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Robert Pepper

Automotive journalist specialising in 4X4s, sportscars, camping and future tech.

Is a winch hook safer pointing up, or pointing down?

There’s a lot of Receieved Wisdom in any sport or recreation, and one thing you often hear is: “Always rig so the winch hook points up” Now this sounds logical, but sometimes theory doesn’t work out in practice, and sometimes even if it does, it’s not worth it. So I was pretty happy that Factor […]

Speedcam Anywhere will be the first of a new wave of citizen monitoring apps

“Putting the power of AI in your hands to help make our roads safer and our air cleaner” says the website of Speedcam Anywhere. So let’s take a look at what Speedcam Anywhere is and how it works. Cars exceeding the speed limit has long been a contentious issue. Excess speed is certainly a factor […]

Yes, you can use cruise control in the wet

There’s a persistent myth about not using cruise control in the wet. It is perpetutated by posts like this: I had a wreck a couple of weeks ago and totaled our Lincoln Town Car. I hydroplaned on Hwy 135 between Gladewater & Kilgore, Texas. I was not hurt, just emotionally rattled! I know the Lord […]

Ford to release seventh Next Gen Ranger spec level!

Further details on the Next Gen Ranger have emerged from Ford this morning with a seventh variation of the Next Gen Ranger to complement XL, XLS, XLT, Sport, Wildtrak and Raptor. Here’s the specs for the Urban Warrior Power Ranger: 20″ black alloy wheels with simulated beadlocks 35″ mud tyres (4x) Rear disc brakes Rad […]

Are EV 4X4s really going to ruin the weekend?

The electric vehicle (EV) revolution is here now and rapidly gathering pace. Today, EVs are absolutely a viable alternative to ICE (internal combustion engine, petrol/diesel) cars for daily-driving suburban duties. They’re safe, low to almost zero maintenance, easy to drive, don’t need warming up and there’s far more daily-drive range than the average Aussie needs. […]

Starlink: official availability map

Starlink, the new satellite Internet system that offers speeds of around 300Mpbs, has just released an official availability map: https://www.starlink.com/map This is what it looks like as of the date of this post: The plan is, in time, to have worldwide coverage. There is also a map of known users which you can find here. […]

Roller fairleads are good for synthetic rope, so maybe reconsider your use of a hawse!

Everyone runs a hawse for synthetic rope, right? Because “the rope gets stuck in the corners” and “you don’t need roller fairleads with synth rope”. Both of those statements are wrong. In the video below I winch with synth rope in the corner of a roller, and it works. The rollers also…roll. Ever seen a […]

Do you need a Red Winches RR30 “Bearing Ring”?

We’ve had snatch blocks, then came snatch rings, and now there is the Bearing Ring. The idea is simple; take the snatch ring and add a bearing to make a snatch ring with two parts, a static outer shell and a sheave that rotates on a bearing. Here it is in comparison to a Red […]

ECU tuning – a pro tuner’s honest view

Modern vehicles have lots and lots of computers controlling every part of the vehicle’s systems and operation. And these computers have software which can be modified, and that changes the vehicle – power, efficiency, driveability and much more. Sounds good, right? Well, this is life and there’s no upside that doesn’t also have a downside. […]

I can’t find appropriately speed-rated tyres for my 4×4 in Australia!

Every tyre has a speed rating and a load rating. The speed rating is the maximum speed the tyre should be run at, and the load rating is the maximum load the tyre can take, and complying with these ratings can cause problems when you change tyres. The speed ratings are letters, e.g. V = […]