Diesel, Features, New trucks, Victoria

Moving mountains to keep customers happy

Sparked by a chance conversation, in 13 years this hire business has amassed nearly 500 pieces of capital equipment, servicing some of Victoria’s biggest infrastructure projects.

Charles and Jerry Nipper started Focus Machinery in 2010. The idea came about while on a family holiday in the United States.

Chatting one night to friends who owned a quarry that was busy during the summer months, they asked what the business did during the cold season. The answer was dry hire, and so the Nippers decided to launch their own dry hire business back home to Australia.

When the Nippers first went into business in 2010, the plan was to import machinery from the United States and sell on to the Australian market.

This was put to rest though in favour of local dry hire with international market pressure bearing down on the Aussie dollar.

“It was dollar for dollar for a time there,” explained Charles, Focus Machinery co-founder and branch manager.

“Once the dollar started dropping again, it wasn’t feasible to do that, that’s what made us really get into dry hire.”

Together with their employees, Charles and Jerry have since grown Focus Machinery into a giant in the Victorian hire industry.

Included in their 500-strong range of hire equipment is a range of Isuzu tippers.

The trucks for hire include Isuzu’s Ready-to-Work range, which offer a GVM range of 4500kg (drivable on a car licence) to 8700 kg on N Series models, through to an 11,000kg or 14,000kg GVM in the FRR and FSR model range.

Focus Machinery has over 500 machines available to rent.

In the medium-duty space, the Isuzu F Series tippers are also specified with a Gross Combined Mass (GCM) of either 16,000kg or 21,000kg. Rope rails, tie-down points and the auto-release two-way tailgate are fitted as standard.

“We’re trying to keep up with the demand, which is always a good problem to have so we have up to 30 Isuzu Tippers across the size range and another 11 Isuzu trucks on order for 2023,” said Charles.

“We understand our clients have time restraints and time-critical projects,” Charles said.  “Providing only quality equipment means we can eliminate downtime for us and our clients to the best of our ability.

“They’re a great vehicle for our customers on site, they’re versatile and very popular with our customers.”

“In previous years, we were trying to say yes to everyone and anything that came our way, now we’re being a bit more selective with our opportunities to ensure we can cater for larger projects,” Charles continued.

He says business has reached a stage where much of the work performed by the hire fleet is now on Tier One government projects such as the West Gate tunnel in Melbourne. Their equipment range is expanding to reflect this progression, with over 1000 attachments also available –from loading ramps and pallet forks to augers and grinders.

“It’s not just about being able to have equipment available for big projects, we also need to make sure the gear that’s going out under the Focus Machinery banner is up to spec,” added Charles.

Customer service has been central to the company’s success.

“We make sure customers are notified… even if it may not be what they want to hear, they’re never kept waiting, everyone in the chain is kept in the loop,” said Charles.

“We base ourselves around a 90-second response time.

“We’ve got skilful people in the phone room able to answer questions of a technical nature, like if someone is needing an excavator out in the northern suburbs, they would know to offer a rock hammer because there’s so much rock out there.

“Small things like this add up to make our hire process a lot easier.”

Charles also spoke of a customer who had a piece of equipment break down on site.

“It was going to cost a lot of money to be idle, a lot more than the hire price. We made sure to replace this very expensive piece of equipment and have it available for him on site the following morning,” he said. “Because of that speed of response, we have a customer for life.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Send this to a friend