13 March 2024 · Sci-Fleet Hino in the Media

Westside MiniMix Paves The Way For Women In The Industry.

Article with Image

Hino helps make some concrete decisions

We chatted with Alison Pocock, founder and owner of Westside MiniMix, to find out how her small business, with its Hino fleet, is mixing things up in Brisbane and the concrete industry at large.


Laying the foundations for a solid career

Alison was straight out of school and into a concrete laboratory, and she’s not looked back since. After spending nearly 23 years at a large building material supplier, she decided it was time to move on and start her own business. So, at the end of 2019, Alison launched Westside MiniMix; a family-owned concrete supplier for the Western suburbs of Brisbane, with a strong focus on quality customer service.

Today, Westside MiniMix has four employees – three of which are women. She explains that having a team consisting of predominately females is what allows them to have a competitive edge when it comes to customer service. “Women come across differently to men. We wanted our business to provide unmatched customer service and I believe we have done that. People remember us for it.”

Reflecting on how far Westside MiniMix has come, Alison is pretty proud. Not only have they been successful in uplifting women in the industry, but they’ve also done some great work in rural communities. “For a short time, we had a mobile plant, going out west and supplying concrete on rural projects, which was really fulfilling”.


Tougher than concrete

Being a female in a traditionally male-dominated industry certainly has its challenges – the main one for Alison being navigating negative stereotyping. “As a female in this industry, you do stand out for all the right and wrong reasons”. Overcoming these can be tricky, as you need to be very versatile. “You have to know your stuff, but you also need to be able to ask for help when you need it. You need to be confident, but also humble.”

Despite these challenges, Alison tells us how fortunate she feels to be a trailblazer in this space, as it’s given her the opportunity to mentor young girls who are curious about the industry. “One of my biggest career highlights has been being able to mentor and provide work experience to some school-aged girls that may not have been given opportunities like this otherwise.”

Alison says making trade roles more accessible for women will always be a priority. She hopes that by doing this in her own business, she can be a leading example for others in the industry to do the same.


How Hino came into the mix for Westside MiniMix

When Alison first started Westside MiniMix, she was looking for a truck that could keep up in an industry that requires a lot from its vehicles. “Delivering concrete is one of the hardest things that trucks do. It’s not just the on-road driving, it’s all the expectations when you get off the road also.”

Alison worked with Hino trucks in her previous job and saw firsthand how reliable they are. So when the opportunity to buy a second-hand Hino 500 Series FC 1022 Tipper arose, she jumped at it. “We purchased the truck and named it Guido. After we got him, we realised very quickly that Hino makes seriously hard-working trucks”.

Reliable and hard-working is exactly what Alison needed. As a female small business owner, Alison needed to work double-time to establish Westside MiniMix as reputable and competitive. From purchasing to delivery, HR to customer service, Alison had to flawlessly be across all aspects of the business – the last thing she needed to worry about was her trucks underperforming. Thanks to Hino, this was never an issue.

Westside MiniMix has had seven Hino 500 Series FC 1022 Tippers in total, with five currently in their fleet. Alison explains that it is because Hino continuously delivers in a really harsh industry that she continues returning to the brand.

The naming has become a dynasty at Westside and the Hino 500 Series is the truck of choice. With Guido and Clampet retired, the current fleet consists of Lizzie, Rosie, Richard, Candy and Wally, each decked out in custom colorful livery. “Our trucks are all named after someone that was key to our lives and business.”


Service with a smile

While all the Hino 500 Series trucks at Westside MiniMix were bought second hand, Alison can’t help but rave about her servicing experience at Sci-Fleet Hino in Eagle Farm. “The Sci-Fleet Hino Service Department provided us with so much knowledge about the truck and showed us how simple they are to use and run. To get that kind of service from a dealership, even when you haven’t bought a new truck from them, says a lot about the brand.”


Hino helps pave the way

Alison says she loves all the features of the Hino 500 Series, but is a particular fan of the model’s smaller size. “For a medium duty truck, I like the shorter wheelbase, which makes getting into small building sites so much easier.’

“The truck is so comfortable and easy to drive, I feel like I’m driving a big Toyota! The manoeuvrability on tight sites is also really appreciated by us and our customers. The brand also provides great visibility for a truck too, which is paramount for safety.”


The path forward with Hino

She may already have five, but Alison would love to finally get a brand-new Hino. “This year, we’d like to purchase a new truck…we might even upgrade to a 500 Series FD model!”

When asked if she’d recommend the brand to others, it’s an easy answer. “Yes, definitely! I see lots of Hino’s around town, working hard with local delivery runs. With how they can manoeuvre around the city streets, they are unbeatable!”

Westside MiniMix is on solid ground thanks to their fleet. “Our Hino trucks are an integral part of our family business. Without them, our business would not exist. We look after them and they look after us, it is a win-win situation!”

As for Alison’s advice for other women wanting to enter the construction industry, it’s as simple as this: “If you enjoy the work, then stick at it. Diversity in business and life is really important. Women think differently to men, and that’s a good thing – that’s how progress happens.”

In the Western Brisbane area and in need of concrete? Westside MiniMix and their colourful fleet will sort you out!


Website: https://www.westsideminimix.com.au/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/westsideminimix

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/westsideminimix/