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Prime Mover Magazine

Isuzu trucks help Routleys turn bread into dough

An integral part of the Routleys Bakery business is the fleet of 10 Isuzu trucks that carry their products to numerous locations around western Victoria.

Back in the late 1940s, Victor and Verna Routley started baking and selling delicious breads and pastries in a rented shopfront in Williamstown, Victoria.

They subsequently bought the premises and steadily refined their work processes over the next two decades, building a reputation for producing some of the finest baked fare in the state. Then, in 1971, their son Lawrie and his wife took over the bakery café, building on the solid foundation Victor and Verna had established.

Today, on top of its extensive wholesale customer base, Routleys operates 10 of its own retail shops scattered throughout the western regions of Victoria.

“We enjoy offering a full service,” said Sam Routley, Operations Manager and son of Lawrie.

“A lot of big bakeries, once they figure out what their most profitable product is, focus on that single item. But we do just about everything, operating six days a week.”

“The most challenging aspect of the operation is distribution,” he said. “Everyone wants their orders as soon as their stores open, so we do our best to make that happen.”

Having bought its first Isuzu in 1995, Routleys has continued to bolster its fleet which now entails 10 Isuzu trucks.

“We’ve bought Isuzus of different sizes and wheelbases for different jobs. The larger F series units team up with our vans, and the smaller N Series go straight out to various clients." 

“One of the trucks travels 250 km a day while the others do about 100 km a day. With those types of distances, you’d expect some issues. But we’ve never had any issues, that’s why we keep buying them. I’ve never missed a delivery,” said Routley.

Another positive for Routleys is the strong relationship with local Isuzu dealer, Winter & Taylor in Geelong, Victoria. Winter & Taylor advised the company of the best Isuzu models for the various delivery routes and also offered servicing outside of normal business hours, accommodating the operation’s irregular work schedule.

“The after-hours servicing is great,” said Routley.

“We drop the trucks off when they need servicing and Winter & Taylor drop them back when they’re done. One of the real selling points of Isuzu is its aftersales care and servicing.”

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