Manager (Commercial Vehicles) Terry Koutsouras and team, Gateway’s Operations and Maintenance Manager Simon Kirkpatrick says that they found Isuzu trucks to fit their specific applications well.
With their business growing quickly, their fleet demand has also increased—and increased quickly, with an uncharacteristically short turnaround for the delivery of a new fleet of specialised, purpose-built trucks.
This meant that to build the perfect trucks for Gateway’s applications—and have them built in time—the team at Holden Leasing had to jump right in with their specialised expertise and work closely with Brisbane Isuzu sales consultant Oscar Akbar and team.
Terry shared more about the truck building process and the delivery of specialised, fit-for-purpose trucks for Gateway. “It was a long process that required intricate coordination of the whole build process from start to finish, from pre-production meetings and supplier liaison to specification review and inspections.
“With our expertise, we help our customers build vehicles that suit their requirements, we make the necessary recommendations and also invite customers to be involved in the build process."
“We’re passionate about what we do; and in everything we do, we roll up our sleeves and personally get involved with all the different project stages, making the build process as fuss-free as possible for our customers.”
But why Isuzu trucks, in particular?
Simon shared, “We’ve had a satisfactory experience with Isuzu trucks in the past, operating the Isuzu FSS 550 and the FTR 900 Tipper for our maintenance services. We found that the Isuzus were reliable and robust, and met our needs. “This is important, seeing as each of our trucks would cover about 100,000 kilometres each year. “And we’ve learned that for our new fleet, we need trucks with a bigger, more powerful engine than the previous ones we used, so we acquired a total of six trucks, including the FRR 110-260 and FVD 165-300 models.”
With the heavy work they do on road and infrastructure maintenance, and the trying, intense incident response they provide—all while working on high-speed motorways—it’s no wonder that Gateway doesn’t take choosing their new fleet of trucks lightly. “We work in a high-speed, open-road environment, so we need the engine power to get our trucks up to road speed quickly,” Simon said.
But it’s not just all speed and power Gateway requires for the work they do. “Engine aside, we wanted practicality, reliability, good handling, and in-cabin comfort,” Simon said.
For Gateway, this calls for features like short wheelbases and automatic transmission. “We wanted a powerful but more compact unit, so we’ve gone for a short wheelbase with our new fleet of Isuzu F Series trucks with an excellent turning circle, which allows us to easily navigate emergency situations and carriageways with narrower lanes,” Simon explained.
“The automatic transmission is a great benefit, it allows us to cater to the different driving styles of our drivers, but also helps us take better care of our trucks by reducing wear and tear of driveline components such as the clutch.” And in this vein of truck love and care, Gateway’s incident response trucks are each named after Australian military campaigns and emblazoned with a unique livery.
Simon relates, “We find that with the special livery on this new fleet, it inspires our crew to look after the trucks and treat them with respect.” Additionally, body modifications like custom cab designs, tilt trays, and truck-mounted attenuators, among others, are also top of the list for Gateway.
Gateway’s tow trucks for incident response are fitted with a purpose-built 7.1-metre tilt tray from South East Queensland Tilt Tray, which allows their crew to recover lower vehicles without damaging them. Several of their trucks are also fitted with attenuators from A1 Roadlines, helping to create a safety barrier for the Gateway crew working on the busy roads.
While Gateway’s Isuzu truck cabs are variously fitted, they all have one thing in common—spacious cabins, ticking the comfort checkbox. And with their incident response crew, which can sometimes find themselves in the trucks for 10–12 hours at a go, driving 300–400 kilometres a day, having a comfortable cab goes a long way. And of course, with the cab crew design of the Isuzu tippers for their incident response services, it means that motorists whose vehicles are towed won’t have to be left stranded on a motorway.
Simon said, “When we take a vehicle away, we also the take motorist away to safety. No one gets left behind!” Additionally, Gateway has modified all the cabs in their trucks such that all of them are exactly the same, so every driver knows exactly where things are—even if they’re using different trucks.
Cabin modifications have also been made to their trucks, with safety clearly a top priority. With dashboard-mounted control panels and the absence of a centre console, drivers can easily move from the driver seat and exit from the passenger side if needed. And with the duplicated tool boxes and controls on both the driver and passenger sides, drivers are able to work from either side of the truck, whichever is safer for them, when the situation calls for it.
The dedication to taking care of their crew doesn’t stop there, though. Gateway has an impressive virtual reality–incorporated driver training program that would make anyone envious. “Whatever our drivers’ backgrounds, everyone gets the same stringent training to ensure ongoing competency,” Simon explained.
“Using virtual reality, our drivers undergo training in driving and parking our trucks, in accordance with our safety procedures.” But at the end of the day, it all comes down to user experience.
How do Gateway’s drivers find the new fleet of Isuzu trucks?
Simon enthused, “The drivers have been very, very positive in relation to our newer fleet. “And I love that we can get our trucks serviced after hours—we’re very appreciative of that.”
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