Scott Newble’s Ford Ranger is better than a business card. NZ4WD Editor Ross MacKay explains why.
Most of us, at some stage or other of our lives, dream of being our own boss, running our own business, and/or being the master of our own destiny. Which is all well and good until you do it... and find yourself working t wo or three times the hours you did as an employee and shouldering a whole heap of responsibility you may or may not be either ready or cut out for. As the old saying goes, however, ‘ if it was easy, everybody would be doing it ’, and if it actually is what you want to do, your ‘ destiny’ if you like, you will make it work. Proud Cantabrian Scott Newble knows all about working for yourself, having set up and run Opposite Lock 4WD & Vehicle Accessory businesses on both sides of the Tasman. As such he knows all about long hours at the coalface ( OK, in his case it ’s the office/ showroom/ sales counter/ workshop, but work with me here!) dinners going cold as he answers work calls after hours, microwaved meals are pretty standard, and the fact that customers these days are not only used to, but expect you to be open, and available all hours of the day, night and on public holidays... But he doesn’t want sympathy, he loves what he does.
Balancing the books
Working on and with something you love helps of course. But like anyone, Scott finds that there is no better way to ‘balance the books’ or ‘recharge the batteries’ than regularly closing the shop doors, turning off the mobile phone ( OK, he hasn’t been able to do that quite yet!) and ‘going bush’ for a couple of days. He does so in his Ford Ranger ‘ work truck’ a double- cab 4x4 turbo- diesel ute he has built up to be what he describes – modestly – as a ‘comfortable, well- equipped family tourer.’ In theory, years living in and exploring Australia by 4x4 before returning home to Canterbury, plus working ‘in the trade’ for 15 years there and here, means Scott has an advantage when it comes to knowing what he needs and doesn’t need, not to mention what works and what, er, doesn’t. This means Scott started with a distinct advantage when it came to speccing up and kitting out the Ranger. The beauty of the business he works in for us as consumers is that we can tap into that knowledge at no extra cost. To whit; Starting from the front, Scott chose an Opposite Lock three- loop Premium Bullbar and Kingone 9500lb TDS series winch with synthetic rope combo so that should he ever find himself stuck, he can extricate himself with the minimum of fuss. Having seen his fair share of ‘oh sh.t ’ moments on past excursions on both sides of the Tasman, Scott was also quick to fit a full three- piece underbody plating ( from radiator to transmission) kit, plus a pair of 5000kg- rated recovery points from Roadsafe for Justin... ( as in just in case!) To help light the way at night he added a pair of Nitro 120 watt driving lights, while to make doubly sure no oil ( either droplet or mist) ever leaves the engine bay he has taken a leaf out of a race car fabricator’s book and fit ted an oil catch can. These days you are not considered a serious offroader or even overlander unless your truck is fit ted with a snorkel.
‘The Big One!’
In Scott’s case it ’s not just any snorkel either. It’s an Armax model ( ‘ the big one,’ says Scott) from Australian specialist Safari 4x4 Engineering which as well as peace of mind when you are crossing a t ypical braided South Island riverbed offers up to 50 percent increased airflow... Underneath the Ranger there’s a full suspension upgrade including aftermarket upper control arms from Aussie specialist Blackhawk 4x4. Running alongside is a set of Opposite Lock steel side steps while out back is an Opposite Lock rear step and tow bar with rear quarter protection. ‘ Rolling stock,’ meanwhile, consists of a set of KMC-made XD Rockstar alloy wheels and Cooper STT M/ T tyres. Scott can communicate with fellow 4WDers via a Uniden UHF Communications system which he has custom-installed into the Ranger’s roof console, while the Intervolt DCC Pro dual battery system he has installed under the rear seat means he no longer has to stress out about starting the Ranger the next morning after using it as a source of light, heat and/or kids’ entertainment the night before.
When you live within cooee of some of the world’s most beautiful, and accessible back country you definitely want a vehicle that can both get you
to your favourite spot, and be a suitable base for the recreational activity for your choice while you are there. To that end Scott has added a Rhino Dome Awning on the driver’s side, separate but compleimentary Opposite Lock 2.0 Awning on the passenger side, a Rhino Trackmount Heavy Duty roof rack ( to which he has mounted a Rigid Industries 40-inch Light Bar) and foldout, tub-mounted, Rugged Life ‘roof-top’ tent. Years spent exploring the Outback taught Scott the value of keeping food fresh and drinks cold so he also takes with him a 40- litre National Luna fridge/ freezer unit. Further to that he considers himself amongst the finest of camp cooks so the Weber ‘ baby q’ is always on board ( no, there will be not a sign of a pre-cooked sausage here) as well as a good selection of herbs and spices, so the tribe gets some bloody decent meals. Like all experienced 4x4 owners he also always throws in ‘a really big box of Roadsafe recovery gear!’ So there you have it, a Ford Ranger set up for taking the rough with the smooth in the eternal search for that magical campsite either just around the next corner or just over the next hill. What’s really good about Scott’s Ranger is that every accessory is readily available here in New Zealand via his shop, Opposite Lock at 47 Shakespeare Road Christchurch or the shop website www.oppositelock.nz.
Camp site set-up.
Also room for small boat and outboard.
Ranger sees regular use exploring Canterbury back country.