A truck and a bobcat—that’s (almost) everything Ewan Davidson needs to run his successful one-man business: Davidson Contracting.
Davidson Contracting is based on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, and is relatively fresh on the scene, having started up in March 2019. Despite the business’s relative youth—and perhaps because of its—owner and operator Ewan is confident he’s got the right equipment for just about any job that involves ground maintenance or general earthmoving.
When starting his company, Ewan thought long and hard about the equipment that would set his business up for decades to come. For his first piece of machinery, he decided on the trustworthy Caterpillar 257D Multi Terrain Loader bobcat.
Ewan then needed a truck not only sturdy enough to transport his four-tonne bobcat but also versatile enough to be used in a variety of earthmoving applications. Ewan landed on a Ready-to-Work manual transmission Isuzu FRR 107-210 Tipper and hasn’t looked back since.
“My Isuzu FRR Tipper is perfect for my needs, carrying my CAT skid steer without a problem,”
“The truck is so well balanced, getting my machine on and off hardly makes a movement.”
The tidy size of the Isuzu FRR Tipper put the seal on the deal for Ewan; a larger truck just wouldn’t fit into his regular job sites, and a smaller truck wouldn’t be able to support the weight of his CAT257D.
Ewan shared that there’s no typical day in his business. He finds himself taking on an assortment of different work, ranging from subdivision for large companies to clearing lantana for his neighbors.
“From working with civil companies trimming roads, or verge clearing and block preparation, my work varies a lot and that’s why I like it,” said Ewan.
“At the moment I’m doing a little landscaping job on an acre estate up near where I live.”
Ewan said the Isuzu FRR 107-210 Tipper suits the applications of his business admirably, enjoying the fact that his bobcat fits snugly onto the tray with just 300 mm to spare on each side. There’s certainly no wastage of space, making the truck the perfect tool for getting in and out of tight-access areas.
“My Isuzu fits in anywhere and everywhere. Any bigger and I’d have trouble with tight accesses and driveways. But any smaller and I wouldn’t be able to carry my gear.
“I also needed a truck that’s the right size to allow me to manually shovel gravel or dirt out the back or sides, and the tipper is extremely useful for earthmoving.”
The Tipper body sports a full steel frame and an auto release two-way tailgate for easy access to the 3.8 cubic meter tray.
And for its size, the FRR 107-210 Tipper features an impressive gross vehicle mass of 10,700 kg and 154 kW of power 2,400 rpm, which allows Ewan to easily navigate a heavy load around the hilly areas near his home.
The truck also comes with useful on-the-job features including Hill Start Aid (HSA), Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) and Anti Skid Regulator (ASR). Ewan purchased the FRR 107-210 Tipper from Madill Isuzu at Forest Glen and is more than happy with the truck’s ready-to-work build.
“Straight from the factory and it’s doing the trick,” he said.
“I don’t want to put anything else in it or modify it in any way.”
Ewan shared that the comfort of driving the FRR is on par with any van or bigger truck he’s driven in the past; and the FRR’s driver suspension seat with pneumatic lumbar support is important for good back care, especially during his long 13-hour days.
“The seat’s very comfortable and I like all the adjustment options available. You can really customize it to how you’re feeling at the time.
“I also find the cab really roomy, it’s just a really easy, comfortable truck and you feel like you’re driving a car.”
The truck is a hit with many of Ewan’s clients, who appreciate the maneuverability of the FRR 107-210 and its ability to navigate less than ideal ground conditions.
“Because of the short wheelbase, I’m not bottoming out on the small subdivision sites; and I don’t have a problem with getting bogged like I would with a truck that’s got a longer wheelbase.
“A lot of my clients prefer this truck running around on their job sites.”
Reliability is also a big factor in Ewan’s choice of truck and bobcat, as his two machines are simply the bread and butter of Davidson Contracting.
“Reliability of my equipment is massive for me… Because I’m independent, I can’t afford downtime.
“If my truck or bobcat goes down, I’m losing money.”
Ewan says the FRR 107-210 Tipper has held up admirably under a tough workload of up to 1,000 kilometers per week, with no issues navigating rough dirt tracks and other trying off-road conditions. And if there are any issues, he’s covered by his Isuzu Care package, which includes a three-year factory warranty and 24-hour roadside assistance.
“There have been absolutely no problems with my FRR Tipper.
“It operates in a lot of gravelly sandy sites, it’s very rarely working on a sealed environment.
“Most of the time the roads aren’t down on the subdivision sites… it cops a lot of dust and a lot of wheel ruts.”
When asked about plans to expand his business, Ewan keeps his cards close to the chest but hints that he’s looking into asphalt repairs and some new technology to integrate with the truck in the future.
“My business has just started but it’s evolving too, with the help of my Isuzu truck and Caterpillar,” he said.
“With these two pieces of quality equipment, I’ve got solid starting blocks to developing the business.
“For the moment there’s nothing much I need to worry about—in terms of machinery I’m set, so it’s just keeping things busy with new work projects!”