IN­DUS­TRY IN­SIDER: OUT­BACK AC­CES­SORIES

WESTERN AUS­TRALIA’S OUT­BACK AC­CES­SORIES PRIDES IT­SELF ON MAK­ING TOUGH-AS-NAILS AF­TER­MAR­KET GEAR.

4 x 4 Australia - - Front Page -

BACK when the Western Aus­tralian four-wheel drive in­dus­try was in its in­fancy, Out­back Ac­ces­sories was es­tab­lished un­der the watch­ful eye of Adrian Stafford, a highly re­spected and well-known name in the in­dus­try. It was orig­i­nally lo­cated in Welsh­pool and op­er­ated as the ex­clu­sive man­u­fac­tur­ing arm for the then young and grow­ing 4WD ac­ces­sories com­pany, Op­po­site Lock.

Many happy cus­tomers later in 2003, Adrian and his part­ners de­cided to fo­cus on a new strate­gic di­rec­tion. This opened up an op­por­tu­nity for new own­ers to grow the al­ready re­spected Out­back Ac­ces­sories name into the prom­i­nent Wa-owned-and-op­er­ated busi­ness it is to­day.

Jes­sica da Silva and her hus­band Ross were al­ready well-versed in what was needed to run a suc­cess­ful engi­neer­ing busi­ness, hav­ing owned their own engi­neer­ing firm back in South Africa. There are plenty of sim­i­lar­i­ties be­tween the Aus­tralian and South African en­vi­ron­ments and the con­di­tions to which we sub­ject our 4x4s and we’ve grown to ex­pect great-qual­ity prod­ucts from trusted South African brands.the Out­back Ac­ces­sories busi­ness was a per­fect fit for the Da Silva’s phi­los­o­phy and fam­ily mantra: it must be fit for pur­pose, look good and be built to last.

All of the Da Silva fam­ily is in­volved in the busi­ness, with Car­men con­trol­ling sales, Na­dine man­ag­ing qual­ity con­trol and lo­gis­tics, and their son fol­low­ing in Ross’s foot­steps to man­age op­er­a­tions.

Jes­sica ad­mit­ted with a smile: “It was a steep learn­ing curve for me as the cus­tomer in­ter­face, sort­ing ques­tions for all things 4WD.” But de­spite her gen­tle de­meanour and hum­ble be­gin­nings within the WA 4WD com­mu­nity, Jes­sica is now a force to be reck­oned with. She has held the re­spected po­si­tion of chair­per­son for the 4WD in­dus­try di­vi­sion of the Mo­tor Trades As­so­ci­a­tion since 2008, and was sub­se­quently asked to sit on the board of the MTA.

The proof of cus­tomer sat­is­fac­tion is in the num­bers. Jes­sica proudly ex­plained that Out­back Ac­ces­sories has never looked back and con­tin­ues to grow year on year, even dur­ing the de­bil­i­tat­ing GFC. “It was Ross’s ex­per­tise and skills in fab­ri­ca­tion that al­lowed him to fo­cus on re­or­gan­is­ing the fac­tory, and we soon took the busi­ness to a whole new level,” she said. The busi­ness moved to Jan­dakot and the team has grown to nearly four times its orig­i­nal size. This is a tes­ta­ment to the prod­ucts it makes and its com­mit­ment to the on­go­ing sat­is­fac­tion of its clien­tele.

Ve­hi­cle pro­tec­tion is a pri­mary fo­cus for Out­back Ac­ces­sories. It still man­u­fac­tures a lim­ited range of tra­di­tional steel bull­bars and side steps to suit older ve­hi­cles, but, as Jes­sica ex­plained, there was a niche in the mar­ket for a more af­ford­able, uniquely styled tube bar. Hence the com­pany’s eye-catch­ing Xrox Xtreme Sport bar range and com­ple­men­tary ac­ces­sories.

Sim­i­lar in aes­thet­ics to com­pe­ti­tion­styled bar work, the Xrox Xtreme makes a bold state­ment on any 4WD. But make no mis­take; this bar is solid steel con­struc­tion and zinc-coated with heavy-duty pow­der­coat­ing. Lighter than a con­ven­tional com­mer­cial bar, it boasts a sig­nif­i­cant im­prove­ment in ap­proach an­gles over stan­dard OEM bumpers, six built-in re­cov­ery points, two jack points, two tow hook po­si­tions, two re­cov­ery eye lo­ca­tions and no less than nine mount­ing points for lights, aeri­als or flags. Plus it has the abil­ity to house a low-mount winch.

An­other unique fea­ture of the Xrox range is that the side wings are re­mov­able for easy re­pair or re­place­ment. Out­back Ac­ces­sories also pro­duces match­ing Xrox rock slid­ers, twin-tube rear steps and un­der­body bash plates to pro­vide your ve­hi­cle with the max­i­mum body pro­tec­tion when off-road.

If you’re left scratch­ing your head think­ing there’s no way such a cool­look­ing bar is go­ing to pass muster with the boys and girls in blue, you can breathe easy. The good news is that on a stan­dard ve­hi­cle it is le­gal.

Jes­sica said they con­sulted with a range of knowl­edge­able re­sources in the 4WD in­dus­try and Out­back Ac­ces­sories’ en­gi­neers went to con­sid­er­able ef­fort with its de­sign. The end re­sult, hav­ing ap­pro­pri­ately en­gaged with the Depart­ment of Trans­port, is that this bar fol­lows the Aus­tralian stan­dards for back­ward-fac­ing an­gles and no ope­nend frames. It also meets ap­proved bar test­ing for ADR airbag com­pli­ance through Au­to­mo­tive Safety Engi­neer­ing in South Aus­tralia.

Re­search and de­vel­op­ment is a big part of Out­back Ac­ces­sories’ suc­cess and a key rea­son be­hind its con­tin­ued growth in a very com­pet­i­tive and ever-chang­ing con­sumer mar­ket.

The com­pany also pro­duces a range of lo­cally man­u­fac­tured prod­ucts with a qual­ity steel con­struc­tion to en­dure the rigours of the Aussie bush. Cov­er­ing all the practicalities for off-road driv­ing, the Out­back Ac­ces­sories range pro­vides sin­gle- and dou­ble-caddy rear wheel car­ri­ers, bat­tery trays, jerry can hold­ers, Hi-lift jack mounts, wheel car­rier aerial and camp light mounts. It even does a clever re­mote winch cra­dle, ex­tend­ing the us­able ap­pli­ca­tion and func­tion­al­ity of the stan­dard winch to al­low for rear­ward re­cov­ery.

There’s a good rea­son Out­back Ac­ces­sories has en­joyed con­sis­tent

Out­back Ac­ces­sories does every­thing in­house to main­tain a con­sis­tency in qual­ity

growth, and that’s the hard work put in by a ded­i­cated team who are com­mit­ted to in­no­va­tive de­sign, ex­cel­lent func­tion­al­ity and prod­uct dura­bil­ity.

Im­por­tantly, Out­back Ac­ces­sories does every­thing in-house to main­tain a con­sis­tency in qual­ity – from de­sign, build­ing pro­to­types and man­u­fac­tur­ing, to weld­ing and bend­ing. Only the pow­der­coat­ing process is done off-site, but it’s still through a lo­cal WA com­pany.

Jes­sica told 4X4 Aus­tralia she be­lieves the com­pany is the right size and has the flex­i­bil­ity to ac­com­mo­date smaller mar­ket vol­umes and shorter pro­duc­tion runs. The com­pany also keeps the de­vel­op­ment time from con­cept to pro­to­type re­al­is­tic. This can be seen in the range of Out­back Ac­ces­sories prod­ucts for the Suzuki Jimny, which is now ex­ported to New Zealand. Mean­while, other prod­ucts are ex­ported to Europe, the Arab States and the Philip­pines. Re­cent in­quiries have also been re­ceived from South Amer­ica and South Africa.

Jes­sica said: “When a new ve­hi­cle is re­leased a re­quest for a re­place­ment tank is usu­ally the first en­quiry we re­ceive, closely fol­lowed by a bat­tery tray to ac­com­mo­date a sec­ond aux­il­iary bat­tery. Front and rear bars are gen­er­ally next, but we usu­ally wait for some­one def­i­nitely want­ing a front bar, as it will in­volve de­tailed cut­ting of body pan­els and, there­fore, the ve­hi­cle ab­so­lutely has to go out with the bar fit­ted. Tanks and trays aren’t as com­plex, as you can re­turn the ve­hi­cle to stan­dard rel­a­tively eas­ily.”

Be­ing a man­u­fac­tur­ing com­pany, Out­back Ac­ces­sories doesn’t have a di­rect cus­tomer out­let. How­ever, its prod­ucts are read­ily avail­able through Op­po­site Lock stores across Aus­tralia, plus a se­lect num­ber of ap­proved in­de­pen­dent 4WD spe­cial­ists. With ev­ery Out­back Ac­ces­sories prod­uct, sup­pli­ers are pro­vided with de­tailed in­struc­tions and fas­ten­ing kits to en­sure con­sis­tent and qual­ity fit­ment.

For more in­for­ma­tion on the prod­uct range and your clos­est re­tailer, visit www.out­back­ac­ces­sories.com.au.

This plasma cut­ter cuts through elec­tri­cally con­duc­tive ma­te­ri­als. A pro­to­type rear bar at­tached to the back of a Hilux. The pack­ing and dis­tri­bu­tion arm of op­er­a­tions. Out­back Ac­ces­sories only uses only the high­est qual­ity steel.

All-new Xrox Xtreme Sport bar gets an of­froad ini­ti­a­tion.

Apart from the pow­der­coat­ing process, every­thing is made in-house, in­clud­ing this rear bar.

The com­plete Xrox front bar com­po­nent, with Light­force lights mounted.

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