Versatile truck ticks the boxes for sheep farming family

For this farming family, with decades of experience raising sheep, versatility is key when it comes to choosing a truck.

From doing the hard yards transporting sheep, to a multitude of other tasks that include loading up gear for fencing repairs, carting hay or taking food and drinks out into the field for a day’s work.

Mark Williams is also a highly skilled shearer with a great intuition for the animals under his care. He’s confessed to being a bit sheep mad – and he’s proud of it – just like the rest of his family.

The Williams family has a strong reputation in the area as primary producers and shearers, with family members lending their expertise to the local industry.

“My wife Sally gets involved in the business, and I couldn’t do what I do without her,” said Mark of their farm in regional New South Wales.

“Our daughter Piper has also started her own business, building a name for herself as a shearer, and pregnancy scanning sheep and cattle.”

He said he’s been around the Isuzu brand for decades, which influenced his decision in buying his own Isuzu truck.

“When I was a young kid, livestock trucks would go off in the morning, so whenever I could I’d spend the day with a fellow by the name of Arthur Rowlands who had an Isuzu truck,” recalled Mark.

“I knew even then that I wanted my own Isuzu truck one day.”

For Mark, this long-held dream came true when he visited Blacklocks Isuzu in Wodonga, settling on a NQR 87-190 Crew Cab model with two-pedal Automated Manual Transmission (AMT) and a custom sheep crate fitted to the tray.

Mark says the truck is great to drive. Image: Isuzu

It’s powered by Isuzu’s 4-cylinder 16 valve 4HK1-TCC engine, producing140 kW at 2600 rpm and torque of 513 Nm at 1600 – 2600 rpm.

The medium-duty NQR Crew Cab has a Gross Vehicle Mass of 8700 kilograms and a Gross Combined Mass of 12,200 kilograms, which allayed any concerns about overloading with the weight of the sheep on the tray or towing their custom-built trailer.

“The NQR is an amazing work horse with great capability for a customer like Mark, who requires a vehicle for multiple purposes,” said Richard Pineros from Blacklocks Isuzu.

“He wanted a truck that could take on any job around the farm, like moving livestock between paddocks and transporting feed, as well as being able to tow his trailers or take the vehicle on location when shearing.

“He also wanted the ease of an automatic truck without having to compromise on power or towing capacity which the whole family could drive, so the AMT model was the best fit here, suiting their needs perfectly.”

Mark also revealed his thoughts on going with the AMT transmission. “I am an old school fellow and usually prefer a manual truck,” he said.

“I was dubious at the time, but Richard told us that AMT was the way to go. Looking back, I’m glad we took his advice, it’s been fantastic.”

As a shearer, Mark’s skills have been passed down through the generations.

“I’m a shearer. I’m also a primary producer, breeding sheep for wool and fat lambs,” he said.

The Williams family has worked with sheep for decades. Image: Isuzu

“The day starts about six o’clock in the morning, and just goes from there, often late into the night if it’s birthing season or if the weather is frosty and we need to shed the sheep and lambs in from the cold and safe from predators.

“Some weeks I will be on location, camped out and shearing, then the week after I will be back home on my own farm.”

Mark’s crew cab model has extra room for storage inside the cab, seating up to six passengers alongside himself and the option for using the back seat to roll out a sleeping bag after a hard day’s work.

He also finds the NQR’s adjustable steering wheel and seat useful, allowing him to adjust the posture and drive position.

Despite the five-hour drive to Blacklocks Isuzu in Wodonga, Mark chooses to have all maintenance for the truck done there, by the team of Isuzu-trained technicians at the dealership.

“I tell Richard about a week before I’m coming, and he will have a loan vehicle for me to drive which allows me to take the day however I please,” Mark said.

“In the future I would love a bigger F Series Isuzu truck… I would get it in a heartbeat if I could.”

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