With more than 20 years’ experience in the livestock transport industry, there’s not much that Darryle “Dippy” Brusnahan doesn’t know about horses and livestock Same goes for the vehicles he transports them in. So when it comes to trucks for his business, Dippy’s Horse Transport, the charismatic Queenslander says he chooses Iveco for two reasons.
Prior to starting Dippy’s Horse Transport in 2010, Dippy spent two decades driving for another equine carrier, and it’s here where he first began to appreciate the benefits of Iveco trucks, particularly their key performance measures of driver comfort, low total cost of ownership and safety.
“When I was working for another carrier, one of my co-workers was involved in a serious accident and they came away with only minor injuries – they were driving an earlier Iveco Stralis,” Dippy said.
“That stayed in my mind, and when the time came to buy my own trucks, I knew I wanted them to be Iveco.”
The second factor in Dippy choosing Iveco concerns their ease of use. Dippy’s Horse Transport employs horsemen, not drivers, so trucks in the fleet have to be simple to operate, even the big prime movers.
“Our drivers are horsemen first, so the trucks we have can’t be complicated to drive, and this is one of the areas where the Ivecos are really good,” Dippy explained.
Based in Toowoomba, Dippy has a long history with the Iveco brand, with six employed in the Dippy’s Horse Transport fleet over the years. The most recent acquisitions are a Stralis ATi prime mover and Eurocargo ML160 rigid. He also has an International ProStar for B-Double float jobs.
Servicing all areas of Queensland, New South Wales and beyond, Dippy’s Horse Transport drivers regularly travel to far north Queensland, Darwin and even Victoria transporting race, stock and quarter horses.
Dippy says the Stralis is predominantly used for the “Townsville Run,” while the Eurocargo travels to Melbourne – it’s a busy schedule that sees both trucks rack up over 5,000 kilometres per week.
The ML160 Eurocargo is fitted with a stock body that allows Dippy to comfortably transport up to ten horses at a time, while the electronically-controlled air suspension helps smooth out the bumps.
“I go for an airbag suspension set-up where possible as it takes a lot of the jarring out of the ride, particularly over the rough tracks that we often have to cover,” Dippy said.
“Both the Stralis and Eurocargo also provide good accommodation for the drivers when they need to rest-up on the road; we install 24V air conditioning in our trucks to keep drivers cool when they’re resting.”
The Stralis ATi in the Dippy’s fleet features Iveco’s 10.3-litre Cursor 10 diesel engine matched to a 12-Speed Eurotronic II automatic transmission with manual shift control. According to Dippy, the 460hp / 2100Nm from this combination provides more than enough power for a single trailer application, which carries up to 15 animals.
In the Eurocargo, power comes from a 5.9-litre diesel producing 280hp and 950Nm of torque, with the six-cylinder engine coupled to a 9-speed manual in this application.
According to Dippy, a common feature on both vehicles is their impressive fuel efficiency.
“Both these trucks are brilliant on fuel and are cost effective to maintain,” he said.
“In some of our earlier Ivecos, we covered up to 1.5 million kilometres before upgrading. Nothing’s really gone wrong with them, all they’ve needed is replacement of the usual wear and tear items.
“With the new trucks, we go back to the selling dealership, Iveco Brisbane, for major servicing but do oil changes ourselves every 20,000 kilometres, just for that extra protection because of the high kilometres and tough conditions we cover.”