Industry Operators, Transport Features

Remote WA operator thrives with UD Trucks

JSW Holdings may face unique challenges in regional WA, but its UD Trucks fleet has helped it succeed as a business for more than half a century

For nearly 50 years, local WA operator JSW Holdings has been running across the area’s challenging landscape with the support of its trusty UD Trucks.

For Kununarra based owner operator Peter Woodhead of JSW Holdings, navigating his business in such remote territory has posed many challenges since his father established the business in 1975.

But with the right people, services and trucks, Woodhead has taken no shortcuts and has witnessed the success and longevity of the JSW business.

Starting off as a brick manufacturer, JSW has expanded the scope of its products and services over the years, with concrete, plant hire, civil contracts and aggregate supply forming the main part of its business offering today. Despite these business changes throughout the decades, one thing has remained the same – JSW’s trust and confidence in its UD truck products.

During the UD Trucks Lap of the Map’s travels through Kununarra, Woodhead says just how desolate and challenging the conditions have been over the years and how critical UD’s reliable and robust vehicles are to the JSW operation.

“Probably the biggest pressure is our isolation with part supply and getting and keeping things running, as we have been obviously needing to have a backup of parts,” Woodhead says.

“People are also a big shortage, I know we’re not alone with that but it’s pretty hard to entice people to come up and live in extreme conditions at the moment.

“The distance we travel annually varies due to the kind of work that we do, but it can range from 100,000kms to 250,000kms. Engine hours are probably more. It’s a lot of work off road on dirt roads so we generally reach speeds of 40-50kms per hour.”

But despite the locational challenges, Woodhead says his UD Trucks have provided a solid and reliable platform to keep JSW running and with minimum downtime.

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“Our business was built on them,” Woodhead says.

“What I like about UD Trucks is that they’re built solid, reliable, low maintenance, easy to drive and are comfortable. Our guys love driving the UD Trucks and out of all the vehicles in our fleet, they probably spend the least amount of time in the workshop.”

“We’ve got a UD CW 40 out the back. It’s a 1983 model and it’s the first UD we bought. It was purchased as a 6-wheel tipper. The customer decided they wanted to go to ‘semi’, so it was converted to a prime mover and towed a bogie tipper around for probably five years of its life and then as things got bigger, we converted it back to a tipper.”

JSW currently has five UD Trucks in its fleet, but over the course of its business it has had 10 UD trucks in total. When recalling the UD Trucks that JSW has owned over the years, Woodhead reminisced on the early days, all the way back to the mid-70s where it all began.

“It was my old man on his own and once myself and my brother left high school, we joined the business and basically built it up from there. From a couple of trucks and a loader to a fairly substantial fleet that is now,” he says.

When asked about the UD Trucks Lap of the Map, Woodhead praised the activation, saying it was a great initiative, particularly for JSW given their remote location.

“I think the UD Trucks Lap of the Map is an awesome incentive. We get to have a look at these trucks in person. We’re fairly remote so we don’t get to go down to the dealer often and see what’s new and what’s out there so it’s really good for companies like ours,” he says.

Reflecting on Peter Woodhead’s comments, Vice President of UD Trucks Australia, Lauren Pulitano described JSW’s story and journey over the decades as unique and inspiring.

“Considering JSW Holdings was established nearly 50 years ago and has been able to thrive in such a remote and extreme part of Australia, is truly a testament to the entrepreneurship and strong leadership of Peter and originally, his father,” Pulitano says.

“Our UD Trucks are built to sustain the unique and demanding conditions of Australia and to hear of a remote business like JSW building their business on UD Trucks – that is extremely humbling. The story of JSW is truly one that UD is proud to be a part of and we thank Peter and the JSW team for continuing to put their trust in UD Trucks all these years on.”

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