FUSO from the get-go
Leaving one of New Zealand’s biggest construction outfits to start his own venture 13 years ago, Troy Baldwin needed a truck – FUSO delivered exactly what he needed and has been trusted ever since to help support the company’s impressive growth.
“I started as a one-man-band, filling potholes here and there with only a second-hand truck and gear at my disposal,” says Troy, whose company, Baldwin Asphalts, is now a leader in laying asphalt and concrete seal around the Wellington district.
“When I started looking for a new truck, FUSO was the only brand to provide me with an attractive option to pay it off. That new truck elevated the business, and ever since we’ve kept adding to our fleet — all FUSO.”
Baldwin Asphalts currently has nine FUSO trucks in its line-up, headlined by two new 24T 6x4 HD FV2547 units. Five Canters and two Fighters complete the fleet, providing reliable support across the business’ operations.
“FUSOs are affordable, cheap to run, don’t cost much to service, and whoever you put in those trucks will find they’re a comfortable, easy drive,” says Troy.
Each HD handles different responsibilities. One is equipped with a low side tipper and small tailgate for transporting asphalt, the other pulls a tilting goose neck trailer to transport a 20T paver and a roller.
“We have both HDs running super-singles to load more weight up front, which isn’t typically required, but were added for future-proofing. Some might get a twin steer to carry more tonnage, but they’re lethal on our prep, because the more you have turning, the more damage that you cause for a waterproof road seal.
“For compatibility and economy, I know I’ll get more out of a stock ten-yarder, especially considering we don’t do long hauls,” says Troy.
“I need trucks that can do everything and don’t need money spent on them over the next ten years. I wanted value for money, and these HDs hit the nail on the head.”
The vehicles are well looked after and replaced after around ten years in the game.
“We get good returns with the older trucks,” says Troy. “A lot of effort goes into keeping our trucks in good condition — that’s a large reason why we don’t load the trailers with demo rubble. We want our gear looking good, but also want the value in the truck to last right through to resale.”
The care taken over the fleet goes beyond regular maintenance and good business sense — the company’s attention to detail and reputation for quality is represented in the extra finishing touches evident on the trucks. These additions are both functional and ensure heads are turned.
One of the first features onlookers will notice right off the bat is the custom sun visor, which both looks the business and provides added protection for drivers. On that theme, a checker plate has also been added on the side of the tipper, with step hooks on the deck and both sides of the cab to improve the safety and access. Two cameras — one at the back of the truck, and another on the headboard, have also been installed.
Other noticeable modifications include a handmade grill and train horns.
“I like having my trucks look the part, and both HDs are an impressive looking bit of kit that get a lot of positive comments,” says Troy.
Overseeing the purchase process and organising the installation of additional features was Ben Tacon and Daniel Beavis from First Commercials Wellington (now Keith Andrews Wellington).
“The FUSO guys were really helpful organising the alterations right through to completion. Every small detail, like having the centre caps finished off in chrome and powder coating the mirror arms, Ben and Daniel took care of for me,” says Troy.
“Everything they do, right through to the little things, are always done with my best interest in mind. If there is ever a problem, I know Ben and Daniel will be there to help.
As heavy demand continues to provide opportunities for Baldwin Asphalts, a strong operation and close relationship with FUSO will help Troy in continuing to grow the business and be the first point of call for asphalt and concrete solutions throughout Wellington.
Transmission: 12-spd AMT