Being raised to value responsibility and reliability above all else, Nick Rozhkov is a hard worker, adverse to cutting corners.
Having worked as a builder for over seven years, Nick dealt with his fair share of late deliveries, poorly unloaded materials and operators with little to no respect for workplace safety or Chain of Responsibility obligations.
“I’d been watching the truck drivers delivering the materials and seeing the mistakes and the drivers struggling, so one day I decided I just had to do it myself,” Nick says.
“I wanted to change the structure and change everything to the best it could be so that whatever I promised to my customers would be done.”
However, Nick felt he needed some practical experience to help him better understand the transport and logistics industry, so he spent one year putting in the hard yards working as a courier.
Then in 2013, feeling confident he had acquired the necessary skills and knowledge, he started Nick’s Cranetrucks SA in Dry Creek, South Australia.
“Because I was a tradie myself, I knew I had the right approach to providing top quality delivery services, especially to building sites,” Nick says.
At this time he went out and bought a second-hand European cab-over rigid truck and started his operation. Not surprisingly, his strong work ethic and commitment to ultimate customer service soon saw Nick’s workload and customer numbers increase.
This prompted him to buy another second-hand truck – this time a Japanese brand.
Still the workload kept growing, so to meet the demand Nick decided he would buy the first of what would become a full fleet of Isuzu trucks.
“I spoke with Tony Emanuele, Dealer Principal at North East Isuzu in Adelaide, and I said to him ‘if you look after me, I will keep buying Isuzus’,” Nick says.
True to his word, Tony did look after Nick – who returned the favour and kept buying Isuzu trucks, including new units to replace the original second-hand trucks he had bought to start the business.
“I envisage that eventually my entire fleet will be Isuzu and I will be looking to buy between two and four additional units this year, depending on how busy we get,” he says.
As it stands, Nick’s Cranetrucks SA now has four Isuzus including a GXD 165-350, two heavy-duty FYJ 300-350s, and one Isuzu prime mover – a CXZ 240-460. With a commitment to reliable service at the heart of his work ethos, Nick has built a solid reputation as an operator who consistently gets things done right.
“Once I promise to do something, I’ll never leave a job undone,” he says. “By the same token, if I know I can’t complete a job, I won’t take it on in the first place.”
It is this type of dedication and commitment to keeping his word that has led to the growth in Nick’s clientele, which now includes renowned industry brands such as Waco Scaffolding, Wesbeam and Supaloc, as well as retail hardware giant Bunnings, to name just a few.
With a Fassi crane attached to the back of each Isuzu truck in the fleet, Nick’s business is well equipped for delivering a range of cargo, from general freight and containers to overweight and odd-sized loads. The company also offers a Manitou forklift service.
“We deliver everything and anything, including bricks and other palletised materials, timber and steel frames, trusses, scaffolds and bins – whatever a builder needs,” Nick says. “We also deliver oversized or odd-sized loads. If it can be safely loaded and restrained, we’ll do it.”
From a one-man operation to a now thriving business, Nick strongly correlates the growth of Nick’s Cranetrucks SA with his expanding Isuzu truck fleet.
“The FYJ 300-350 is the best of the best,” he exclaims enthusiastically.
“After buying the FYJs, my business experienced a huge boost, straight away. The FYJ is the ultimate workhorse as far as I’m concerned. It’s comfortable and it’s also easy to drive. We spend a lot of time delivering loads in the city and the FYJ navigates the streets very well. While it has no unnecessary, fancy equipment, it has everything you need, and, most importantly, everything works.”
The Isuzu FYJ 300-350 sports a hefty 30,000kg Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM) and 45,000kg Gross Combination Mass (GCM), and packs a punchy 257kW of power at 2,000rpm, backed by 1,422Nm of torque from 1,400rpm.
Nick explains that the Isuzu vehicles have given his business the ability to take on jobs he once had to decline because he didn’t have the right capacity.
In fact, so impressed is he with the performance of his Isuzus, and of the FYJs in particular, Nick has decided to replace the other trucks in the fleet with Isuzu models too, with the ultimate aim of running an all-Isuzu fleet.
He cites the reliability and dependability of the Isuzus as huge assets to his business.
“When you are buying a truck, you want it on the road, not stuck at the mechanics,” he says.
When asked of his future plans Nick says he intends to keep his business local to South Australia.
“My drivers and I work eight hours daily, and we spend half the day or more on the road. I don’t want to spend any more hours travelling, and I don’t want my drivers to, either,” he says. “I want them to be able to go home after work, safe and sound.”
On top of caring for the wellbeing of his employees, Nick also takes the management of his truck fleet very seriously.
“It’s very important to me that I send my trucks back to North East Isuzu for servicing on time,” Nick says. “I treat my trucks like people – you look after them, and they will look after you.”
Nick not only trusts the Isuzu brand, he also has a strong connection with North East Isuzu’s Tony Emanuele and Sales Consultant, Mim Zagari, both of whom he confirms have looked after him and his business very well.
“After buying so many trucks from Tony and Mim, we’ve become friends,” he says. “But still, I wouldn’t buy a truck from a friend if I didn’t also trust the brand to deliver exceptional service that enables me to get my clients’ goods transported safely and efficiently.”
Interestingly, Nick’s loyalty to products he knows and trusts also extends to another vital piece of equipment in his business – the Fassi brand of crane mounted on the back of each Isuzu truck he owns.
“One of the first trucks I bought second-hand had a Fassi crane and it worked perfectly and had no oil leaks at all,” Nick recalls.
“Then I bought the second truck which had another brand of crane fitted and we had nothing but trouble with oil leaks everywhere. So when it came time to buy the new Isuzus I decided that I was going to buy Fassi cranes for them and they have been exceptionally good just like the first one.”
The cranes, like the Isuzu trucks, are on the job every day – not in the workshop.
When again considering the trucks, Nick is fond of their rugged simplicity given they have everything he needs without an adornment of superfluous extras.
“Some other truck brands have all the gadgets and buttons like luxury cars but the way I see it that means there are more things to go wrong,” he says.
“Isuzus don’t have too many options or buttons inside the cab but they do have what you need. They are workhorses. You can push them hard and they will keep going, the more you push them the better they go. As long as you service and maintain them properly, they will just keep going.”
Nick’s belief in the Isuzu products is all encompassing. The whole package of trucks and the dealer, with what that entails such as servicing, spare parts, advice and relationships with key personnel at North East Isuzu, he rates it all highly.
“North East Isuzu looks after me with everything I need including the parts and servicing, the truck pricing and the people – they have given me the best service possible,” he says. “I have been dealing with them for over five years and they have never ever let me down.”
He even recommends the dealer and Isuzu trucks to his friends.
“I have lots of friends in the transport industry and I say to them, ‘If you ever need a truck, do yourself a favour and get an Isuzu’.
“Reliability is very important in the work I do, and that’s why Isuzu will always be number one for me.”