Servicing Australia’s rural networks

Truck and plant manufacturer Ausroad is catering to the nation’s most isolated and remote regions with its unique range of road maintenance machines.From the rural townships of Queensland to the isolated settlements in regional Victoria and Tasmania and the far-flung Port Hedland in Western Australia’s north, these remote regions are where Ausroad’s unique road maintenance units are in their element.

The Brisbane-based company has designed, manufactured and hired out its custom road maintenance trucks for the Australian private and public sectors for nearly three decades.

Stefan Dunlop, Director, says the family-run business has gone from strength to strength, evolving from a small-scale operation to a comprehensive national road maintenance truck builder and service provider complete with state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities.

“We’ve been operating in Australia going on 27 years, and over that time we’ve worked in a variety of sectors, but road maintenance has always been a core part of our business,” he says. “We’ve been consistently working with shire councils over that time and that work has continued through all the ups and downs of the market.

“In Australia, we specialise in remote areas – we’ve got trucks in western Queensland, western New South Wales, remote areas of Victoria and WA as well,” explains Mr. Dunlop.

He says the company addressed the unique issues that affect rural Australia in the design of its road maintenance units, namely its Jetmaster and Horizontal Discharge (HD) Road Maintenance Units – built to handle the rugged terrain of some of Australia’s most isolated regions,

“The Jetmaster unit is an aggregate and emulsion patching truck. It’s generally used for rural road networks and it’s capable of blow patching potholes, edge repair, emulsion spray sealing and minor surface corrections,” he says.

“A lot of those materials are usually stored at shire council depots, and the fact that the Jetmaster can use them and also stockpile materials is part of what makes them suitable for remote areas.”

The aggregate spreader and spray bar mean spray sealing can be undertaken in one forward pass. The spray bar and spreader can operate at a full width of 2.4 metres, or be used in any combination of 300 millimetre-wide gates, which is all controlled from the cab.

When the full width paver bar is in use, aggregate is sprayed with emulsion as it drops to the road, before being levelled off with the bar – making it ideal for whenever surface corrections are required.

“Typically we will hire the Jetmaster units from three or four weeks or for long term hire, which could be up to 12 months,” he says. “Most councils will use them on an annual pre-sealing preparation program, which makes great use of the units.

“We’ve invested in the machines over a long time, and they’re now at the point where the controls within the cab are fully automated and it’s a one-man operation.”

Ausroad’s HD Series Road Maintenance Units are smaller than the Jetmaster units, and are designed primarily for urbanapplications.

The truck uses pre-mix asphalt, hot and cold, complete with a 4.5-cubic-metre capacity for pothole patching, heavy maintenance, crack sealing, patch compaction and general maintenance repairs.

With any hire of one of its six Jetmaster units or its single HD truck, Ausroad provides a comprehensive service to ensure the customer has all the training and support it requires.

“About 90 per cent of instances are dry hires, and we’ll fly out our guys for a couple of days to make sure the customer’s operators are up to speed with the truck, the parts are there and the machines are ready to work.

“We’ll then stay in touch, supply spare parts, provide maintenance and expertise and demobilise the unit at completion.”

Because Ausroad designs and manufactures its units in-house, and has since its inception, its products are built and subsequently improved from continual customer experience and feedback.

“The Jetmaster and HD units are very mature products that have been developed over time to the complete products they are today,” says Mr. Dunlop. “We’re able to work closely with customers on custom-built units and modifications. Because we manufacture everything out of our Brisbane workshop, all of the spare parts and expertise is in house.”

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