Horses for courses for Toowoomba horse transport business

Born and bred on a Queensland cattle station, ‘Dippy’ Dipzal started his horse transport business over a decade ago – and he’s just added a new truck into the mix.

Dipzal knows horses and livestock and he knows it well. Prior to starting Dippy’s Horse Transport in 2010, he worked as a truck driver for another equine carrier for 20 years.

Based in Toowoomba, the business transports race, stock and quarter horses all over Queensland and New South Wales; and into Victoria and Darwin too.

Given the nature of the cargo his business transports, Dipzal says he employs horsemen rather than drivers, which means the trucks he buys need to be easy-to-use – and he’s found IVECO to be a good fit.

Dipzal has owned six IVECO trucks over the years, with a Stralis ATi prime mover and a Eurocargo ML160 being the most recent additions. He also has an International ProStar in the fleet, which is used for B-double float work.

The Stralis is predominantly used for the Townsville run, while the Eurocargo travels to Melbourne – it’s a busy schedule that sees both trucks accrue over 5000 kilometres a week.

Dipzal became familiar with IVECO branded trucks while working as a truckie himself.

“When I was working for another carrier, one of my co-workers was involved in a serious accident and they came away with only minor injuries – they were driving an earlier IVECO Stralis,” he said.

“This stayed in my mind, and when the time came to buy my own trucks I knew I wanted them to be IVECO.”

The ML160 Eurocargo is fitted with a stock body that can comfortably transport up to 10 horses at a time. The model was also selected for its rear electronically-controlled air suspension which helps smooth out the bumps.

Dipzal’s wife, Zelda, escorts a horse from one of the transporters.

“I go for an airbag suspension set-up where possible as it takes a lot of the jarring out of the ride, particularly over the rough tracks that we often have to cover,” Dipzal said.

“Both the Stralis and Eurocargo also provide good accommodation for the drivers for when they need to rest-up on the road. We install 24V air conditioning in our trucks to keep drivers cool when they’re resting.”

The Stralis ATi features a 460hp / 2100Nm engine that’s matched to the 12-Speed Eurotronic II AMT, providing enough power for the single trailer application, which allows Dipzal to cater to a maximum of 15 animals.

In the Eurocargo, power comes from a 5.9 litre power plant which produces 280hp and 950Nm of torque, with the engine coupled to a 9-speed manual.

“Both these trucks are brilliant on fuel and are cost effective to maintain,” Dipzal said.

“In some of our earlier IVECOs we covered up to 1.5 million kilometres before upgrading, nothing’s really gone wrong with them, all they’ve needed is replacement of the usual wear and tear items.

“With the new trucks, we go back to the selling Dealership IVECO Brisbane for major servicing but do oil changes ourselves every 20,000 kilometres, just for that extra protection because of the high kilometres and tough conditions we cover.”

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