Robert Pepper is a freelance motoring journalist, author, photographer and driver trainer based in Melbourne, specialising in offroad vehicles.
His first book, GPS Vehicle Navigation in Australia, was initally published in 2002 and republished for a second edition.The 4WD Handbook is his second book, first published in 2010, revised in 2012 and now into its second edition in 2014. The companion 4WD Glovebox Guide has been adopted as a student handout by several offroad driver training organisations and is into its second edition. Robert has had over 600 articles published in 25 magazines and newspapers in Australia and around the world, has judged magazine 4WDOTY annual awards, has been Australian correspondent for overseas magazines and has edited the 4X4 Gear Guide. He is also part-owner of the website Practical Motoring.
Robert is closely involved in the 4WD club movement at several levels, from leading trips ranging from day journeys to outback treks, organsing events such as abandoned vehicle recovery days and helping form responses to industry and government changes affecting offroaders. He won the Cruiserkhana precision offroad driving competition in 2013, placing first overall and first in class.
Robert is also a senior instructor with 4WD Victoria, has rewritten the basic training course, created a towing course and an advanced vehicles course from scratch. He also trains commercially, having been on both sides of manufacturer demonstration days. Robert has also conducted training on navigation, photography and vehicle dynamics, teaches instructors how to teach, has competed in the Outback Challenge and other winch competitions, has run part of the Pajero Challenge navigation exercise and has been a guest speaker at many club meetings, expositions and events on various topics. Robert also instructs novice trackday drivers in sportscars, and has carried out product tests on behalf of aftermarket companies.
Prior to his involvement in offroading Robert was a private pilot with an interest in aerobatics and a gliding instructor qualified in the UK and New Zealand, and he enjoys most things with wings, wheels or sails. Aside from offroading Robert also owns a Toyota 86 with which he competes in autokhanas, motorkhanas and enjoys track days, and a Nissan Pulsar which he uses to compete in the local state racecar championship; results so far a win, pole and two lap records in his first year. He recently published an ebook.
Notable journalism results:
- Discovered and publicised the MA/MC classification issue, resulting in Ford, Haval and Jeep reclassifying their vehicles from MA to MC.
- First to publicise and explain the issues around GCM and towing particularly with 3500kg towing.
- Only journalist to notice Toyota had mispresented ground clearance for the Fortuner, and Ford with the Raptor, and explained why
- First journalist to drive stock Chinese vehicles over the Simpson (Haval and Great Wall)
- First journalist to carry out a comprehensive electric vehicle tow test in Australia.
- Possibly the only motoring journo in Australia who can instruct offroad, on racetracks, for towing and owns both a modified 4WD and a circuit racing car?
Online writing examples
What I do
- Product tests — vehicles, GPS kit, technology, camping equipment, vehicle accessories
- Technical articles — anything from electronic driving aids, differentials, suspension, how GPS works, driving techniques
- Monthly columns, opinion writing
- Interviews, reportage, events
- Offroading, 4WD, travel
- Large stock library
- Offroad driver training
- Map, GPS, navigation consultancy
My work has appeared in the following magazines across Australia, the UK, USA and France. Some reprints can be found on the Magazine reprints page.
|Australian publications||International publications|
Various books on motoring subjects – see more on this site!
Sample cover shots
Some magazine covers where I have provided the primary image.
|Land Rover World, September 2010||4X4 Magazine, June 2010|
Overlander 4WD, April 2006
Trackwatch, Autumn 2007
|Land Rover World, September 2011||Trackwatch, August 2011|
|Land Rover World, Feburary 2012||4X4 Magazine, March 2012|
|Land Rover World, April 2012|| Trackwatch, winter 2007
|4X4 Magazine, November 2012
||4X4 Magazine, September 2014|
|4X4 Gear, Q4 2014||4X4 Gear, Q1 2015
|4X4 Gear, Q2 2015|
Stock image use
Advertising with images from my library.