As always, the best facility in the world is only as good as the staff who keep the wheels turning and, in this respect, Gold Coast Isuzu appears to have all bases covered. Diesel Workshop spoke with three key people, General Manager Andrew Purvis, Service Manager Greg Robbins and Spare Parts manager Steve Picton.
Current captain of the ship, Andrew Purvis, has been with the company for three years. Andrew has a wealth of experience in the automotive realm having started his working life as an apprentice mechanic with the Country Fire Authority (CFA) in Victoria.
“I worked my way up to become a District Mechanical Officer for the CFA looking after its elevated work platforms (commonly called cherry pickers) for the entire state of Victoria,” Andrew relates. “Then I moved north and worked for Queensland Fire for 13 years as its Fleet Manager looking after in excess of 2000 vehicles.
“I’ve been lucky to have covered all aspects, firstly having the mechanical knowledge and then as Fleet Manager responsible for over 2000 units across the state of Queensland. After that I worked for three years for Isuzu Australia as Fleet Zone Manager for Queensland before coming across to the dealer side.
“It’s been a really good grounding for me to know what it’s like to be in the customer’s shoes. I’ve purchased many trucks and been exposed to most of the brands, Isuzu in particular is used extensively by the fire services across Australia.
“Having had this prior exposure, I was very impressed with the brand and the way the company works with its customers to provide the best outcome for their individual needs.”
As with most modern constructions, the new dealership has been designed to minimise environmental impact wherever possible. For instance, there is 1.5 megalitres of rainwater storage capacity which is used for the truck wash and irrigating the lawns and gardens around the buildings. In addition, a proportion of the truck wash water is filtered and recycled. While initially there is limited solar power generation on site, Andrew Purvis says this is an aspect that Frizelle’s and PWG as a whole is looking into, so this could be ramped up in the future.
“We certainly have energy efficient lighting throughout and it’s timed and controlled by motion sensors to ensure lights aren’t on when no one is in the room,” Andrew explains. “The same applies to the air-conditioning which makes a big difference to power consumption.”
The entire electrical system on the site is controlled by CanBus neatly contained in one small room, the ‘nerve centre’ of the facility. Beside this are two driver lounge areas where customers can kick back and watch TV or have a kip.
Next came a tour through the expansive state-of-the-art workshop which epitomises the clinical precision demanded of dealerships taking care of Australia’s leading truck brand. The experience served to remind me how far we’ve come over the past three decades since Isuzu assumed the number one mantle. In 1988 I started an apprenticeship as a plant mechanic in Sydney in a facility that had been there since Jesus played fullback for Jerusalem. Put simply, chalk and cheese just doesn’t go far enough to describe the difference. This new facility seems more like a hospital in comparison.
For a start, the sheer size of the workshop compared to the previous facility is mind boggling. Try 18 work bays compared to the old Nerang site’s 8. Among these is a full-length service pit capable of accommodating a fully loaded B-double or A-double along with a similar sized pit equipped with brake test rollers and shakers. There’s also a drive-over weighing system that weighs each individual axle of an entire combination. This incorporates an extra plate which detects any wheel alignment issues as the vehicle is driven over it.
Undoubtedly, the piece-de-resistance is the cleverly configured double-sided consoles which supply the technicians with every fluid needed for servicing a truck along with waste oil and coolant disposal, hand washing facilities and filtered water for drinking. The system has been designed to ensure everything is at the tech’s fingertips to maximise efficiency of the service operation.