Well there’s a first! When you’ve been piloting a dual-cab ute with a canopy as long as I have, eventually your luck will run out… ouch, there’s goes the back window.
Every single ute I’ve ever owned has had a canopy to house all the tools of my trade in a reasonably secure location. I’ve always opted for the glass on all three sides to be of the flip-up variety for the best access. Those sliding glass window styles don’t work for me at all; panes that seize up with the accumulated dust and grot and won’t budge and ingress restricted to a pittance, an opening half the size of the full aperture.
The flip-ups are a constant source of amazement to me, a piece of tempered glass supported on gas struts with lockable handles and they take the abuse of a thousand openings and in all temperatures happily in their stride. But the thing with tempered glass is that whilst it is incredibly tough all it takes is the right impact to shatter into a million little pieces. That’s why they call it safety glass.
So, a few days ago I had to transport a ladder a short distance from home to the office in the D-MAX, a 2014 model and the canopy has been there since new. I’d tied the ladder down snugly and the rear window I’d left up, supported on the struts which is something you shouldn’t do (and ARB don’t recommend nor warrant), but I figured it was a very short trip, I’ll take a chance. Except what I hadn’t banked on was the struts’ ability to hold the weight of the glass up because after six years they were a little tired.
Anyway, over a spoon drain I go at a conservative speed, hear a noise from the back and look up into my rear-view mirror in amazement to see window no more! Bugger!
With tail between my legs, I confessed to the financier that I’d just cost the business an out-of-pocket expense we weren’t, shouldn’t have been expecting, but the deed was done, it was all my fault and needed replacing. With permission granted I called my local ARB store at Regency Park fully expecting that there’d be nil stock, a couple of weeks wait and a thousand-dollar bill… nope, nope and nope.
Plenty of stock, do it the next day and under $500 supplied and fitted with new locking handles and gas struts.
That’s service for you and one of the reasons why I’ve entrusted much of my accessory work to ARB in the past rather than shops whose product changes and often the chances of getting replacement parts is impossible. With the bulk of their kit designed and made here in Australia and with a commitment to servicing their customers long after the warranty/obligation period might have expired, ARB has made this job one of the easiest I’ve experienced in a while.
In case you’re thinking this was a freebie, it wasn’t, my Mastercard bore the brunt. Just naming, not shaming, good service, something that often flies under the radar.
Thanks to Chris and the team at ARB Regency Park in South Australia, phone (08)8244 5001