We wanted to write to you, having just returned from a 26,000KM trip, from Vladivostok in Russia, through Siberia, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, western Europe and the UK to London – just me and my girlfriend. Travelling alone, our reliance on our equipment was much higher than those travelling in convoy. We wrote a daily blog of our travels if you or your staff are interested in reading it. It’s at http://twomagadan.blogspot.com. Our 78 series land cruiser was fitted out nearly exclusively with ARB gear. Every single piece worked flawlessly, way beyond anyone could expect they could.
Puncture repair kit & compressor
Words cannot describe the reliance on some of this equipment. At one stage on the Kolyma highway (1000KM from decent civilisation in either direction) we’d gone through our two spare tyres within 5KM of one another. Apparently the extreme cold shatters the rocks into the sharpest fragments imaginable. We used our ARB puncture repair kit to plug several unique punctures, using 12-20 plugs, nursing our tyres nearly 600KM further to the port town of Magadan where we could get new tyres. At one stage, we were inflating our tyres with your ARB compressor every 5KM for another 100KM until we could make it to what resembled a tyre shop. We got the refilling procedure down to a fine art. We would stop with the puncture facing the ground to avoid losing air, pop the bonnet, my girlfriend would jump out with the hose and attach it to the tyre while I opened the bonnet, connected and started the compressor. Once done, we’d throw the bonnet down, jump in and drive. Any other compressor would have not stood up to that torture – no doubt whatsoever in my mind. We had had a total of five tyre failures in a 1000KM stretch.
ARB Fridge Freezer
On this last trip, our ARB Fridge Freezer was turned on for nearly four months on some of the roughest roads on this planet. In fact, the M56 is the world’s roughest road – and your fridge did it twice! It is the single best designed piece of hardware within the car. It’s actually done over 50,000KM in two cars. When we were making the purchasing decision over two years ago, we would have paid double for the quality and design that was your fridge. Nothing was even remotely in the same market as the ARB one. Everything else was flimsy, noisy and the simplest things the others got wrong. I want to shake the hands of the team that designed it. From the clasp, the seals, the insulation all the way to small details like the drain plug. Every week some packet or bottle would leak, no problem – just wash it out. You can tell your equipment is designed by people who actually use it, not just made to a price.
We had a heap of recovery equipment which we thankfully didn’t have to use on this trip. Snatch straps, winch block, 2X synthetic ropes, hi-lift jack, maxtrax… the list goes on, but when it came time to dropping into the river crossings a million miles from help or climbing out of washed out roads, our tension was at least halved knowing we had the right gear if we got stuck.
Your after-sales service has been terrific. When I purchased the compressor, 13 months later one of the hose ends failed, it was replaced outside of warranty without any hesitation (I was entirely willing to pay for a new one). Even after the above torture, the hose is still working perfectly today so I’m confident this was just an isolated incident. The compressor has been mounted under the bonnet of the last two vehicles, subject to countless river crossings dust and vibrations, it still works flawlessly. I just ordered a service kit for it today from your Fyshwick branch. Nothing is wrong with it whatsoever, but I silently promised I would to repay it for its hard work.
I should also point out, I’m not just an ARB fan-boy. We all work hard for our cash, and I’m too cheap to buy a piece of kit more than once. The poor man pays twice!
So to reiterate, thank you so much for making quality equipment. You have a world-wide reputation for quality, please don’t ever compromise that.