PRO­TEC­TION EQUIPMENT

Scott New­ble’s Ford Ranger is bet­ter than a busi­ness card. NZ4WD Ed­i­tor Ross MacKay ex­plains why.

NZ4WD - - CONTENTS - Story by Ross Mackay Pho­tos by SN

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.

Camp­site es­sen­tials

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.

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