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G’day Bob, Graham & Staff.
This is a note to express our appreciation of one of your fine products and the service extended by your team. In October of 2008 wife & I purchased a NEW Toyota Landcruiser Cab/Chassis, to which we had fitted one of your canopy/tray assemblies. At the time we were working and living in Brisbane and have since returned to our home in Victoria.
We have had some “epic” travels since taking ownership, including from Victoria to Cape York (via the Old Telegraph Track) in 2009 and more recently the Canning Stock Route (North to South) in 2010. We have been delighted with the strength and durability of our canopy across both these trips. We found that by paying attention to keeping the door seals and mating surfaces clean, very little dust/bulldust will intrude. We only incurred one mishap during the Cape York trip, which was a broken rear window. (No fault of AWLC) as it seems a batch of poorly tempered glass may have been the culprit.
The rear window shattered when the vehicle was stationary and parked in the sun to dry after washing at Mossman, QLD.
On returning down south, a phone call to AWLC had a new rear window available and fitted within hours at no cost. We were delighted. That’s what we call customer service. In addition, we had some reservations regarding the ability of a “Fibreglass Canopy” to withstand the punishment Cape York may dish out.
Losing count of the corrugations, and having little choice but to “grin & bear it” we were amazed we could NOT find any evidence of damage to tray or canopy. More recently, our journey down the Canning Stock Route (CSR) again proved how tough this Tray/Fibreglass Canopy combination really is.
We have traveled the Gibb River Road, much of “outback” WA (in another vehicle), and to the tip of Cape York, thinking we had experienced the worst of the corrugations. (Tanami Road twice)
The CSR is something else again.
1200 or so kilometers, 900-ish sand dunes, and a combination of lovely red sand, spinifex, and rocks so sharp you would swear a puncture was inevitable. (A cross between flint & quartz)
The nature of the CSR is such, that considerable time is spent driving parallel to the dunes, often through Mulga bush and Holly Grevillea, so close to the track, that avoiding scratches to vehicle and canopy was impossible. Speeds along the CSR were limited to about 30 to 50 KM/hr due to the close bush and winding nature of the track.
Therefore, any attempt to get up enough speed to ride on top of the corrugations was difficult if not impossible, despite careful attention to reducing tyre pressures (we were carrying 300lt diesel & 120lt water plus fridge and provisions for 3 weeks) vibrations because of the corrugations were horrendous. (Remembering, the CSR is largely only maintained close to Aboriginal settlements and by station owners)
We had a flat Rhino rack fitted to the top of the roof bars on the canopy. The rack carried tents, and 3 large Plastic “fish boxes” stocked with provisions and cooking gear. On return to home, after a week of “cut and polish” we were delighted with the resultant clean up. Very few scratches remain in the canopy (bar some exceptionally deep gouges) You guys must use some very tough Gelcoat and paint.
Very little dust inside, with only minor attention to the canopy door latches (dust ingress) to return them to normal service. (Occasionally the piano hinge pin needs to be tapped back in, no big deal)
The only minor damage was some crushed door buttons (which limit fore/aft movement of the doors in extreme chassis twist conditions) and a minor water leak to the rear window (again a result of chassis twist/corrugations and easily fixable). We were amazed again, by the resilience of this canopy.
Very little dust intrusion (we have not even bothered to use the pressure vent yet, and believe most of the dust is from leaving the doors open when camped, for shade) Not one water leak, even after being “rained in” on the Tanami Road. We are unable to detect any damage structural or otherwise to the fiberglass unit or tray.
To sum up:
Cape York trip 17,000Km and CSR approx 11,000 Km and nothing broke, no punctures, we all had a wonderful time and arrived back home safely.
Thanks again to the team at AWLC for what we believe, is a fantastic, value for money product.
Harry & Marge Lakey
We can’t believe it is the same truck!
It’s great to have the fleet all looking the same, good advertisement.
As discussed, please find attached some pictures of an accident last week involving one of our tech vans which had an AWL canopy fitted. It is clear that after the complete rollover of the vehicle, the strengthened canopy has saved the roof of the cabin from being crushed totally which could very well have been fatal to the driver.
As it was, the driver only received a scratch on his left ear and a cut on his leg when he climbed out of the vehicle through the driver’s broken window.
Feel free to use this as assistance with your canopies which I can now clearly indicate is of the highest standard and capable of indeed saving lives on occasions.
I have purchased A.W.L.C canopies for use as service bodies for many years.
The canopies work well in the applications that I purchase them for and I consider the product value for money.
I have no reservation in recommending the product for any application to which they are suited.