COLAS Case Study

COLAS Field Maintenance Truck Fleet

Hidrive Truck Service Body - Fit For Purpose
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The COLAS Group is a world leader in the construction and maintenance of road, air, rail and maritime transport infrastructure.
Winston Hills, NSW Australia
Company Size
58,000 globally

The Client

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

State-based contracting businesses provide asphalt and spray sealing with a fleet of assets that require regular upkeep and servicing, including:

  • Tipper and spreader trucks, asphalt sprayers, skid steer loaders, combination rollers, tandem rollers, wheel rollers and micro-pavers
  • Shuttle buggies, walking floor trailers, Tieman tri-axle tankers
  • 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, COLAS introduced five new 716 Hino Hybrids and called on Hidrive to assist with its service body requirements.

Needs Analysis

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

COLAS has five trucks out on the road, managing breakdowns and repairs across their operations. Technicians need to carry a large range of equipment and parts, including inverters for refrigerators, a generator, air compressors and gas bottle storage, and turned to Hidrive to find the right service body solution for their specialised needs.

“After considering all our options it was clear that Hidrive had the formidable track record and the capability to build what we needed.”
– Andrew Hughes, COLAS National Equipment Manager


After listening and understanding all of COLAS’ requirements and decision factors, it was clear that new Hino Hybrids had to be well-equipped to handle all repairs onsite.

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


Once we were clear what the trucks would be used for, and which equipment COLAS wanted integrated with their new fleet, we were laser focused on getting the balance right. This meant keeping each vehicle within axle capacities to achieve the maximum payload with a minimum body weight.

Hidrive drew up and fabricated the service bodies at our Goulburn manufacturing facility in NSW. Each Hidrive Service Body needed to pass through five quality control checkpoints as part of our quality assured manufacturing process:

  • Stopgate 1 — Involves confirming the components and cutting each element to the required specifications
  • Stopgate 2 — This is where fabrication of the subframe chassis occurs
  • Stopgate 3 — After this, painting and sealing of the service body takes place
  • Stopgate 4 — The final stopgate is where the internal and external fit-out, along with any electrical work, is carried out

Delivering on time, with certainty.

The Result

  • 5

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

  • 2

    Weeks off the road, not two months, for the truck fleet.

  • 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 turned the build process for truck service bodies on its head; while other canopy 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 and organise them 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, said the 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 build process is missed. Once they got the vehicles to the workshop things happened really fast.”
– 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 means every truck features the same drawers, compartments and fittings.

“Every COLAS service body is made the same and it all opens and closes the same. If ever they want to order another truck, we can deliver the same thing and it won’t be any different to the ones they have already have.”

– 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 aerospace orange…it’s 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 holds ISO 9001 certification, is the premium product in this specialised market. Vertical integration gives our business control across design, manufacture, installation and service.
  • Hidrive is able to make many of our accessories and other products in advance based on drawings of the ute, trailer or truck. For COLAS, this reduced the length of time their trucks were off the road to a couple of weeks which was much shorter than they expected.
  • Our national footprint and reputation for quality means we continue to attract new customers, like COLAS, from across Australia. The Hino Hybrid trucks were our first Hidrive project with COLAS.
  • Made from aluminium, Hidrive service bodies are rust-proof and are much lighter than steel, while not compromising strength, to maximising payload and capacity.
  • Hidrive service bodies for utes, trailers and trucks are fit-for-purpose, delivered on time, with certainty.

Read more about the Hidrive and COLAS partnership in this feature article at Primemover Magazine.

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