Can I buy the 4WD Handbook outside of Australia?
Yes, kind of. Every other day I get a query about availability of the 4WD Handbook outside of Australia. Sadly, right now the options are limited.
Edition 1 Revised, is available branded as the Ironman Australian 4WD Handbook, availale through Ironman stores worldwide. More detail here -> Versions page.
Edition 2 is not available for off the shelf sale anywhere outside of Australia due to high shipping costs – the book weighs 1.2kg. It costs around AUD/USD$30-$70 to ship internationally, and I will ship if required with payment by Paypal. A calculator is here:
and the total price becomes around AUD$70-$110 depending on the country. If you’d like a copy this way, please contact me via the Contact form on by message on the Facebook page. If anyone wants to buy stock and resell we can work out trade prices.
The book is not available on Amazon or equivalent unless a local sells a copy secondhand.
Will there be country-specific versions of the Handbook or an ebook?
We are working on plans for an ebook version, but that will be some time off because the book has lots of complex tables, diagrams, cross-references and photos unlike your average novel which is just plain text. So we either need to preserve the page ratios or rework pretty much everything.
Every so often there is a contact from someone wanting to make a version of 4WDH for those countries, but typically the idea fades as they realise how much work a big, detailed book of this nature entails and how little money can be made. It’s not Fifty Shades of Mud or even Harry Potter and the Low Range Demon of Doom, it is a detailed book that sells to a small but enthusiastic auidence who want to know how and why things work and aren’t content with superficial explanations. Anyone that’s ever typed tl;dr won’t read this book which is fine with me, and no, a complex subject like offroad can’t be continually condensed until it is five bullet points. However, if you are willing to take on the job of a country-specific version then please get in contact.
If you are a publisher who’d like the rights for a country, then we’re very open to discussions too.
Is the 4WD Handbook applicable to non-Australian 4X4ing?
Yes, for the vast majority of the content. Fundamentally, concepts like windup, traction control, car control etc are equally misundestood across the world. The terrain is pretty much the same too. For example, I have spent time driivng in deep sand in Australia, New Zealand, Morocco and Mongolia, and it’s all the same, regardless of how many times people tell me thattheir sand is the most difficult in the world. Same deal for all the different types of mud, although I will admit NZ has more of it than anywhere else and the UK people actually like it for some unaccountable reason, whereas Aussies avoid it.
There are many photos in 4WDH that are non-Australian, reflecting a wider world view and the book is written to be non-Australian specific where possible. It is also written to be non-marque specific, and that was one of the reasons behind the new cover shot which features several different vehicles.
There are however some concepts specific to certain countries not covered in 4WDH2 – most notably slick rock crawling techniques, and Arctic truck driving in very deep snow across glaciers. I hope to address these gaps at some point, but probably not on the same trip.
Where there are country-specific technical terms I’ve noted them, for example what Australians call ‘shock absorbers’ are more accurately called ‘dampers’ in the UK, and what Europeans call ‘a long trip’ is known as ‘the driveway’ in Australia (only kidding, that would be a medium trip). However, it is expected that people will read well-known terms such as ‘bonnet’ and mentally translate it to ‘hood’. Metric is used throughout because, well, everybody should use it by now.
There are also variations on vehicle setup from country to country. While South Africa has a similiar setup to Australia of long wheelbase vehicles fitted out for long-range touring, the USA scene seems to be mostly about Jeeps on giant tyres (or is that giant tyres with some Jeep bits on top), and the UK and NZ communities generally run short wheelbase vehicles as they don’t need the range but they do need the manouverability. 4WDH does cover these differences as it encompasses just about all touring-related modifications and accessories. But you won’t find a how-to guide for the ultimate comp truck or rockcrawler. The focus is on touring, overlanding 4X4s.
As usual, if there is any feedback – complaints, compliments, better ways to make it more international – then clickety-clik on this Contact form and type your comment!