When it comes to choosing the right truck for your business there are many things to consider. How it will be used, overall features, what you are wanting to achieve i.e. fuel economy, driver safety, payload, but for many, reliability is the biggest factor.
We spoke with Mal Daly, director of Daly’s Construction (a 50 year old family business he runs with his two brothers Mark and Nathan) about his fleet of 48 Hino trucks, and how their reliability has helped his business meet the demands of his customers in Melbourne and Brisbane.
Tell us about your business. How long has it been in operation?
We are civil contractor that specialises in putting underground electrical cables in for the utility companies throughout Australia, and even as far abroad as New Zealand. We are celebrating being in business for 50 years this year!
Who owns/manages what parts of the business, and how many employees do you currently have?
We’re a family run business with 2 established branches in Australia. Our head office in Laverton Victoria is managed by Mark Daly and Nathan Daly, while the Brisbane branch - established in 2005 - is managed by me. Between both Construction Branches and Daly’s Traffic we have approximately 100 employees.
How has business been since the beginning of COVID in 2020?
Challenging to say the least as we had larger Extra High Voltage projects running in other states like Western Australia which made it difficult to plan with constant border closures.
With these challenges has there been an impact on your business? If so, how have you managed to stay afloat?
There’s certainly been a decline in our normal workload. But we’ve been far more fortunate than other companies due to being classed as an essential service to Utility companies, who maintain the network even through the challenges of a pandemic.
We see you have approximately 48 Hino Trucks of varying sizes and models in your fleet. Has the fleet grown recently?
We’ve maintained the same number of trucks for a while. We have 30 in Brisbane & 18 in Victoria. We purchased quite a few when we established the Brisbane branch back in 2005 and again between 2015-2017 when we moved away from light vehicles for our site Forman’s.
We moved to the Hino 300 Series 616 TradeAce so we could carry more tools & equipment when our field crews are working remotely and the scope of work changes. The latest purchase was back in 2018, which was for 3 trucks to service a 2-year contract in Perth. We needed reliability when driving back and forth from the site.
With such a large fleet of trucks, are you finding operational costs manageable?
Yes. We employ Fleet Managers in both branches and our in-house accountant keeps us informed of running costs on a regular basis.
Have you ever performed a cost comparison of your fleet? If so, how did Hino compare to the other brands in your fleet?
To be honest, we’ve never thought about doing one. With our Fleet Managers and accountant, we run a tight ship. But it’s something we might consider in the future.
While you have other trucks in your fleet, what is it about Hino that has you coming back?
The Hino trucks are reliable, and the cost of parts are reasonably priced. I have to say I did like the older Hino 500 Series FG Wide Cab models which - when compared to the new model - had approximately 500kg more payload. We’ve gotten the vast majority of our Hino’s from Sci-Fleet Hino, and maybe a few at auctions here and there over the years.
Do you service any of your Hino trucks through Hino? And if so, what have been the advantages of servicing through an authorised Hino dealer?
We have a number of mechanics that look after the servicing of our trucks, so we manage the servicing of our trucks in-house. It’s definitely not a reflection on the servicing that Hino offers, but as equipment requirements change on a daily basis for each work site, our vehicle service scheduling needs to be very flexible.
Of all the Hino trucks in your fleet, which model is your preferred model and why? Is there a certain feature that makes it your favourite?
While the older Hino 500 Series FG Wide Cab model was good, all the Hino trucks we’ve had have been workhorses, so I couldn’t really pick a favourite, the other trucks may get jealous. For us, the best feature is Hino’s reliability. In our line of work, that’s a massive plus.
What does the future hold for Daly’s Constructions?
We will see what the future brings with the impacts of COVID-19 but there may be more opportunities in Perth in the years to come.
We wish Daly’s Constructions all the best for the future and a Happy 50th Birthday.
You can contact Mal and the team at Daly’s Construction on: