Queenslander Terry Vallance has been given the keys to his very own all-new Ford Ranger 4x4 after winning of one of the toughest truck challenges in Australia – the Ford Global Ranger Challenge.
Terry, a fishing ecologist from Lake Eacham in Far North Queensland, was one of five finalists chosen from hundreds of entries nationwide, to test the truck’s ability to handle driving in some of the country’s harshest and most remote locations, including the ski fields of Falls Creek, the World Heritage-listed Dirk Hartog Island, and the stunning beaches on the South Australian and Victorian border.
Accompanied by a professional film crew, each driver was given just ten days to put the truck through its paces. The footage was then uploaded to the Ford Global Ranger Challenge website, allowing the Australian public one month to vote for their favourite of the five challenges. Terry’s four competitors included a chippy from South Australia, a pig farmer and a former Olympic skier both from Victoria, and a freight worker from Western Australia.
Terry’s winning challenge saw him test the Ranger’s towing capacity around the remote rivers of the Gulf of Carpentaria. Clocking up over 1,000km of driving, he took the Ranger on a station track to Barramundi Lagoon, to conduct a full fishing survey. Despite being told by the landowner that he wouldn’t make it, and that no one had made the river crossing for more than two years, Terry and the Ranger were unmoved. Thanks to the Ranger’s superior torque, and its towing capacity, the truck made it through the river and safely to the lagoon.
With nearly half of all votes (49%), Terry’s challenge captured the public’s imagination, and he became a clear winner today.
“I’m blown away. As a fish biologist operating in remote Australia, I need a truck that gets me to some incredibly isolated spots without a hitch, and with a boat in tow. If it can’t withstand the toughest elements, then I can’t do my job. It’s pretty simple, really.
“I was sceptical that the Ranger would get to the lagoon, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. Not only did it get there without getting stuck, more importantly it got me back home as well. After a quick scrub it was ready for the family duties again. It is a great vehicle”
Earlier this year, more than 1,300 Australians entered the Ford Global Ranger Challenge by detailing what they believed was the ultimate test of the truck’s abilities. From this group, five finalists were selected to conduct their challenge, making them among the first in the world to drive and test the soon-to-be-released all-new Ranger.
“Terry is a deserving winner of the all-new Ford Ranger,” Ford Australia's General Marketing Manager David Katic said. “Our aim for the Ford Global Ranger Challenge was to put the Ranger in the hands of everyday customers and see it being pushed to the absolute limit, no holds barred. Terry certainly did that.
“Congratulations must also go to the other finalists for being such great competitors. Whether tackling the snowfields of Fall’s Creek, taking on the bruising daily punishment of moving freight in Western Australia, or feeding hundreds of pigs in deep mud, these guys really showed that the Ranger is indeed 21st Century Tough,” he said.
Following the Australian leg of this competition, the Ford Global Ranger Challenge will continue a global roll-out through Thailand and South Africa before moving to Europe and South America.
To watch Terry’s winning challenge, visit www.fordrangerchallenge.com.au .Reads: 2002