It’s winter again! It seems to come around each year (or more often in Melbourne) and may not be everyone’s ideal time to go camping but to those who choose winter sports, snow trips, etc as their way of recuperating, this is their holiday time. We also shouldn’t overlook some of our migrants from the colder countries of the world (almost everywhere) who find that our alpine regions remind them of their earlier life and are at home holidaying in our mild winter conditions.
I apologise for talking about my private life in an austere magazine, such as “Workshop Manager” but Grandpop has just dropped into the shop, and I really enjoy our time together. We’re sitting on milk crates trying to digest a hamburger and drink and Gramps has asked a few questions that take some thought to answer (boy does that put me under pressure). It appears he is buying a late model 4WD (I think it’s called “End of Life Crisis!”) and he wants to know what he should do to get a good run out of it, hearing that vehicles have changed a lot since he last owned a ‘Standard Vangard’.
The love of my life is in trouble. She needs an urgent uplift, her undercarriage is dragging badly and she’s lying to one side. Pretty sad really. She’s been a good old girl and these days you can’t get much for a trade-in. When they sag at the rear there is not much interest around, so I’ve bitten the bullet and invested in a full suspension kit for my trusty 4WD. What did you think I was talking about?
All too often buyers will turn to their mate, neighbour or unclewhen they’re looking over a likely contender. These well-meaningfriends might have some mechanical knowledge about normalvehicles but 4WDs are quite different in many ways. These friendsmight not want to admit that they are out of their depth dealingwith some late models, too...
This describes the people we deal with on a day-to-day basis. No wonder we go home exhausted and ready to kick the dog. However, slide this cross-section of humanity into a 4WD and the mannerisms change dramatically (some would say for the worse).
I have mixed with 4WD owners over many years repairing their vehicles, listening to them talk excitedly about their trips and adventures, even eager to show photos of their disasters, bogged or broken-down. And I’ve helped them to outfit their new or near new vehicles with modifications and accessories, the cost of which often far exceeds the purchase price of the vehicle.
It takes all types. I have met hundreds of owners and with very few exceptions those I have dealt with are among the most helpful, reliable, fellow travellers on the road.It’s as if they are waiting for you to be bogged, so they can show off their latest recovery gear.