Grappling with a new concept

After living in the United Kingdom for 12 years, working in construction and landscaping, Owen Scott decided that ‘grapple lorries’ – deemed perfect for removing rubbish and delivering soil and other products – were the way of the future. Upon his return to Queensland, Owen couldn’t believe there were so few companies making use of grapple trucks in Australia. That’s when the light bulb flicked on.

In September 2010 Owen started up his own company, Grab Trucks, with a vision of helping ease the burden for Australian construction workers, landscape gardeners and home handymen. He purchased an Isuzu FXZ 1500 and fitted a grab crane and tipper body to the rear to service commercial and domestic customers in Brisbane and the Gold Coast.

“All councils, utility companies, main roads departments and skip waste and recycling companies in the United Kingdom use and own many of these grapple trucks,” Owen said. “I couldn’t believe they aren’t more widely used here – instead we use a Bobcat and tipper. With a grapple truck we just pull up near the waste, grab it into the truck and then we’re gone. It’s a one truck and one man job.

“In terms of occupational health and safety the grapple trucks are ideal, as the operator has a complete view of the area he is working in, including the back of the truck.”

Grab Trucks can collect soil, sand, rubble, concrete, mulch and green waste including large logs and trees. The truck can also grab general household waste – even cars aren’t too much for the Isuzu FXZ.

“We also supply rubbish cages in sizes of four, seven and 10 cubic metres for building sites and home renovators,” Owen added. “Unlike skip bins, we allow the customer to keep the cages for as long as they like without rental costs.

“And we do deliveries as well. We can grab material such as mulch, soil or boulders and position it straight into the area where it’s needed. We can reach over walls or fences or we can drop material straight into a wheelbarrow, instead of tipping a large load onto the road or driveway. We can also load up other tippers if required.”

Hooks fastened to Owen’s FXZ 1500 allow for deliveries of bulk skip bags, of which he can fit up to 15 in one load.

“Our domestic clients include households that need rubbish removed. Our commercial clients often include tree loppers who need trees – especially palm trees – removed and builders who require their sites cleaned. I also deliver mulch, soil and other garden products to landscapers and take away their spoil and waste,” Owen said.

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