Colas Case Study

Colas Field Maintenance Truck Fleet

Hidrive Truck Service Body - Fit For Purpose
The COLAS Group is a world leader in the construction and maintenance of road, air, rail and maritime transport infrastructure. Roads, account for more than 80% of total activity.
Winston Hills, Australia
Company Size
360 in Australia

The Client

Road and infrastructure giant Colas provides high-quality bituminous materials to build and maintain roads pavements through a network of production facilities across Australia.

State-based contracting businesses service asphalt and spray sealing with afleet of assets all require regular upkeep and servicing, including:

  • Tipper and spreader trucks, asphalt sprayers, skid steer loaders, combination rollers, tandem rollers, wheel rollers and micro-pavers.
  • Added to this are shuttle buggies, walking floor trailers, Tieman tri-axle tankers
  • And also 130 utility vehicles, nearly 50 4×4 passenger vehicles, several Manitou telehandlers, 21 forklifts, 23 Hino 500 Series FG1628s and over 20 prime movers of different makes.

As part of an expanding service department, the company introduced five new 716 Hino Hybrids and and called on Hidrive to assist with its service body requirements.

Needs Analysis

“We basically needed a ‘workshop on wheels. It’s for the guys working out in the field.”
– Terry Urquart, NSW Maintenance Manager (Mobile Fleet). 

Five trucks were specified for breakdowns and repairs, with safety and timelines critical.

Colas technicians, need to carry a range of equipment out on the road, including inverters for refrigerators, a generator, air compressors and gas bottle storage’, according to Colas National Equipment Manager Andrew Hughes.

To accommodate these any many other accessories, Hughes turned to Hidrive.

“After considering our options it was clearly apparent that Hidrive has a formidable track record and capability to build what we needed according to our time frames [8 weeks].”
– Andrew Hughes, Colas National Equipment Manager.


After listening and understanding all of Colas’ requirements and decision factors, it was understood that new Hino Hybrids had to be well-equipped to handle all repairs on-site.

The five trucks each had a welder, gas bottle, and inverter for charging refrigerators and tools.

“Most of the tools now run on batteries with pneumatic gear largely a thing of the past. We wanted to make these vehicles mobile workshops for our service technicians. From socket sets to air compressors, we even decked them out with 3/4 drive rattle guns from Milwaukee.”
– Andrew Hughes, Colas National Equipment Manager.

“The Hidrive design team were tasked with creating a layout that was both practical and user friendly”
– Russell Lacey, Hidrive Mobile Workspace Specialist.

“Once we found out what the trucks were being used for and the equipment that Colas wanted integrated the aim was to get the balance right to keep it within axle capacities to achieve the maximum payload with a minimum body weight.”

Hidrive drew up and fabricated the service bodies at the Goulburn NSW facility, where the build of a Hidrive Service Body passes through five stop gates.

  • The first involves confirming the components and cutting.
  • The next stop gate is the fabrication of the subframe chassis.
  • After this, painting and sealing takes place.
  • This is followed by the internal and external fit-out along with any electrical.

Delivering on time, with certainty.

The Result

  • 5

    Fit-for-purpose Hidrive service bodies for Hino Hybrid Trucks.

  • 2

    weeks only, not two months with trucks off the road.

  • 14

    Rapid response maintenance vehicle fitouts.

  • 100%

    Tailored modular system.

  • 100%

    Consistency across the fleet.

  • 100%

    Satisfaction with Hidrive’s quality, professionalism and communication to deliver fit-for-purpose Service Bodies, on time.

Hidrive also turns the build process truck service bodies on its head; while other body builders usually wait until the truck to arrive, then measure it up before they start building the body onto the truck, Hidrive make everything in advance based on drawings of the truck for design and accessories.

“At a practical level, Hidrive only needs a truck for two weeks, not two months.”

For Colas, this ensured trucks were on the road sooner.

Another key requirement for Colas was to be able to fit a 1200mm x 1200mm pallet in the rear, to carry parts and secure it properly with easy access to the back, while still having room for a crane.

City Hino’s Bevan Joseph, who was part of the process coordinated by Hidrive’s Customer Care team, was pleased to hear that production ran smoothly without any delays.

“They [Hidrive] have fitted far more than what the truck normally has. Hidrive offers a great range of options in their body build and Colas have basically ticked every option. It’s a beautiful system as to how they work their bodies.”
– Bevan Joseph, City Hino.

Hidrive also needed to modify the exhaust on the welder to ensure that there was no heat transfer that could pose a safety hazard

“It’s the last two per cent in the finer details that makes the difference. They made sure it was going to work and that Colas were happy with the positioning in case they might want to alter anything, even slightly.”
– Bevan Joseph, City Hino.

Working on a hybrid vehicle required certain modifications.

These mainly prompted questions around the battery positions and how they might impact the placement of underbody storage.

“A few adjustments were noteworthy.“ It was a matter of where we placed the under body storage boxes. They needed to be out of the way of the batteries that take up the majority of one side. There may have also been some chassis adjustments.”
– Russell Lacey, Hidrive Mobile Workspace Specialist.

The Colas team visited the Goulburn facility to assess progress and approve some of the final adjustments during the process.

Weekly progress reports were also received, as is standard.

“It was very reassuring not only to observe how they did everything but to see how personnel and individual departments run through their checks so nothing in the building process is missed. Once they got the vehicles at the workshop things happened really fast.” They can turn around a build in a few weeks. The way they are going they will be turning them around in days.”
– Andrew Hughes, Colas National Equipment Manager.

Part of the Colas brief required the five Hino Hybrid vehicles to have consistency of visual impact. Being built from scratch, the vehicle design needed to be repeatable, with a uniform look.

Hidrive’s proprietary modular structure also meant that every truck features the same drawers, compartments and fittings.

“It’s all made the same and it all opens and closes the same. Supposing they [Colas] want to order another truck, we can deliver the same thing and it wouldn’t be any different than the ones they have already had delivered from us.”

– Russell Lacey, Hidrive Mobile Workspace Specialist.

The Hino Hybrids have now been in the field for four months working mostly on residential streets where Colas is doing spray seal jobs for councils in Dubbo and the Blue Mountains.

“They’re hard to miss painted in an aerospace orange.” It is an automotive paint that Hidrive uses to match the cabin of the truck. “The whole thing has a visual impact in itself. You don’t see service bodies around as good as ours. Not that I’m trying to blow our own trumpet. But it’s a fact. Obviously we do like quality, and we don’t buy cheap stuff because we want it to last. We haven’t had any problems with the trucks — the whole experience has  been a good one.”
– Andrew Hughes, Colas National Equipment Manager.


  • The industry sector for truck mounted service bodies is fast evolving. Australian-owned Hidrive, which operates under certification ISO9001 continues to rapidly evolve with it. Vertical integration gives the business control across design, manufacture, installation and service.
  • Hidrive make everything in advance based on drawings of the truck for design and accessories, meaning trucks are only off the road for a couple of  weeks, not months.
  • Hidrive has an national footprint and continues to attract new customers from a range of leading organisations across Australia. Colas is one of them. The Hino Hybrids marks this as the first Hidrive project with Colas.
  • Made from aluminium, Hidrive Service Bodies are much lighter than those made from other materials, such as steel, while not compromising strength, to maximising payload and capacity.
  • Hidrive Service Bodies for utes, trailes and trucks are fit for purpose, delivered on time, with certainty.

You can read more in the feature article at P51, 3 november 2022.

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