Push it to the Limit

Micway Transport works around the clock with some of Australia’s biggest food and retail organisations, and with the help of Isuzu, it has ensured that it has the most efficient vehicles to carry out its freight tasks.
Micway Transport, Wayne Franklin.

Micway Transport, based in Seven Hills, New South Wales, was born in 1999 under the wings of David Franklin and his wife Mary.

The family business was initially contracted to P&O to deliver frozen and chilled food to 28 Domino’s Pizza stores across NSW.

But, since then, under the guidance of Director of Operations, Wayne Franklin, it has grown to become a much bigger player in the transport industry.

It now services all of the Domino’s Pizza stores in NSW, along with every one of the KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell stores in NSW and the ACT.

Within nine months of its establishment, Micway quickly grew its portfolio to 160 stores with additional growth throughout southeast Queensland and acquired a contract for an extra 89 NSW Hungry Jack’s stores shortly afterwards.

In 2003, Micway began delivering to Franklins Supermarkets which resulted in the fleet servicing the entire Sydney Metropolitan basin as well as expanding into the Central Coast and Wollongong regions.

Before further expansion in 2008, it was awarded the contract to be Americold’s preferred transport provider in NSW — known as Versacold at the time.

With this decision, Micway commenced the delivery of Woolworths freezer stock throughout the Sydney Metropolitan and South Coast region which allowed it to add a further 160 stores to its operations.

The next three years at Micway saw the commencement of several delivery contracts with Woolworths Milk, Coles Freezer and YUM! brands throughout Sydney Metro, Central Coast, Newcastle, South Coast and Western NSW.

This marked the beginning of a long-term relationship with Isuzu built on demonstrated quality.

Since then, Micway Transport has placed its trust in the Isuzu product to carry out a large portion of its 24/7 operations.

It does, however, also run MANs, Volvos and IVECOs in its mixed fleet.

Director of Operations, Wayne Franklin, says Isuzu hasn’t disappointed him once during the last 12 years.

“Isuzu is very reliable and they’re very strong in that small to medium truck space,” he says. “I think they’re one of the stars and the market leaders in that space and Micway is very happy to be partnering with them.”

Micway Transport’s fleet consists of over 35 14-pallet refrigerated rigid trucks, 35 prime movers and 46 trailers.

Travelling among these commercial vehicles are Wayne’s busiest trucks in the fleet — seven Isuzu FSD 140/120-260 Long Auto F Series trucks in eight pallet configurations, with a low height and special wheelbase for clearance.

Micway Transport Isuzu fleet.
Four of the new Isuzu FSD 140/120-260 Long Auto F Series trucks.

“They are working up to 16 hours a day doing three or four loads in our space across a 24/7 operation servicing the Woolworths and food services businesses that we cover,” he says. “They’re real workhorses in the fleet. The drivers love driving them.”

The majority of Wayne’s Isuzus, including the FSDs, are placed for Woolworths Metro store deliveries where they service 43 stores in a restricted height delivery service.

Operations encounter a range of locations, from shopping centres and underground carparks with overall height restrictions between 3.1 and 3.4 metres to underground spaces in Sydney CBD and gutter-type tailgated deliveries.

“They also travel around tight city locations and Westfield shopping centres that these KFC stores sit in,” Wayne says.

“With these tight locations, parking restrictions make it tough to service the stores so it’s important that we have suitable vehicles which work for us.”

The Isuzu vehicles, according to Wayne, carry a preferable price point that better suits his needs.

“When we’re talking three-year or four-year contract terms, the Isuzu product really excels versus the bigger brand of trucks in the heavy-duty truck space,” he says.

According to Isuzu, the F Series is Australia’s best-selling medium duty truck — and for good reason. The exterior features an all-steel construction with a high tensile steel underframe, liquid filled front and rear cab mounts, water spray suppression guards and mudflaps, and roof-mounted clearance lamps.

Inside the cabin, operators are treated to an Isri 6860 air suspension driver’s seat with pneumatic lumbar support, height, rake and automatic weight adjustment, an adjustable bucket passenger seat and a front centre seat with folding seat-back. Along with a full interior trim, padded roof lining and vinyl floor covering, there are many storage options inside the cabin.

These include a driver and passenger windscreen header storage shelf, centre console box with a storage tray, fold down storage tray behind the centre backrest and a DIN-sized compartment for storage or CB radio installation.

In terms of infotainment, the Isuzu comes with a 6.2-inch multimedia unit with a LCD capacitive touch screen and fully integrated Bluetooth and voice recognition, which can display a series of information including PDFs, photos and movies.

These features, in addition to the other useful comfort and safety features, help deliver an unmatched transport experience in the Isuzu.

“The drivers love these models, and a favourite aspect of the truck which keeps coming up in conversation is definitely the driver comfort,” Wayne says.

“They are big fans of the vision and mirrors in these trucks as well. The FSDs are doing a lot of cornering and turning in tight shopping centre carparks and underground loading dock areas while looking out for structural bollards, posts, parked cars and trolleys, and we’ve found the manoeuvrability to be second to none.”

Isuzu FSD 140/120-260.

Powering each of Wayne’s seven FSDs is a six-cylinder, 24-valve diesel engine. The 6HK1-TCC produces 191kW of power at 2,400rpm and 761Nm of torque between 1,450 and 2,400rpm with the help of an electrically controlled variable nozzle turbocharger and an air-to-air intercooler.

The six-cylinder-equipped FSD comes with a GVM of 11,000 to 24,000kg, and with the choice of either a six-speed manual transmission or six-speed Allison automatic, the preferred gearbox specified on these vehicles by Micway.

“The Isuzu product ticks all of the boxes, and it’s got pretty good aftersales market value as well in the current environment,” Wayne says. “With our productivity, we’re always changing our distribution model and are always looking to continually improve it.”

The fleet spec that Micway Transport has operated on for the last five years has moved with those changes.

The Isuzus, as Wayne confirms, are still performing to the level they did on day one.

“These things are very reliable, and if there is a problem – which there rarely is – Isuzu’s straight on the front foot, supporting us and doing their best for us,” he says. “They’re all over it and they’re looking at how we can get the truck back on the road and moving as quickly as we possibly can.”

Isuzu offers a three-year warranty or 150,000kms/2,500 hours as standard with the FSD 140/120-260.

In addition, a Cab Perforation Corrosion warranty is covered for three years with no limit on kilometres, and the Isuzu Assist service offers 24-hour roadside assistance for three years/unlimited kilometres. Isuzu backs its product the second each one leaves the production line, and Wayne says this is demonstrated in the trucks’ longevity.

“Reliability is what we’re after, there’s no time for fun and games in our distribution model,” he says.

“We work the equipment value very hard, and it stands up to the pressure of our workplace and our customers’ demand. With the six or seven trucks that we’ve got in this space, we’ve only ever had one that’s needed warranty work done with it in its early infancy stage. We’ve had a pretty good run with them, and that’s potentially why Micway are a repeat buyer of the Isuzu product.”

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