Focus Machinery Moves Mountains and Customers with Isuzu Tippers

Sometimes all it takes to change your life is a single conversation with the right people at the right time. In 2009, on a family holiday in the United States, Charles and Jerry Nipper had one of these moments. ​ 

Chatting one night to friends who owned a quarry that was busy during the summer months, they were asked what the business did during the cold season. The answer was dry hire, and the Nippers knew they had the talent, experience and acumen to bring a dry hire business home to Australia. 

Since that pivotal conversation, Charles, Jerry and their loyal employees have grown Focus Machinery into a giant in the Victorian hire industry. Over 13 years, they have gathered approximately 500 pieces of capital equipment including an impressive line-up of Isuzu Tippers, garnered a 5-star reputation and the cherry picker on top—a YouTube channel featuring digging and heavy machinery to the heart’s delight. 

In the beginning 

Charles Nipper
Charles Nipper

Where does a dry hire business start? Certainly, with the first piece of equipment but also not quite how you might expect it to. ​ 

When the Nippers first went into business in 2010, the plan was to import machinery from the States and sell on to the Australian market. ​ 

This was put to rest quickly in favour of local dry hire with international market pressure bearing down on the Aussie dollar. 

“It was dollar for dollar for a time there,” explained Charles, Focus Machinery Founder and Branch Manager. ​ 

“Once the dollar started dropping again, it wasn't feasible to do that, that's what made us really get into dry hire.” 

Big jobs, big machines 

In 2023, Focus Machinery has amassed quite the substantial fleet with over 500 machines available to rent at time of writing. This is complemented by an arsenal of attachments—over 1,000 varieties—from loading ramps and pallet forks to augers and grinders. ​ 

Their range covers everything from large excavators and ground compactors to a keenly honed selection of medium-and light-duty Isuzu factory Tippers. Charles has been very pleased with performance across the Tipper fleet, noting customer demand as a motivator for continued purchase of the Isuzu product. 

Charles says business has reached a stage where much of the work performed by the hire fleet is now on Tier One government projects such as the West Gate tunnel in Melbourne. Their equipment lockers are expanding to reflect this progression. ​ ​ 

“We’re trying to keep up with the demand, which is always a good problem to have so we have up to 30 Isuzu Tippers across the size range and another 11 Isuzu trucks on order for 2023. 

“They're a great vehicle for our customers on site, they’re versatile and very popular with our customers.” 

“In previous years, we were trying to say yes to everyone and anything that came our way, now we're being a bit more selective with our opportunities to ensure we can cater for larger projects,” Charles continued. ​ 

“It’s not just about being able to have equipment available for big projects, we also need to make sure the gear that’s going out under the Focus Machinery banner is up to spec.” 

Bring the muscle 

This is where the business finds sustained value in Isuzu’s tough as they come Ready-to-Work Tippers, which offer a GVM range of 4,500 kg (drivable on a car licence) to 8,700 kg on N Series models through to a rugged 11,000 kg or 14,000 kg GVM in the FRR and FSR model range. 

With new 2023 Isuzu trucks now standard with 6-year warranty (distance dependent on model) and 3-year unlimited km body warranty, as well as a suite of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) in many N and F Series models, an Isuzu Tipper means safer conditions for drivers and decreased downtime prospects for Focus Machinery. 

Their medium-duty Isuzu F Series Tippers are also specified with a Gross Combined Mass (GCM) of either 16,000 kg or 21,000 kg, capable of handling all but the most massive towing and dumping jobs. Rope rails, tie-down points and the auto-release two-way tailgate fitted as standard go that little way to helping their clients achieve better productivity—combined with Isuzu’s promise of reliability on the job. 

“We understand our clients have time restraints and time-critical projects,” Charles noted. ​ 

“Providing only quality equipment means we can eliminate downtime for us and our clients to the best of our ability.” 

Service speed key 

There are a million conversations happening every year just like the one Jerry and Charles had back in 2009 in the States. However, the chances of those panning out to end in a success story like Focus Machinery are somewhat more limited. ​ 

It’s business nous and work ethic that have set the duo apart and they realised early on that their key strengths lay in legendary customer service, a realistic approach and lightning-fast turnaround. ​ 

Charles details what he thinks makes the business stand out from the rest of the dry hire crowd. 

“We make sure customers are notified… even if it may not be what they want to hear, they’re never kept waiting, everyone in the chain is kept in the loop. 

“We base ourselves around a 90-second response time. 

“We've got skilful people in the phone room able to answer questions of a technical nature, like if someone is needing an excavator out in the Northern suburbs, they would know to offer a rock hammer because there's so much rock out there. ​ 

“Small things like this add up to make our hire process a lot easier.” 

Another way in which they maintain a full (and satisfied) client list is by treating one and all with transparency and honesty. ​ 

“We had a client who had a piece of equipment break down on site,” Charles recalled. 

“It was going to cost a lot of money to be idle, a lot more than the hire price. We made sure to replace this very expensive piece of equipment and have it available for him on site the following morning. 

“Because of that speed of response, we have a customer for life.” 


IAL_CS_Focus Machinery.docx

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Sam Gangemi

Marketing and Advertising Manager, Isuzu Australia Limited

Arkajon Communications

Public Relations Agency




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