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Chris the builder's Ranger: Tradie Life

Chris chose the Ranger as his workhorse because of its tough looks.
Marcus Craft
Editor - Adventure

6 Mar 2019 • 6 min read

Chris Leak is a builder by trade, and has owned his 2018 Ford Ranger 3.2 for six months.

Crafty: Why did you buy your ute?

Chris: It's for my work. I need to carry tools, timbers, things like that so that's the main reason I bought a ute ... I put a metal tray on my ute as well, purely so that I could put some toolboxes in it – so it helps me carry my tools to work – and it's got the metal racks as well so that i can obviously store timber on top to carry it from hardware shop to the site.

It's also got a trundle tray – a drawer that comes out of the back of the tray and that's pretty much for tool storage really. You can never have enough tool storage these days, we've got a fair few tools to carry around with us, so we need as much space as we can get.

The trundle tray is another spot for tool storage. The trundle tray is another spot for tool storage.

Crafty: Did you pick the Ranger with those add-ons in mind or is that something you came up with after you bought it?

Chris: No, I put them on when I bought it – the dealership actually put the tray and stuff on for me – the toolboxes I put on myself.

I went with the aluminium tray instead of a tub, because, for what we do, it's a lot easier. When you put toolboxes into a tub you actually lose a lot of the space in the tub – because you've got the wheel arches and stuff in there – but with the tray you can put them [the toolboxes] right the side of the tray and you've still got a fair bit of room between the two toolboxes to store other things like ladders, wheelbarrow, things like that, that you carry around.

  • According to Chris, you can never have enough tool storage these days. According to Chris, you can never have enough tool storage these days.
  • The main reason Chris bought a ute was to carry stuff like tools and timber. The main reason Chris bought a ute was to carry stuff like tools and timber.
  • Having a tray instead of a tub allows for more space between the toolboxes. Having a tray instead of a tub allows for more space between the toolboxes.
  • "We've got a fair few tools to carry around with us, so we need as much space as we can get". "We've got a fair few tools to carry around with us, so we need as much space as we can get".
  • Chris went with an aluminium tray instead of a tub. Chris went with an aluminium tray instead of a tub.

Crafty: What's a typical work day for your ute?

Chris: It just really depends where I'm working. At the moment I'm working around the corner [from his home] so I'm doing probably five kays each way to work, if that. So not much at the moment, but obviously I do days where I'm working in the inner west, or the city or I'm looking at a job over in Bondi so it really depends where the job's at.

A typical day maybe ... I might need to go past the hardware shop on the way to work, at six in the morning, then go to the site, and then, depending if I'm going from this job to another job, or if I'm going to do other quotes, things like that, then I might have to leave this site to go to another site as well, so it's not like an office job.

Our day can change but we usually have the same hours. Depending on where we're actually working, it can obviously vary a fair bit.

Crafty: Do you use your ute outside of work?

Chris: Yeah, I do. So I only got it six months ago but ... the reason I bought this one as well, obviously with the 4WD and things like that, I want to take it away camping. I've got a motorbike as well, a dirt bike, so I do use it for putting the dirt bike in the tray and then taking the dirt bike away [on trips] so I need a 4WD. I wanted a four-door 4WD.

The only reason I chose the Ranger was because I really like the look of the Ranger, took it for a test drive and just loved it.

Chris has only own his Ranger for six months, but loves it. Chris has only own his Ranger for six months, but loves it.

Crafty: What modifications have you done?

Chris: Mine's got the toolboxes, the tray, the trundle tray on the back, I've got a canopy, an awning screwed to the side to keep you out of the sun.

When I bought the Ranger from the dealership they put new wheels on it for me, so it's got black 20-inch wheels with some mud terrain tyres on it.

  • The dealership added black 20-inch wheels with mud terrain tyres on it. The dealership added black 20-inch wheels with mud terrain tyres on it.
  • Screwed into the side is an awning. Screwed into the side is an awning.
  • Out the back there's a trundle tray. Out the back there's a trundle tray.
  • The Ranger is also kitted out with two massive tool boxes. The Ranger is also kitted out with two massive tool boxes.

It looks really good. Eventually I want to do a little bit more to the car, but it's a money thing now, so once I get a bit more money I'll add a few bits and pieces to it, so I can take it a bit more off-road and things like that.

But for now, it's pretty stock.

Crafty: Any problems?

Chris: No, not yet. It's only got probably 6000 kays on it, so still relatively new, but I've had no problems with it at all, electrical, the engine – fingers crossed, nothing happens to it, but it's all good for now.

Crafty: Will you buy the next-generation Ranger?

Chris: Yeah, yeah I would, for sure. But I've only had this car for six months and I've probably got it for five years before I even think about that, so who knows what'll happen in five years time but, as it stands now, I would, for sure.

If you're in need of a builder get in touch with Chris NewScope Constructions on 0431896459.

Do you use a ute for work like Chris? Tell us what you think of it in the comments section below.

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