For those of you who do not know me, I love my outdoors. Having had the opportunity to grow up in some of the most beautiful countries across the South Pacific, to being able to explore the largest island continent on the globe, my home, Australia; I have been exposed to some of the most tranquil and exotic places as well as some of the most inhospitable. This has fuelled my inquisitive nature to explore the great country I live in, and to also explore areas of other countries that I visit (when not in COVID).
I will start with home, however. I love camping and four-wheel driving (4WD or “4×4’s”). Admittedly though, I have become a bit of a glamper and prefer to pack up the caravan more than the swag or the tent.
It is the type of trip that will help you decide what is the correct gear to take camping with you. Or what is the right vehicle to purchase to get you there or tow your caravan. It is all about the right tool for the job, with a little bit of raw power and vanity to go with the decision. But how do you differentiate between one vehicle or another. One caravan to another. Equipment to take to one campsite compared to another. There are all these decisions to make so planning is key. As well as planning, other large impacts on any decisions is time, cost, and usability. I think for the purpose of this blog though, I will focus on the requirements of what I need a motor vehicle to do.
I do not know about other countries, but here in Australia, you are either Nissan or Toyota for a serious 4WD. Oh, and if you are hip and cool and want to stay in five star luxury, then you will more than likely be a Jeep, Land Rover, or a Ford 4WD owner. It only goes downhill from there. So, before I identify what 4WD I own, I will walk through the decision-making process I used to come to the outcome.
Having had a medium size 4WD utility vehicle that I did a lot of towing, easy, medium, and even some hard 4WD tracks in, across a great combination of beach driving through to the rugged outback terrains of Australia, it was time to upgrade the beast. As much as I enjoyed the challenges of technical 4WD’ing, I more prefer to go off-road to see the sights and explore the local areas. So, requirement number one was a capable off-road vehicle that could tackle all terrains if I needed to.
About four years ago, we upgraded from tents and canvas to an off-road caravan. This is a medium size caravan but very heavy when it comes to towing. We got this caravan because of some of the trips we have planned as well as some of those we had planned, and a standard caravan would not have made it into some of the places we went to. This became requirement number two. A vehicle that had a towing capacity of the maximum of 3.5 tonne.
There is a lot of arguments in Australia about which is the better fuel type for a 4WD. What fuel type is more economical, petrol or diesel. What is a cleaner fuel to burn? More importantly, when I am in the outback, what fuel is going to be more accessible and if I go through a water crossing and get water in the fuel, what will be easier to get your vehicle started again. Well, requirement number three, what fuel type is acceptable.
Like anything, cost is a very large question when trying to select anything. Sometimes cost is also associated with ease of use, capability, luxury, and comfort. This presented requirements four, five and six. How much do I have to spend? If I spend that much, what features do I get? And even though I spend that much, and I get all those features, is the 4WD still easy and responsive to drive and does it fulfil the needs of all the other requirements?
Cutting a very long and fun process short, I began with assessing requirements one and two together and narrowed the market down to about four vehicles. I did have to take a realistic view at all four vehicles and stop dreaming with two of them which left me with two. I then did the feature comparison for both of their base models. After this stage, it was looking very much down to one vehicle due to the feature for feature match started to add a lot of money on one vehicle compared to the other. Once the test drive was completed, there was a clear winner. Requirements one and two were immediately met by the down selected models. The fuel requirement was met through the ease of getting a vehicle going quicker and easier with petrol, but some would say that this will sacrifice economy. Requirements four, five and six were very comparable until it came down to cost based on the feature-to-feature comparison.
Ok, what did I choose when it came down to the wire? Well, I went the Nissan. The savings I made on cost based on the features I would get this was a better decision. Rather than going with the more popular brand based on the market share and loyalty of the owners, it was about the investment and how it would benefit me and the types of exploring that I wanted to do.
Like any decisions being made, whether it be for pleasure or business, you need to understand what your requirements are and how the tools you select will impact the performance of the task. S1000D and the associated software tools are the same as purchasing a motor vehicle. There are many options to choose from and some are brand’s that have more of a loyalty following but the features may be the same as other products that will be at a lesser cost. You may be paying for features that your project will not need or use.
To find out what the Pennant S1000D product suite can offer, contact one of our experienced team-members at firstname.lastname@example.org to speak about your projects requirements and the features that are available in the R4i S1000D solutions that will take you for a journey of a lifetime.
Antony (AJ) Wilkinson
General Manager, Pennant Australasia