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New tricks for Huski range

Toyota Material Handling Australia’s (TMHA) Huski Construction Equipment range is synonymous with skid steers for many, but this top dog has plenty of tricks at its disposal

TMHA’s Huski range is known for its robustness

For many, Toyota Material Handling Australia (TMHA) and its Huski Construction Equipment range of machinery – decked out in its distinctive blue colour – is interwoven with the skid steer market.

Toyota is one of the big three skid steer manufacturers that sell the machines in Australia, along with Cat and Bobcat. Across the past 15 to 20 years, Huski skid steers have grown in popularity Down Under, through the uncomplicated technology in the machines and their reliable Japanese craftsmanship.

Huski Construction Equipment product manager Matt Meddows says the affection Australians have for the Huski name comes down to the robustness of the machines.

“It’s going to sound cliché, but I think that legendary Toyota reliability comes into it,” Meddows says.

“The Toyota name is known globally for a robust car which seemingly lasts forever, and our skid steers are no different. It’s a simple electronic system, simple hydraulic system, and they very rarely break down, which, for an end user, that’s the goal.

“Less downtime means more productivity. This is why they have a mass following around the country.”

The Huski range has six skid steer models available, ranging from the smaller 4SDK4 loader, which features a 320kg operating load, up to the largest 5SDK11 loader model with a 900kg operating load.

The skid steers can be used for both indoor and outdoor operations and use large-capacity and high pressure-resistant HST motors.

Other features of the range include increases to the hydraulic fluid capacity and position of the oil cooler to improve performance and maintenance times.

Of the range, Meddows says the two most popular models are the 5SDK5 and the 5SDK8, with 430kg and 650kg operating weights, respectively. The 5SDK5 model is the largest skid steer that can be hauled behind a 3.5-tonne towing capacity, meaning it is still able to be carried on a trailer.

And, at just 1,300mm wide, the 5SDK5 is also a tight access machine and can be stored in garages.

The Huski brand has always been synonymous with its range of skid steers. However, a decision four years ago has seen the brand expand with the introduction of complementary construction equipment.

The 5SDK5 has a 430kg operating load and can be carried on a trailer

First, came the addition of Huski scissor lifts – a product that Meddows says continues to progress in leaps and bounds each year.

The scissor lifts were originally introduced into the TMHA rental fleet. However, increased demand for the machines has seen a change of plans.

“We’ve got them in rental fleets all around the country and they’re in our own rental fleet,” Meddows says.

“Our biggest customer in 2021 was the end user so we’re now selling more scissor lifts than what we’re renting out now. We’re starting to be known for our scissor lifts.”

The range includes five scissor lift models with platform heights ranging between 5.72m and 9.68m, which can be used both indoors and outdoors.

Following the introduction of the scissor lifts, Huski has also added a range of mini and small excavators to the brand. Launched in early 2020, the excavator range is built in Italy and powered by Kubota engines, but arrive in Australia as Huski-branded machines.

Meddows says the decision to add excavators to the Huski line-up was made to expand upon the skid steer range and offer customers similar products for ease of maintenance and useability.

“The reason we got into excavators was to complement the skid steers because the majority of people who own a skid steer also own an excavator,” he says.

“Whether one’s in the back of the truck and the other is in the trailer or vice versa, it’s a tag along system.

“When you go to our excavator range, they’re relatively new to the market and have been available for the public for about two years now.”

The excavator range spans 1.3-tonne models up to six-tonne models, all with powerful break-out force and zero tail-swing.

Meddows refused to rule out an expansion to the existing excavator product range.

However, the goal remains to crack into the competitive Australian excavator market and solidify the brand with operators in similar fashion to its skid steers.

“Let’s get what we have up and running and be a product that’s like our skid steer, where people actually come to us as repeat customers and we’re known onsite to be a good, sturdy, solid excavator,” Meddows says.

With over 450 service and parts personnel around the country, TMHA and Huski boast a significant work force dedicated to keeping machinery up and running.

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