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Tradie Life Q&A: Mark Purkiss - builder


Mark Purkiss, founder of Purkiss Construction, is a builder with more than 15 years experience. He has built a strong reputation as "a trustworthy, honest and reliable builder" serving the Illawarra region.

Purkiss Construction employs six tradesman and apprentices, several respected sub-contractors and administration staff. 

Mark reckons he's had his 3.2-litre Ford Ranger XLT 4x4 for "about four years".

  • Mark bought the Ranger for work but also to tow and to use for camping and caravan trips. Mark bought the Ranger for work but also to tow and to use for camping and caravan trips.
  • Mark bought the Ranger for work but also to tow and to use for camping and caravan trips. Mark bought the Ranger for work but also to tow and to use for camping and caravan trips.
  • Mark bought the Ranger for work but also to tow and to use for camping and caravan trips. Mark bought the Ranger for work but also to tow and to use for camping and caravan trips.
  • Mark bought the Ranger for work but also to tow and to use for camping and caravan trips. Mark bought the Ranger for work but also to tow and to use for camping and caravan trips.
  • Mark bought the Ranger for work but also to tow and to use for camping and caravan trips. Mark bought the Ranger for work but also to tow and to use for camping and caravan trips.

Crafty: Why did you buy your Ford Ranger?

Mark: I bought it as a vehicle for work but also to tow and to use for camping and caravan trips.

Crafty: Do you use your Ranger outside work?

Mark: Yes. We go to Thredbo a bit – take the van down for snow season on weekends, and for mountain-bike riding in summer. I go away at least once a month for a long weekend.

We use it heaps [outside of work]; we've got a caravan – a Crusader, which we've had for about two years and weighs about three tonne fully loaded – and that's why I bought the Ranger, to tow.

Crafty: Any mods?

  • Mark has fitted a Oztent Foxwing awning. Mark has fitted a Oztent Foxwing awning.
  • A priority was a snorkel and bullbar. A priority was a snorkel and bullbar.
  • Mark also has a Thule roof rack fitted to his Ranger. Mark also has a Thule roof rack fitted to his Ranger.

Mark: Priority was snorkel and bullbar and two-inch lift – all ARB gear. I also have a Thule roof rack, an ARB Ascent canopy and an Oztent Foxwing awning. That's all for leisure – most of this car is leisure.

The CSA rims came with it.

I've also got Kings LED lights, water tank, fridge slide, kitchen.

I've got a dual-battery set-up in the back.

I've wired up a water pump in there with a shower hose. We camp off power a lot so what it does is it allows me to fill up the caravan out of that [the water pump/tank], fill that up at a tap and drive back to the caravan, so I can stay for longer off-road – otherwise, in three or four days, it runs out.

No real changes in the cabin – I put TV head-rests in there and I've got a Redarc brake controller in there.

Mark has also added Kings LED lights, a water tank, fridge slide, and kitchen. Mark has also added Kings LED lights, a water tank, fridge slide, and kitchen.

Crafty: Any problems?

Mark: There's nothing wrong with the Ranger but I just wanted a bit more power to tow; it did the caravan okay but on hills and long trips it lagged a bit so I've just bought a Safari ECU upgrade – just for the power – and the Ranger goes much better with the towing.

Performance and even fuel economy have improved: I'm now getting 10.1L/100km, and that's around town, fully loaded – which is great with all that stuff on it and the extra weight in it.

Crafty: Would you buy another Ranger next time?

Mark:  Yeah, well, I did [laughs] – pointing to the other company Ranger. I wouldn't buy a 2.0-litre [Ranger]. If I didn't have a Ranger, I'd probably go a 200 Series, but just the cost and the outlay for one of those – it's like another mortgage!

And for work, even though it's set up like this [for touring], I can still throw stuff in it for work. I've got a drawer here – with just basic hand tools and things like that.

This Ranger, I've done so much to it I just won't get rid of it.

Call Purkiss Construction on 0433 204 827 or visit the website for more details.

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