A progressive family fruit and vegetable business has maintained a two-decade tradition by commissioning a new Toyota forklift truck.
Leisure Coast Fruit & Deli commissioned the new 1.8-tonne payload Toyota 8-FG18 forklift during March at its Fairy Meadow (Wollongong) store.
The business, established more than 40 years ago by Alex Braidotti, has used Toyota forklifts for the last 20 years.
Managing director Michael Braidotti (Alex' son) said Toyota reliability was a key factor in the latest purchase decision.
"Toyota forklifts are made to go day after day," he said. "We have one 20-year-old Toyota forklift and it still starts every morning - they're definitely good machines.
"The other impressive aspect is that Toyota obviously listens to what the market needs. When you listen to your customers, you keep going forward as a business," Michael Braidotti said.
"You look at the forklifts and you see the attention to the finer points: there are handles where you need them, the steering wheel is small, the foot-operated parking brake is easy to use and the bodywork panels are metal rather than plastic.
"Operators spend a lot of time running forklifts in reverse in the produce markets and our warehouse, and Toyota has thought of that as well. There's a rear-pillar assist grip for use when reversing, and that handle has a built-in horn button - another operator-friendly feature."
Leisure Coast Fruit & Deli is owned and operated by Alex Braidotti and two of his sons, Michael and David. It consists of the retail business in Fairy Meadow and a facility at the Sydney Produce Market in Flemington.
"My father founded the business and at one point we had a dozen stores, with several semi-trailer loads of produce coming in each day," Michael Braidotti said.
"At the time we operated four Toyota forklifts in our warehouse - and they never let us down.
"Twelve years ago, we geared down to the one store here in Fairy Meadow, where we operate four Toyota forklifts - three gas and one electric."
The 8-FG15 is one of the most popular forklifts in Toyota's leading edge 8-Series range.
Safety features of the Toyota 8-Series forklift range include Toyota's System of Active Stability (SAS) and Operator Presence Sensing (OPS) as standard equipment.