The Extra Mile
We have all come to know the Isuzu D-MAX as one of the most trusty, reliable and versatile companions an Australian driver could have, but few have taken their trusty steed to the same lengths as Brendan McAlister. Having bought his D-MAX LS 4X4 back in 2009, he has since clocked up over 641,570kms on the odometer travelling throughout Aussie landscapes for work and is now the proud owner of a 2018 D-MAX LS-U 4X4.
Name: Brendan McAlister
Lives: Culburra, NSW
Drives: 2009 D-MAX LS 4x4 (& 2018 D-MAX LS-U)
So: 640,000km is a fair knock.
Well, I’ve got five acres in Queensland, just north of Gympie, and I live on the south coast of NSW! I try to head up there every 6–8 weeks. But I work doing maintenance on TV broadcasting towers, and a lot of the call-outs are in remote areas anyway. I take it everywhere—with a trailer. I’m always looking at so-called ‘gnarly’ tracks in 4WD magazines and going, ‘Meh, I tow up hills worse than that twice a week!’
This wasn’t your first Isuzu.
No, that was a little KB40 ute handed down from the wife’s father. He bought it new in ’78 or ’79. And then I bought a Rodeo, which was an Isuzu anyway—my blue 2009 D-MAX. And I’ve just bought a new D-MAX recently… but it’s being fixed.
I had a crash! Which means I put 640,000km on my first D-MAX without having to recondition the engine or anything—nothing! Then I got a new one and crashed it in a week! I was in Wollongong and the guy in front of me hit the guy in front of him, but I had a heavy trailer so I had no chance of stopping in time. But, no worries. I just jumped out of my new D-MAX and back into the blue one.
Are people surprised where you manage to get to with the heavy trailer, then?
All the time! There’s a place I do maintenance at in North Wollongong and from the top all you can hear is me roaring up the track—it’s full on, but it’s fun. And then you appear up on the edge of an escarpment, overlooking Wollongong. And I’m always being called out when there’s storms on. The TV stations go off air because their power supply is interrupted.
So, she’s been a workhorse?
Oh, yeah. Last Christmas we had a torrential downpour and flooding. The highway was closed, so I decided to detour through a farm I knew near Nowra. I went over some rail tracks and waded through the water across the other side—which I thought was very shallow. It wasn’t! But I knew where I was going and knew I was safe—it wasn’t flowing. We did it easy.
What do you love about off-roading?
Just: no people! That’s really it. I love going bush and not seeing anyone for days and days. I hate crowds!
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