Kununarra-based JSW Holdings has grown from brickmaker to remote infrastructure specialist.
For almost 50 years the company has been running trucks in an environment that is as beautiful as it is challenging.
The scope of the business incorporates concrete, plant hire, civil contracts and aggregate supply in partnership with UD Trucks.
That trust and confidence in the UD truck products has been ongoing given the desolate and challenging conditions.
“Probably the biggest pressure is our isolation with parts supply and getting and keeping things running,” said JSW Owner Peter Woodhead, who needs to have a strong inventory of backup parts on hand.
“People are also a big shortage. I know we’re not alone with that but it’s pretty hard to entice people to come up and live in extreme conditions at the moment,” he said.
In winter weather is idyllic, hovering between day time temperatures of 25 to 30 degrees.
But that all changes once the wet season arrives according to Woodhead, whose father founded the original brick manufacturing business in 1975.
“From November until April it’s 40 degrees, wet and an afternoon shower can see 25 to 50ml of rainfall,” he said.
“Roads become impassable, so we’ve got to be careful where we go and don’t go depending on the time of year.”
JSW currently have five UD Trucks in their fleet for a total of ten purchases from the brand all up.
“Our business was built on them,” said Woodhead, who along with his brother joined their father at the company once they had finished high school.
“What I like about UD Trucks is that they’re built solid, reliable, low maintenance, easy to drive and are comfortable,” he continued.
“Our guys love driving the UD Trucks and out of all the vehicles in our fleet they probably spend the least amount of time in the workshop.”
Distances travelled by the fleet annually can vary due to the kind of work required of it. These range anywhere from 100,000kms to 250,000kms.
“Engine hours are probably more,” said Woodhead.
“It’s a lot of work off road on dirt roads so we generally reach speeds of 40 to 50kms per hour,” he said.
Despite these locational challenges, Woodhead said his UD Trucks have provided a solid and reliable platform to keep JSW running and with minimum downtime.
A 1983 UD CW40, the very first UD vehicle JSW bought, is still in operation for the business today.
“It was purchased as a 6-wheel tipper. The customer decided they wanted to go to a semi so it was converted to a prime mover and towed a bogie tipper around for probably five years of its life and then as things got bigger, we converted it back to a tipper,” recalled Woodhead.
As part of Lap of the Map, an initiative launched by UD Trucks, to customers in less central locations, Woodhead was full of praise.
“I think the UD Trucks Lap of the Map is an awesome incentive.” he said.
“We get to have a look at these trucks in person. We’re fairly remote so we don’t get to go down to the dealer often and see what’s new and what’s out there so it’s really good for companies like ours,” said Woodhead.
Vice President of UD Trucks Australia, Lauren Pulitano described the journey of JSW Holdings over the decades as unique and inspiring.
“Considering JSW Holdings was established nearly 50 years ago and has been able to thrive in such a remote and extreme part of Australia, is truly a testament to the entrepreneurship and strong leadership of Peter and originally, his father,” she said in a statement.
“Our UD Trucks are built to sustain the unique and demanding conditions of Australia and to hear of a remote business like JSW building their business on UD Trucks that is extremely humbling. The story of JSW is truly one that UD is proud to be a part of and we thank Peter and the JSW team for continuing to put their trust in UD Trucks all these years on.”