Chris Kelly from Dobinson Springs & Suspension in Melbourne doesn’t mince words when it comes to PTSD and depression. He believes that whilst attitudes are starting to change, there is much more to be done to support those suffering, including family and friends affected. Chris has seen the calming effect that canines can have on a person in a state of anxiety and panic, and as a result wholeheartedly believes in our mission to get people talking AND listening, and make mental health assistance dogs more visible in the community.
Chris offered to upgrade the suspension and shock absorbers in the Legend. Paul used to have Dobinsons in his GQ Patrol when he was racing 4WDs, and knows the outstanding quality and improved ride that comes from these products. One of the owners of the Big 4 in Taggerty is an ex-mechanic, and also swears by Dobinson Springs & Suspension.
The Legend is towing the 1500kg (approx) Cub Camper 90% of the time, and already through very rough corrugations and terrain. This puts a lot of strain on the Legend, and we had noticed compression in the rear springs. You know things aren’t quite right when oncoming vehicles flash their lights, thinking we’re on high beam, but it’s really the downward pull at the back, tilting our front end up.
Failure of suspension components though excessive strain (such as towing an off road camper trailer over 80,000km) could not only cause an accident, but also result in us being stranded till parts and repairs could be done. Not an ideal thought when we’re headed outback again soon!
The Legend is our much loved and reliable workhorse, so upgraded suspension and shocks is some pampering that she deserves for all the hard work she does for us! Dobinsons are holding the original parts for us, so that we can change her back when the trip is done.
We spent the morning with Chris, his team, and Tim Bates (of Tim Bates 4WD Adventures fame), who Chris had invited to come and do some filming to highlight the trip and document the change in suspension. The kids worked solidly on their school work, and Luna lapped up the attention. It was fascinating to see observe the work being done on the Legend, and see the vivid teal coloured springs, and yellow shock absorbers being fitted. Chris treats every vehicle that he works on as if it were his own, and was very particular in ensuring that the Legend was handling correctly.
Tim & Paul spent a lot of time in conversation – 4WDs, accessories, DJI drones, and Tim’s new TV show in the works. Tim reckons we need new tyres for the remainder of the trip, and was good enough to contact his own sponsor, Goodyear, on our behalf to see if they can help us out.
Since leaving Dobinsons that afternoon, Paul has been amazed at the change in ride and handling of the Legend, and towing – well, there’s no sag in the rear when we have the Cub hitched. We stopped in to show Chris the before/after with the trailer, and he could see the change as well, and was glad we are happy. He also gave us a Dobinson 40” LED light bar, giving us super bright illumination for the outback.
Tim, it was great to meet you, and we look forward to seeing your video when it’s ready. All the best with your new show!
We love Chris’s passion for our cause, and are proud to have Dobinson Springs & Suspension driving with us around Australia.