4 x 4 Australia
THIS MONTH WE TALK TO BRAD MCCARTHY FROM MAXTRAX
THE AUSTRALIAN AUTOMOTIVE 4X4 MARKET HAS A RICH AND PROUD HERITAGE. FOR YEARS LOCAL DESIGN, INGENUITY AND MANUFACTURING HAS CREATED MANY FANTASTIC FOUR WHEEL DRIVE RELATED PRODUCTS. AT 4X4 AUSTRALIA WE ARE PROUD TO SHOWCASE AND SUPPORT TRULY AUSTRALIAN ENGINEERED AND MANUFACTURED PRODUCTS - HERE ARE A FEW AUSSIE MANUFACTURERS KEEPING THE DREAM ALIVE, HELPING TO KEEP THE LOCAL MANUFACTURING INDUSTRY THRIVING AND KEEPING PEOPLE IN REAL JOBS. SO SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL AUSSIE MADE PRODUCTS. Describe your business.
We make MAXTRAX, the original 4WD recovery tracks that make recovering a bogged vehicle a safe, simple, quick and easy task, regardless of the user’s level of 4WD experience or ability.
Tell us some of the history of your company.
It was while field-checking routes for a 4WD guidebook to North Queensland & Cape York in 2001 that I got bogged on a remote beach, with the tide coming in, and the path that my life would take changed forever. I was traveling alone, as I often still do, and despite having all of the traditional vehicle recovery gear on board, spent six hours recovering the vehicle with a hand winch. Once it was finally on solid ground, I lay sprawled on the beach, covered in black mangrove mud, sunburned, dehydrated, exhausted and covered in sand-fly bites, and I thought to myself “There’s got to be an easier way than that!” When I got home from the trip, I started researching alternative solo recovery equipment, but I couldn’t find what I wanted, so I started designing my own. Four years of R&D and numerous prototypes later Australianmade MAXTRAX was launched onto the 4WD world, and instantly won 4WD Monthly Magazine’s award for Best New Product under $500. Since then our company has grown from our first year of selling solely on the 4WD show circuit to supplying all of Australia’s major outdoor and 4WD retailers, and to distributors and customers all over the world including the Australian, US, and French Militaries; the United Nations, NGO’S; mining, energy and exploration companies; government agencies; emergency services departments; lifeguard services, desert racers; 4WD trainers; tour guides and weekend warriors.
Where is the company at now?
We’ve grown rapidly over the past few years with the boom, both here and abroad, particularly in the USA, of the 4Wd/overlanding market. It also amazes me that we’re continually signing up new international distributors who tell us that their customers are constantly asking for MAXTRAX by name.
What is your product’s unique selling point?
MAXTRAX is a proven, trusted and highly effective Australian-made product moulded from high-grade material that is light, strong and tough, and safe, simple and easy to use. I created MAXTRAX not because I wanted to start a 4Wd-related business but because I wanted quality product that I could rely on when the chips were down.
If you could say only two words about your product or service, what would they be?
‘Quality’ and ‘Effective’.
What makes you different from your competition?
We created the 4WD recovery board category, so the knockoffs have had to compromise their designs to try to avoid infringing our patents. And while our products are made from the highest quality materials available: Australian made, engineering grade, Uv-stabilized, reinforced Nylon, that’s built to cope with the severe punishment that it frequently receives, the knockoffs use the cheapest stuff they can find and don’t seem to care if their products are actually effective or not.
What products are you developing now?
We’ve recently released the MAXTRAX Xtreme, with replaceable alloy teeth that was designed with feedback from our military customers. We’re also utilising our own extensive real-world 4Wd’ing experience to expand our offering by releasing some exciting new recovery products (which should be on the market by the time this article comes out).
Who uses your products?
Our customers include the Australian, US, and French Militaries; the United Nations, NGO’S; mining, energy and exploration companies; government agencies; emergency services departments; lifeguard services, desert racers; 4WD trainers; tour guides and weekend warriors all around the world.
What is your greatest achievement?
Creating a successful Australian family company and brand that’s now well-known and respected around the world from a simple idea conceived during an extremely stressful day on a remote north Queensland beach.