Best gear of 2018 so far

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From excavators to scrapers to rubber tracks for your ute – we’ve gathered what we think is some of the best gear on the market in 2018 so far.


We’re just over halfway through 2018 and already we’ve seen some sensational gear launched, so we’ve gathered together eight of the coolest machines, vehicles and products we’ve come across so far this year.

Best gear of 2018 so far

Mecalac MCR8 excavator/skid steer

Mecalac MCR8 excavator skid steer

Ron Horner checks out the Mecalac MCR8 excavator/skid steer and describes it as a ‘modern, innovative, hi-tech, multi-functional, powerful earthmoving transformer on steroids’.

"Thinking outside of the box and discarding of the conventional ideals which have encompassed the industry for years has this machine at the top of the list as one of my must-haves," Ron says.

Two thumbs up and high fives all round. This Mecalac MCR8 is a winner.


Mattracks ute tracks

Mattracks ute tracks

Who hasn’t wanted to turn their fourby into an unstoppable tank? Matt Wood once again uses work as an excuse to play out his childhood fantasies during company time.

"Of course I’m grinning like a fool while at the wheel. The Mattracks give the Landcruiser a tough, military look, and it feels as stable as a rock. The Toyota’s tough exhaust note only enhances my childish glee," Matt says.

"On dropping down into the slushy creek bed I give it the message with the right pedal and I’m rewarded with a spray of mud up the side. The truck just rumbles over the top of slush rather than sinking into it, hurling a couple of very satisfying muddy rooster tails into the air behind me."


Land Rover Discovery

Land Rover Discovery

Matt Wood takes the latest Land Rover Discovery into the bush to see how it stacks up

"As bush transport, some may be skeptical. The notion of ditching a ladder-chassis 4x4 wagon may be a step too far for some. However, the bush is where the Discovery actually comes into its own," Matt says.

To an old-school Land Rover fan, the Discovery certainly surprised in the rough stuff. On the open road, however, it lacks the finesse that one would expect from the brand and the price bracket.


Agrison ME850 mini excavator

Agrison ME850 Mini Excavator

Although the Agrison ME850 mini excavator is a solid and capable machine, there’s no getting around the fact its most attractive feature is its price.

But you certainly get a lot of bang for your buck. The 850kg ME850 is light enough to be towed by a conventional one-tonne ute and its compact dimensions mean it can be driven through most garden gates.

"Powered by a single-cylinder air-cooled diesel rated at 8.6kW, the ME850 actually has more hydraulic oil on board than diesel fuel – 20 litres of hydraulics and 15 litres of fuel – yet that will see the machine running for most of a week," reviewer Steave Kealy says.


Engel MT45 Fridge Freezer Combi

Engel MT45 Fridge Freezer Combi

Keeping your tucker cool, and health hazard-inducing bacteria at bay, is top priority in summer. Matt Wood puts the Engel MT45 Fridge Freezer Combi to the test.

"I’d have no qualms using this fridge in a prime mover, strapped into the back of a ute or van on a work site. This kind of fridge is a once-only buy. Chances are you’ll never need to buy another," Matt says.

Yamaha Wolverine X4 UTV

Yamaha Wolverine UTV Review

The Yamaha Wolverine X4 is a four-seater version of Yamaha’s popular two-seater Wolverine. Equipped with an 847cc engine, the Wolverine X4 is a true powerful off-road adventurer.

"The Wolverine is fun, functional and ready to go anywhere. There is a massive range of Yamaha accessories available for it, with everything from towing kits and stereo systems to a fully enclosed cabin with doors and a windshield, so you can customise it to suit your needs whatever they may be."

HW Maxi D10000 scraper

HW Maxi D10000 scraper

Brent Lilley pays a visit to the HQ of New Zealand manufacturer HW Industries to check out the Maxi D10000 scraper.

"I get a real kick out of seeing New Zealand-built machinery that holds its own in Australia and the wider world," Brent says.

"The hydraulics are run on continuous flow and an electric control box is used in the cab for the second scraper. This is a great way to increase productivity where circumstances allow, as horsepower requirements are not hugely more because only one scraper is being loaded at a time."

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