For James Hammond, a stonemason by trade, it was an earthquake in the WA town of Boulder in 2010 that led him to his next career move.
Late one afternoon, while at a pub in Kalgoorlie, a conversation about the damage caused to heritage properties and buildings as a result of that earthquake got him thinking,
James overheard someone say, “We need someone to do all this heritage building work, who are we going to get?”
His response was, “Hey boys, you need a stonemason?”
And that’s what led James to begin restoring heritage buildings in the area and opening his building firm, Hammond Homes WA, based out of Mandurah.
Growing up in England and under advice from his father, James studied a bricklaying apprenticeship at college after leaving high school.
From there, he went on to study stonemasonry – a choice that would eventually set him on the course to his successful career and business in Australia.
“I never would have thought that my stonemasonry ticket my dad made me get would become my Willy Wonka’s golden ticket,” said James.
“For me, running my own business means a 16-hour day, mixed with activity, on-and-off the tools, doing quotes, walk-arounds of sites and supervision of builds.”
He’s supported by his wife Pam, who has a vital role within Hammond Homes working with clients and keeping the back end of the business operating smoothly.
In 2020, despite the pandemic, business was growing quickly with the number of home builds rising.
Needing a new truck for the job, he approached Major Motors Forrestfield and settled on an Isuzu NPR 45-155 AMT MWB Tradepack in AL Grey paint with 50th anniversary Major Motors badges, upgrading from his tried-and-true 2014 model NPR 45-155.
“When I purchased my previous Isuzu truck, I knew I’d never go back to a ute and trailer, and I’d never go back to anything less than a 4.5-metre tray because it’s such a game changer,” said James.
With a GVM of 4,500 kg and a GCM of 9000 kg, the Tradepack tows all the machinery and tools Hammond Homes needs.
Powered by the Isuzu 4HK1-TCN 4-cylinder, 16 valve engine, the NPR Tradepack offers 114 kW (155PS) at 2600 rpm and 419 Nm at 1600 – 2600 rpm.
“I consider myself lucky, in the right place at the right time and I was able to get my newest Tradepack within a matter of weeks after speaking with Peter Dewar from Major Motors,” James said.
“My Isuzu truck is my everyday vehicle. Driving it’s absolutely sublime.”