A recently purchased Isuzu FVL 240-300 Freightpack has become the primary tool of trade for Vietnamese refugees in Perth.
Lan and Duc Tinh Nguyen took a leap of faith in 1994 following their move from Hong Kong to Australia where they established Hong Kong Fruit & Veg at the Malaga Markets in Perth.
For five years, they worked hard at fruit and vegetable farms until they earned enough to start their own fresh produce business:
Their stall now takes up 200 square metres of the market, supplying everything fresh and healthy: oranges, apples, avocados, broccoli, potatoes – if the produce is in season, it’s likely the Nguyens have it in stock.
“My husband goes to the Canning Vale Markets every Thursday and Friday at 4am to get the freshest fruits and vegetables for our customers,” said Lan Nguyen.
“He brings back at least 16 crates of fresh produce each time – which is why we need a good truck.”
When the business first started in 1999, they used a van to cart produce. Outgrowing this quickly, they upgraded to a series of successively larger second-hand trucks.
However, the last one bought in 2019 turned out to be a lemon.
“It was no good,” said Nguyen.
“It broke down all the time – once in the middle of the road,” she exclaimed.
“We spent at least $15,000 in repairs until I finally said ‘enough’. It was time to invest in a better truck.”
“My husband and I have always liked Isuzu trucks; we know it’s a good brand and that the trucks are very reliable on the road.” The Nguyens recently bought a new FVL 240-300 Auto Freightpack from Frank Johnston at Major Motors Isuzu (Malaga), and believe it’s the best decision they’ve ever made for the business.
The FVL Freightpack is chock full of features that make life easier, including LED lighting in the body interior for early morning loading work, interior cameras to keep an eye on cargo and low light capable reversing camera for safe manoeuvring at the markets.
It runs a six-cylinder turbocharged engine producing 221kW at 2,400 rpm and generous torque of 981Nm from 1,450rpm, and has a Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM) of 24,000kg.
The Nguyens also appreciate the highly practical Allison six-speed automatic transmission.
“My husband says the truck is smooth to drive and easy to operate. He finds the easy glide curtains with quick release latches very useful also,” said Nguyen. “He also enjoys all the Freightpack’s safety features including yellow painted grab handles and steps, Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) and the high visibility thanks to the large mirrors and cornering lamps.”
Nguyen was also very positive about the buying experience. “Frank at Major Motors was very helpful. He guided us with the decision and made the whole transaction easy from start to finish,” she said.
“He also sold our old truck for us and helped us recoup some money.
“Now my husband is very happy driving his new truck and I am much happier in the office, as I don’t constantly worry about him driving an old truck that may break down at any time,” said Nguyen.
“I can replace an old truck, but I can’t replace my husband!” she quipped.