Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) project managers are constantly monitoring all aspects of projects, from the delivery of raw materials to fabrication timelines and installation requirements.
They understand all too well the impact of poor equipment performance and how it can affect project timelines and overall quality.
With head offices in Brisbane and Sydney, and operations nationwide, HVAC is an infrastructure service provider with a Telco division that provides design and construction services to Australian telecommunication companies.
HVAC, as part of this service, offers a broad range of services for the design, construction, integration and maintenance of all telecommunication infrastructure.
These services include constructing complete mobile base stations, tower and pole structural upgrades, site and electrical surveys, rooftop installations, helicopter installations and more.
One of HVAC’s major projects was the Wyong Hospital Redevelopment, which involved the construction of a new Clinical Services Building (CSB) in New South Wales, compromising a six storey CSB, Link Bridge, minor refurbishments to the existing building associated with the link bridge connection, formalisation of the existing east-west road connection to Louisiana Road and formalisation and upgrade of the car parking.
Over time HVAC expanded to offer custom solutions on a wide variety of engineering and fabrication needs.
These have since been refined and adapted to Australian industry needs which has subsequently seen its services expanded across five main sectors, including specialised fabrication, mechanical services and air conditioning services, industrial ventilation, the fabrication of pipe fittings for large scale water infrastructure projects and telecommunications infrastructure.
The reliability of vehicle fleet in rough conditions is a key factor that prompted HVAC Telecommunications Project Manager, Stephen Coates, to purchase an Isuzu NPS 75-155 4×4 Crew – HVAC’s first ever truck and a prototype model for the company.
“I’ve driven a few other truck brands in the past but when it came down to it, reliability was the main factor for us,” he says.
“The professionalism Isuzu demonstrates was definitely a big drawcard, and Nicholas Greet at Brisbane Isuzu made the entire process of acquiring the NPS 4×4 truck very simple for us.”
The NPS 75-155 Crew features a GVM rating of 7,500 kg and a generous GCM of 11,000 kg, plus a 4,500 kg towing capacity with a standard 50 mm tow ball.
Stephen’s 4×4 model also comes equipped with Isuzu’s 4HK1-TCN turbocharged diesel engine, offering 144kW of power at 2,600 rpm and 419 Nm of torque between 1,600 – 2,600 rpm.
Stephen’s department is responsible of fabricating, supplying and installing structural steel on towers, poles and guyed masts across five states throughout Australia, along with the installation of Greenfields sites – areas without an existing telecommunications structure in place.
“We have teams of field staff that have the capability to construct a small telco site on a city rooftop to a large, full-scale 120-metre guyed mast telco installation in remote areas including the fabrication and supply of the steelwork for construction,” he says.
According to Stephen, HVAC’s biggest issue with finding suitable vehicles has been payload.
“We own 20 utes and trailers, but they don’t really fit the purpose that we need them to,” he says. “We carry a lot of heavy steel that is often oddly shaped, so we really need payload and the room to carry these things safely.”
Two-seater utes, which Stephen is familiar with having used them in the past, obviously limits HVAC to carrying two people at a time to each site.
The problem is that most of the time he needs to send more than two technicians to a job, so previously he has had to send two vehicles instead of one.
However, the new NPS completely eliminates this problem.
“Our NPS 4×4 Crew can carry twice the payload as well as an additional five staff, so we eliminate the costs involved with sending an extra vehicle to site,” he says. “We save on fuel, wear and tear, servicing, you name it.” Working from Northern Queensland down to South Australia and across the waters to Tasmania, HVAC’s vehicles are clocking up between 30,000 to 50,000 kilometres per year.
On top of improving productivity and efficiency in Stephen’s operations, his brand-new Isuzu also keeps a few extra dollars in his pocket.
“We were spending a lot of money on transport,” he says. “Along with the added payload, our new Isuzu truck is also a way for us to reduce our whole-of-life costs. Once we have more trucks in our fleet such as the NPS replacing our current utes, we expect this to reduce even further.”
HVAC supervisors customarily drive the new Isuzu. Equipment that was previously scattered in the ute trailer has been easily fit into the NPS’s fabricated toolbox according to Stephen.
“We’ve also set up the truck with a fridge and other bits and pieces inside the cab to make it more comfortable for our drivers,”he says. “The truck has been really good.”
Stephen found Brisbane Isuzu and the body builder, Mini Body, a pleasure to work with during the process in bringing HVAC’s prototype truck to life.
“Nicholas Greet at Brisbane Isuzu has been really super to work with,” he says.
“He was always there to answer any and all questions, and when I wanted something else, he was more than happy to get it done. Mini Body also did an excellent job on the toolboxes and tray – the whole process was a bit of a collaboration between all of us, and we’ve been really pleased with the outcome. We’re looking to acquire at least two more Isuzus with plans to purchase the next ones this year.”