With a large number of infrastructure projects getting underway across Australia, trucks converted for both road and rail are becoming more common than you’d think.
It’s in this niche market that Aries Rail specialises, with their Aries Hyrail brand of road rail conversions.
They come in a variety of shapes and forms, from utes and 4WDs through to light-duty maintenance trucks, all the way to larger crane trucks, tippers, tilt-trays and vacuum pumpers.
The company’s engineering director Phil Gooch says demand for their product is through the roof.
“A lot of the big tunnelling projects, particularly in Sydney and Brisbane, are desperate for vehicles that don’t exist; there’s just not a surplus of road rail trucks in the hire market in Australia,” he said.
“We know the quality of our product and technical compliance speaks for itself compared to what’s already out there in the hire space.”
Within three years, Aries Rail have built their dry-hire cache to over 30 assets, a large proportion of which are Isuzu trucks converted for road and rail use.
Most of these are Isuzu FVR, FVZ, FVY and FXY medium-duty trucks, modified with a strengthened chassis and rail suspension system, amongst other fittings.
Gooch said that many of the company’s clients need the flexibility to be able to pick up tools and equipment from a yard, drive from there to the rail, jump on the railway into the tunnel and get to where the work needs to happen.
“We’ve responded to that demand by building a hire fleet of Isuzu trucks that can go on road and any rail network in Australia and be compliant with any standard across the network,” he continued.
“One of the reasons we specifically chose Isuzu’s FVY platform is that we needed a truck that could run a different type of rail axle that can handle both broad and narrow gauges.
“We needed a combination of engine power to drive the rail wheels, payload for the equipment and also the correct chassis length… the FVY sits perfectly amongst all these criteria.”