What happens when a suspension guru and two 4X4 media hacks walk into a bar?
We dunno, because the three of us have never been in the same bar together, thanks to Covid, but we reckon they’d start an online store. Probably one dedicated to selling gear that they know will improve the on and off-road performance and drive-ability of straight off-the-showroom-floor 4X4s, without introducing issues the manufacturer spent millions of dollars on research and development to avoid.
It’d make sense if they did, wouldn’t it?
It’s October 2021 as these words are being penned and while we’re yet to have that drink, we’ve gone ahead and built this online store.
Our collective experience, particularly with stock and relatively mildly modified 4X4 vehicles and driving them off-road, often through difficult terrain, is substantial. It has taught us, and continues to teach us, that you don't need all the gear, you just need the right gear, that works, and less of it than you might think. Which runs counter to the whole idea of selling gear online, but there you have it!
So our vision is a simple one. We want to sell gear that works. Which means in this store you’ll find products that will improve the way your 4X4 works both on and off-road and 4X4 lifestyle products, that make life off-road safer, more interesting and of course, even more fun.
You won’t find cheap rubbish here. What you will find is high quality gear that you can rely on, and we’re particularly proud to have our own range of suspension upgrade kits.
The components used have been proven over the years - you can read more about that here - and we’ve worked together to create a range of Loaded 4X4 Dynamic Tune kits, with less focus on ‘heavy-duty’ and more focus on improving ride comfort, handling and wheel and body control. That's what you get when you combine a pedantic motoring media type of bloke with a guy who grew up with shock absorbers for pets.
Additionally, we now have our own innovative bash plate or Under Vehicle Protection (UVP) kits, that we've developed in conjunction with Milford Industries, for the Triton, Pajero Sport, D-MAX and MU-X that you can find out more about by clicking this link.
We’ve still got the heavy-duty needs of Tradies and Outback Tourers covered with our Sport range, but there’s now options for enthusiasts to get the best out of their 4X4s both on and off-road, all while keeping it legal. And that's just the start, there's more Loaded 4X4 gear in development.
Every other brand in our store, is a brand we know well, have experience with and most importantly, trust to deliver a sensational product.
Our promise to you, is that in addition to only selling quality gear that works, at great prices, we'll do our utmost to provide you with the type of online shopping experience that we'd expect to receive, and that we suspect, is going to keep us busy.
If you're interested, there's a bit of info on each of us below.
Steane has been involved in the automotive media scene since 2007, when he founded The Motor Report, a new car reviews website that enjoyed a daily audience of more than 40,000 Australians at its peak.
He then partnered with David Wilson in 2018 to produce 12 bi-monthly issues of the free Loaded 4X4 online magazine that can still be read over at www.loaded4x4.com.au.
His experience with late model 4X4s, and the best ways to set about improving them, without breaking laws, is extensive.
That experience has taught him, that improving daily driver late-model 4X4s without introducing headaches, involves keeping them low, keeping the upgrades uncomplicated and only bolting on what you really, really need.
You wouldn't know it look at him, but Brendan is Aussie suspension royalty.
His dad Ken, is the founder of The Ultimate Suspension in Sydney, and that's where Brendan spent his youth learning the trade. Suspension, particularly 4X4 suspension is, you could say, in the blood.
There isn't much that Brendan doesn't know about suspension and what does/doesn't work with virtually every 4X4 vehicle on Australian roads, and that knowledge and experience underpins the Loaded 4X4 suspension range in this store.
Brendan has published numerous articles about 4X4 suspension systems, some of which you'll find on this site.
Among numerous radio and TV appearances, David and his wife Rose, pioneered the 4X4 adventure genre on TV back in the early 00's, with their show Beyond The Bitumen.
David's print media experience includes contributions to many well regarded 4X4 publications and of course, producing the Loaded 4X4 magazine with Steane for two years.
He's also been a well respected 4X4 driver trainer for decades and is currently tasked with running the training side of Isuzu's I-Venture Club.
When it comes to getting novice drivers in stock 4X4s through tough tracks, he's the man, and that experience is responsible for his obsession with tyres and tyre pressures, decent wheels, underbody protection and suspension that works.