A leading Australian builder of food truck bodies is recommending the Iveco Daily cab chassis to customers, as the platform of choice to develop his award-winning food catering bodies.
Having recently won the 2016 Australian Achiever Award – Best Food Truck, A & B Food Truck Outfitters Director, Andrew Hajichristou, currently has six Iveco Daily-based food trucks in build at his Thomastown, Melbourne facility.
Originally starting as a one-man operation making cool rooms, trailers and Kebab cabins, A & B Food trucks now employs over a dozen people including in-house designers, engineers, plumbers, electricians and fabricators, along with wife Betty who is responsible for all aspects of the business’ marketing and promotions.
As well as seeking Andrew’s expert input on the body development, prospective customers quiz him as to the best truck platform on which to build the body.
“I can field about 40 to 50 enquires a week from prospective customers and many of them ask me what truck I recommend for the build,” Andrew said.
“I highly recommend using the Iveco Daily models, both from a body builder and end user perspective they have many benefits over other truck brands.
“With its lower tare weight, the Daily can accommodate most body fitments white still remaining under the 4500kg GVM threshold – so it can be driven on a standard passenger car licence.
“As well as having the weight advantages, the Daily is extremely sturdy and well-built. There’s a lot of room to install under floor water tanks, there’s plenty of scope to work with from a height perspective, and anchoring the body to the chassis is also very straight forward on the Daily.
“And once the trucks are complete and operating, our customers always comment how smooth they drive and how economical they are. The Dailys are great for long distance driving – none of our customers have ever had any issues with them.”
The Daily cab chassis variants are available in two engine options with up to 205hp / 150kW of power and 470Nm of torque – market-leading output. Operators also have two transmission choices available, a smooth shifting 6-speed synchromesh manual, or Iveco’s 8-speed full automatic, which is another market-leading feature of the Daily.
With small business operators investing considerably in their vehicles/mobile kitchens, the Daily range has an extensive array of safety features to provide added peace of mind every time the truck hits the road.
Standard safety equipment includes four airbags, front and rear disc brakes with ABS and ‘ESP 9’ safety package which adds Stability Control, Roll-Over Mitigation, Trailer Sway Mitigation, Hill Holder, Hydraulic Brake Assist, Hydraulic Rear Wheel Boost, Hydraulic Fading Compensation and Adaptive Load Control.
Andrew says that the days of people working from the back of clapped-out vans or old trucks are long gone, with most operators now running extremely professional set-ups requiring sign-off from state regulatory bodies.
“We build food trucks for people Australia-wide, so we ensure we are up to date with every State’s rules and regulations. We also regularly liaise with food truck manufacturers in the US to ensure we’re up-to-date with the latest technology,” Andrew said.
“Our builds are extremely customised and we develop the bodies to meet our customers’ exacting requirements. Depending on the food being prepared, typical equipment lists includes hot plates, chargrills, fryers, fridges and freezes.
“These appliances are of course complemented with sinks, hot water units, water tanks, generators and more. The build all takes place in-house – we provide a complete turn-key service from conception all the way through to graphic designing and applying the vinyl wrap.”
In taking out the 2016 Australian Achiever Award – Best Food Truck award, judges randomly contacted A & B Food Truck Outfitters’ customers and suppliers, surveying them on the company’s performance across a broad selection of criteria. Out of a possible 100, the company scored 99.79.
“We build quality not quantity and we don’t cut corners – we ensure we use high quality materials to build high quality food trucks,” Andrew said.
“All materials we use are sourced locally or from the US. Customers that build with us become part of the A & B Family. Even after the build I provide ongoing support and services. I am accessible 24/7 as I love what I do and I do it well.
“Similarly Iveco has been excellent to deal with and provide great products and support which is important to our overall business.”
MEET AN OWNER: Chevapi Kings Street Grill
Purveyor of fine Chevapi sausages, Dean Jeftic started in the ‘food truck’ truck industry in 2014 with a trailer, but more recently has taken delivery of an Iveco Daily prepared by A & B Food Trucks.
After a couple of years using the trailer, Dean longed for a larger and more professional platform on which to take ‘Chevapi Kings’ to the next level.
“The trailer was difficult to tow, the weight distribution wasn’t ideal and then once on site at the markets or at private functions, there often wasn’t a lot of room for manoeuvring,” Dean said.
“I also needed more space and a professional set-up to try and grow the business.”
After having researched four local suppliers as well as fully imported options from the United States, Dean put his faith in A & B Food Trucks and Andrew’s Iveco Daily recommendation. Since then he hasn’t looked back.
“Andrew and the team were great to deal with, were very supportive, gave excellent advice and had a strong network within the food truck industry I could call on,” he said.
“Along with this great service from A&B, I’m also very happy with the Daily – I love it. The truck is easy-to-drive and with the auto transmission and safety features it’s like a big car.”
Look out for the Chevapi Kings around Melbourne, serving their modern take on traditional Chevapi sausages and complemented with Mediterranean-inspired salads, or visit chevapikings.com.au