We all know one of them. You know, those guys whose vehicles are so ridiculously overladen with every gadget and doovalackey known to man that they barely have enough power left to get themselves out of second gear? From the mobile beer fridge through to the 4×4 Machine That Goes “PING”, some off-roaders just never quite know when enough is enough. We’ll leave the psychoanalysis as to why these heroes feel the need to clutter their rides with useless detritus to the professionals. However, that is not to say that there is not plenty of legit off-road swag. Quite the contrary! The market is awash with genuinely useful and practical gear that can significantly enhance your 4WD experience, safety and enjoyment.
As the dust settles on the holiday festivities and last year is no more than a receding mirage in our rear-view mirrors, perhaps it’s time to look at some the of the must-have accessories that you should be considering in 2018. Australia Day may have passed by, but that doesn’t mean we can’t show our Aussie pride by focusing on items proudly made and distributed in our Home-That-Art-Girt-By-Sea.
LED Driving Lights
No prizes for guessing that this would be our starting point. Ultra-Vision’s spectacular Nitro Maxx LED Driving Lights provide ultimate performance, quality and durability at the right price. Proudly made in Australia, choose from 80W LED lamps or 140W LED lamps with standard colour or optional rim colour matching to get the perfect look. Delivering 1 lux at up to 800m and 1200m respectively, these bad boys will keep you safe, provide you with years of reliable operation and, let’s face it, make your rig look unfeasibly kick-arse.
Most of us use our 4WDs around town, as well as out on the track. This means that the suspension is frequently switching between the lighter, constant load and smooth sailing of the bitumen, and heavy loads and harsh treatment when you’re in the bush. Your factory suspension is simply not made to handle both those environments, which is where aftermarket shock absorbers come into play. Local manufacturers such as Tough Dog 4WD suspensions can help you understand which springs and shock absorbers are right for your requirements. Alternatively, airbag suspension offers another dimension of safety and convenience that’s worth considering. Let’s face it; if it’s good enough for the Leyland Brothers, it’s good enough for us.
As our equipment becomes more sophisticated, they draw more and more power to operate at peak performance. The increased power drain puts pressure on your vehicle’s battery. The Aussie bush is not the kind of place you want to have a flat battery, so external power supplies are a fact of life in this country. Our mates at Amelec have forged a solid reputation for excellence and a comprehensive range of products that can keep the juice flowing so you can keep running day after day. Remember Amelec, and you really can’t go wrong.
Traditional steel or aluminium bull bars… pardon me…Vehicle Front Protection Systems (VFPS) absorb impact from animals and other hazards by crumpling, which ups your chance of experiencing body or engine damage in the case of an impact. Plastic VFPS systems such as those developed by SmartBar, down in Lonsdale, SA, are designed to absorb and deflect objects forward or sideways, depending on the point and angle of impact. This can dramatically reduce the chance of damage and immobilisation, which may not only save you money but potentially save your life.
Protecting your engine is a high priority for anyone serious about 4WDing, and the last thing you want to be doing is entrusting your safety and that of your vehicle, to inferior snorkel manufacturers when you hit water. Safari Snorkels are engineered and manufactured in Australia and can be fitted to almost any make and model of 4WD for optimal convenience and safety.
Whatever you’re hauling, you want to know that your load is secure and your roof is safe. That’s where Rhino Rack comes to the fore. We reckon they’re the best quality roof racks, trays, boxes and other accessories going around and they’re all made right here in Australia. Well, in Queensland, but we’ll claim them for now! We’ll even forgive them for shamelessly plugging their highly questionable 4×4 Selfie bracket, although the announcement date of April 1 probably tells you all you need to know about the veracity of this particular piece of marketing. Well played, guys!
And for Everything Else…
All this is not to say that you should avoid the gratuitous bling altogether. We all want to kit our rigs up with enough mod cons to ensure the perfect level of attitude, without venturing into merchant banker territory. Check out the range of stylish but (mostly) practical gear that MSA 4×4 provide to see what we mean. From seat covers to Australia’s most advanced drop slides and storage systems and everything in between, you’ll find everything you need to keep you safe and comfortable while you’re on the road. You can even keep your stubbies and wine safe from breakage with their awesome bottle tubes. Tinnie tubes might be pushing the envelope just a little bit, but it’s not our place to judge!
So, there you have it. In our humble opinion, that’s the pick of the bunch when it comes to home-grown quality and convenience to get your off-road vehicle looking and performing at its peak. There is something for everyone, so as summer draws to a close, make sure you fit yourself out and we’ll see you on the road!