Mean Mother Interviews Pat Callinan of Pat Callinan's 4x4 Adventures — MEAN MOTHER 4X4
Skip to content
Afterpay Available!
Afterpay Available! FIND YOUR STORE  
Mean Mother Interviews Pat Callinan of Pat Callinan's 4x4 Adventures

Mean Mother Interviews Pat Callinan of Pat Callinan's 4x4 Adventures

We got a chance to talk with Mr. 4x4 Pat Callinan while he was in Queensland. We asked him everything from his favourite tracks, biggest stuff-ups, to tips for beginner four wheel drivers. He shared some of his experience, expertise, as well as a few laughs.

P - Pat Callinan

T - Tony Kokolis

Question #1 : What got you into four-wheel driving?


Answer:  P - "Mate, I had a series 2A Landrover and I went four-wheel driving for the very first time out the back of Armidale and it just opened a whole different part of Australia for me. And I think it was just nature, and the beauty of nature, and the fact that this vehicle- this vehicle can actually transport you to places you never thought of were possible to see. And when you open that up to an entire nation or whole country, it’s like, this adventure, well, it never stops mate. That was, eh, twenty-five or thirty years ago."

Q #2 - What’s your favourite four-wheel drive track?


P – "Mate, in a country like Australia that’s harder to pick than a broken nose."

T – "It’s a very open question"
P – "But, I’ve got so so many but I think.. Look I love Billy Goats down in Victoria but last week I actually drove a track, it was – funnily enough – the only track in Australia that was named after me. It's called Pat’s Peak it’s on Bendleby station, and it is a proper- a laugh a minute it is so fun. It’s the steepest track in all of the Flinders ranges. Very steep up and very slidey on the way down but a lot of fun. You- you gotta be really on your own.. You gotta know what you’re doing on this track but geez it’s fun"

Q #3 - What's the track that’s given you the most grief?


P - "..that’s probably an easy one for me Tony. So this one was a bit of carnage, I had a Nissan Patrol, I had a cub camper on the back and I was coming out of a valley that was very slippery red clay out the back of Port McQuarrie in the Great Dividing Range. It was so steep that I would have to tie the vehicle off to trees to re-extend the winch rope otherwise the whole car would slide down the hill. So I was reattaching the winch at one stage and put the parking brake on, climbed out of the car, and thought “Hang on a minute, I’m on a steep hill and the door is around me I’d just better step back”. Closed the door, the car -the patrol and the camper trailer- slid backwards down the hill fourty meters, jacknifed, veered off into a ravine. The only thing that stopped the Patrol was the fourty-meter-round Tallowwood tree, and it snapped it in half. So, yeah, that was my biggest stuff-up mate. So I wrote off the Patrol..
T – "Wow"
P - "..and the camper trailer funnily enough was okay. I don’t know how it survived that."

Q #4 - What is probably the three most useful products?


Answer: P - "Okay Tony, damn good question mate. Look I think your tyre gauge is really important because you certainly can’t tell just by looking at your tyres whether your on twenty pound or thirty pound and that’s really important for capability and looking after your tyres. I certainly like the recovery boards, they really are handy at getting you out of trouble. They weren’t around getting me out of trouble when I started this career many years ago, but they are now. And the last thing I absolutely love, which is a bit of a luxury, is the 12V fridge you know having the angle there to crack open and have a cold beer at the end of the day."

Q #5 - Do you think you could identify the biggest mistake that most four-wheel drivers make when the are just getting into it?


P – "Yeah, for sure Tony. I think most beginners tend to underestimate tyre pressures and just how important they are offroad. You know, the capability of a four-wheel drive at fifteen psi as opposed to forty psi is crazy. And it’s almost.. it's embarassing we see it in Inskip point.."
T – "Oh yeah..."
P – "So you know, when people don’t get that right, but when you do get it right, you look like a bloody legend offroad. So, it is just- yeah that’s i think the number one beginner mistake because they think lowering their tyre pressure that low, straight up, is gonna make their car drive crazy. Yes you need to take precautions, yes you need to corner slower, all that sort of stuff. But when it comes to driving on soft surfaces: sand, mud, snow, low tyre pressue is the go."
T – "Yeah, I’ve been bogged in Inskip point once."

Q #6 - If you could only have one piece of recovery gear, what would it be?


Answer: P - "Mate I think it would be a shovel. So, the shovel is sort of handy to use in all sorts of situations. You can dig yourself out of a lot of trouble. Hopefully you can find some sort of rubble around to try and lift your car up and everything, but a shovel is pretty good. And it’s also handy when you want to go the the loo, when you want to sort out your campfire and all that sort of stuff. Yeah the shovel a good thing."

Q #7 - What’s the one thing that all four-wheel drivers and beginner four-wheel drivers need to understand to minimize your impact on our environment.


Answer: P - "Okay mate, well I think Tony it’s all about trying to tread lightly on the environment. YOu can do that by driving gently, by wheel placement of your vehicle, but also by lowering your tyre pressures to make sure that you don’t have to dig holes to actually find traction and you don’t have to send it to actually places. So if you lower your tyre pressures you get a better ride on your vehicle. You get more traction so you don’t tend to- you will tend to leave that track in just as good a condition as if no vehicles were on there. And that’s what we’re really trying to do, look after these tracks. Not just for now, but for our kids."

Q #8 -  What’s your view on electric 4x4’s and do they have a future?


Answer: P - "Mate I think they’ve got a future but I don’t think it’s in the next three or four years. I think it’s going to be a long time til they can make an extension cord that can take me across the Simpson desert. ‘Cause the batteries, I just don’t think they have that grunt. The challenge that we have with four-wheel drives obviously is we’re pushing more air with our roof racks, with our rooftop tents, and often with what we’re towing. That really just minimizes that capacity of that electricity to get us over there. So I think in future possibly but I can’t see it in the short term."

Q #9 - Rapid-fire questions.


T – "Alright Pat we’ve got some quick-fire rapid one-answer questions for ya. So we’ll start with this if you’re ready. Alright: manual or automatic transmission?"

P – "Auto."

T – "Diesel or petrol engines?"

P – "Used to be diesel until I bought a F-150 and now it’s petrol."

T – "Beach or bush?"

P – "I'll go bush."

T – "Ute or wagon?"

P – "Ute. Easy."

T – 'Slow and steady or just send it?"

P – "Slow and steady, definitely."

T – "All terrains vs mud terrain?"

P -  "Used to be mud terrain now it’s all terrain."

T – "And last, fifteen psi or eighteen psi?"

P – "Let's go all the way. Dump it out, fifteen."


Thanks for your time Pat!


Next article How to Use our Pocket Chainsaw

Leave a comment

Comments must be approved before appearing

* Required fields

Compare products

{"one"=>"Select 2 or 3 items to compare", "other"=>"{{ count }} of 3 items selected"}

Select first item to compare

Select second item to compare

Select third item to compare