Macks across the generations at Alzino

Back in the late 1960s, Ernie Alzino brought a bull dozer from Ingham FNQ so he could do some farm clearing & dam sinking work in the Caboolture area. He soon realised that the earthmoving business was more profitable than farming sugar cane in FNQ, and started Alzino  Bros with his brother Roly.

Fast forward to 1992, when Greg Chapman married Ernie’s eldest daughter, Donna, joining both the family and the business. Greg came in to manage the earthmoving side of things, while Ernie developed  Bracalba quarry, eventually selling it to Brisbane City Council in 2003.

“From 2003 we became solely an earthmoving and civil construction business,” says Greg, “and it’s just grown from there.”

Since the beginning, the company’s impressive fleet of Caterpillar machinery has been transported to and from local work sites in the Caboolture area exclusively by Macks.

“We only have one low loader and one prime mover,” says Greg, “we’re mostly doing short trips of 20-30 minutes so that’s all we need, but it has to be 100% available every day. That kind of reliability is what Mack has always given us.”

From the R600 that was there when Greg started, the company moved to a CHR in the mid-90s, then a Titan in the mid-2000s, graduating to a Super-Liner in 2012, and now in 2023 updating to the latest Super-Liner.

“We rarely sell our Macks,” says Greg, “we just convert them into some other format like a tipper or a truck and dog.  We still have an old R-Model for instance working as a water cart.”

The exception to that rule is the Super-Liner that’s just been replaced, after putting in a solid decade of reliable service.

“We’d just had the new Super-Liner delivered, and the old one was sitting in the yard as a backup while we put it through its paces,” says Greg. “A bloke came into the yard, saw it sitting there and said “I’ll buy that one off you.”

”I wanted to keep it,” says Greg, “so we tried to talk him out of it, but he kept pestering us, and eventually we agreed. I was pleased to find that Macks have a very healthy re-sale price.”

Both Greg and the company drivers were very happy with his decision to upgrade to the latest Super-Liner.

“I had a chat to Steve Helms at Mack and asked him to give us a prime mover with exactly the same spec as the old one. He had a good look at what we were doing with it and suggested a few improvements, and the drivers are raving about how fantastic it is – each one’s better than the last.”

With a 685hp engine and Mack’s famous m DRIVE automated manual transmission, the Super-Liner is easy to drive and has more than enough power to haul anything in the company’s fleet of earthmovers. The most important feature for Greg though, is reliability.

“We do five or six trips a day, and this entire business relies on being able to deliver the right equipment on time,” says Greg. “When you only have one prime mover you must be able to trust that it will be available every day, no question. Macks have always given us that reliability, and that’s why we stick with them.”

Greg expects that the latest Super-Liner will serve the business well into the 2030s.

“It’ll probably outlast me,” he says, with the younger generation coming into the business now, so they will be carrying it on. We’ve always had Macks in the past and I reckon we’ll always have them in the future.”