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17/10/2017

Feature Article

Climbing to new heights

From what started as a small-scale side project with two guys, a ute and a trailer, Gary Porter and his wife Zara have built Civil Works Scaffolding into one of the Kapiti Coast’s most in-demand providers of scaffold and fall-protection equipment – complete with a new Fuso Fighter FK1428 and Canter 918 on their team.

    The 13,500kg 4x2 Fighter has been hard at work since its arrival 18 months ago, bought as an upgrade on one of their second-hand trucks.

    “Investing in a new truck made more sense than managing ongoing maintenance costs on our old unit. The Fighter also gave us more power and capacity and has been a great move for us,” says Gary.

    Faced with the option of a 12,000kg FK1228, Gary figured the higher RUC on the FK1428 would easily be covered by greater efficiency out on the job.

    “The lower rated unit would have cut our payload by 1,500kg, which for us can be the difference between finishing a job in one day and having to go back the next.”

    Fitted with a customised 6.5m x 2.4m deck and several bins for fittings and PPE, the Fighter hauls a full 7.5-tonne load every day and, with a powerful 280hp engine under the cab, there’s plenty in the locker to tow an extra 6.5 tonnes when required.

    “It’s great to drive and handles a full load with ease. There’s a lot of torque in low gear, which helps getting up steep driveways.”

    CWS sends crews of three to most jobs; after clocking more than 18,000km across the Kapiti region, feedback on the Fighter has been nothing but positive.

    “It’s excellent,” says CWS driver ‘Goose’. “It’s powerful, easy to operate, spacious; it has an Isringhausen driver’s seat, air suspension, cruise control, a USB port to charge your phone. We’ve got no complaints at all.”

    It’s a similar story with the new Canter, which Gary recently added to the mix “to give us greater flexibility around managing different sized jobs”. Although smaller, it comfortably fits a driver and two passengers.

      “Again, it’s a modern, comfortable cab. We’ve put five bins on the back; each guy gets his own one, which leaves plenty of room inside,” says Gary.

      With an 8,550kg GVM and a 175hp engine, the 918 is the largest, most powerful Canter in the Fuso range. Sporting a 5m x 2.2m custom-built body – as with the Fighter, courtesy of Belmont Engineering – the CWS unit has a four-tonne payload “perfect for smaller, half-day jobs”.

      “We’re really pleased with both Fuso trucks,” says Gary. “We’ll probably look to add another in the near future, to give us another option to work with – and that would probably suit us for the time being.

      “We’ve got a good team – there’s 11 of us in total – and a great culture; I think if we got any bigger, we’d be at risk at losing of that.”

      With the reliable support of a close-knit team and two hardworking Fuso trucks, CWS is well-positioned to continue riding the building boom sweeping across its base in Wellington’s Kapiti Coast.

       

      Fighter FK1428
      • Tare weight – 4,065kg
      • Power/Torque – 207kW / 802Nm
      • Transmission – 6-speed manual
      • Service intervals – 30,000km
       
      Canter 918 MWB
      • Tare weight – 2,510kg
      • Wheelbase - 3850mm
      • Power/Torque – 129kW / 430Nm
      • Transmission – 5-speed manual
      • Service intervals – 30,000km
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