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Versions of the 4WD Handbook

The 4WD Handbook has been developed over four versions:

Larger images of the book’s cover can be found on the Media & Retailers page.

Version Changes
4WD Handbook

Edition 1


The first release in 2010. Still more up to date than some other books released later!
4WD Handbook

Edition 1 Revised

September 2012

What changed:

  • Additional & changed images –  since the original Handbook went out I’ve driven more new cars so added those in too. New cars include the Evoque, Grand Cherokee and Ford Ranger, and I’ve used some rally car shots to better illustrate some car-control topics.
  • Updated text – electronic driving aids are always developing so that chapter has been refreshed, although the structure remains the same. Various tables have been updated.
  • Typos and errors fixed – all of the errata listed on the Print 1 errata page has been addressed, plus some layout issues resolved.
  • Clarity – some diagrams that were a bit small have been made clearer.
  • Cover quality – the book’s covers are now made from a higher-quality paper with a plastic coating.

The Revised Edition has “Revised Edition” printed in the bottom-right corner of the cover.

Ironman Australian 4WD Handbook In early 2012 Ironman asked if they could resell The 4WD Handbook with their own branding.  While the prospect of more sales is always appealing, it was important that we shared the same concept – with some manufacturers all they want is advertising dressed as editorial, and if there’s one thing I know turns readers off it is one-sided promotion.  But Ironman understand this and were happy to keep the content as-is, so a deal was done.

The only difference between the Ironman and “Robert Pepper” versions is eight Ironman-specific pages at the front and back of the book plus a new cover and rear, so if you’ve got one you don’t need the other.  The Ironman pages are designed to be more informative than sales-focused, in keeping with the overall philosophy of the Handbook.

The Ironman version is only available from Ironman retailers in Australia and abroad.  Here’s a list of Ironman retailers where you can buy the book.  The part number is IBOOK001.

An important principle of the deal was that my version of the book would remain product-independent, which means it does not recommend specific products and the images within are still drawn from a wide range of manufacturers. There’s quite a few Ironman shots, but that’s because I’ve done a fair few articles with them over the years, as indeed I have with ARB so their products feature heavily too. It is possible that a manufacturer may wish to have a version of the book entirely focused on their own products and that’s fine, but that would then become a seperate version and I would keep the original independent of any specific manufacturer or organisation.  Having said that, I have tested less than stellar products over the years and none of those feature in the book!

4WD Handbook

Edition 2

May 2014

What changed:

  • Every chapter revised and improved
  • Expanded content such as rut driving, more detail on tyres and accessories.
  • The very latest vehicles and techniques – new photos, and tech chapters updated.
  • Improved layout
  • New cover shot
  • New chapters:
    • Offroad towing
    • Choosing a 4WD
    • Driving unfamiliar 4WDs

To complement and extend the 4WD Handbook there’s also now the field-reference companion book the 4WD Glovebox Guide.