Gladstone drivers have 4WD affair
By SAM BENGERsamb@gladstoneobserver.com.au
GLADSTONE motorists own more four-wheel drives than most other areas in the state, but for avid fans like Steve Mills it's no surprise.
Steve said he loved owning a 4WD because it allowed him to go off-road and get into ar- eas otherwise inaccessible. "I've spent $10,000 modify- ing it so I can get to remote places and test the challenges of extreme country,'' Steve said.
Gladstone rated fourth in a Suncorp insurance report on 4WDs, beaten only by Mackay, Cairns and Too- woomba and ahead of Bunda- berg, Mount Isa, Hervey Bay, Gympie and Rockhampton.
The Central Queensland re- gion was also rated above that of the south-east corner, where the semi-rural area of Mt Crosby, Karana Downs and Kholo received the high- est rating of the Brisbane area, ranked tenth.
But for 4WD drivers like Steve, the fact the vehicles are becoming more common is not an issue, but rather it's their ability to be man- eouvred in difficult terrain that is the attraction.
"I can go camping and fishing and do beach work without any trouble and it's great to be able to get away with mates or my missus around areas like Five Rocks and Baffle Creek,'' Steve said.
Steve said 4WDs were also useful to attach camping trailers, caravans and other heavy-duty equip- ment such as horse floats, and were a safe vehicle to drive in.
"They're a good car for around town, they're a safe vehicle to drive and are good for women doing the shopping or picking up the kids ? I don't have a problem with people just driving them around town,'' Steve said.
He said he had owned 4WDs on and off for 20 years and be- lieved they were a good all- round vehicle.
"The next one I'm hoping to get will be a Landcruiser wag- on and a caravan.