Words & Pictures by Craig van der Merwe
I am a South African expatriate working in Ndola, Zambia, and anything of good quality is hard to find. So I have been forced to work on my Ranger to get it to the standard I want. I am a metal fabricator by trade and run a small workshop. Having bought a Zambian registered Ford Ranger T6, I started to kit it out for the bush and bad roads. I installed a canopy on my first trip to South Africa and brought back an EFS suspension system and 16-inch rims with 285 profile Mickey Thompson tyres. After I installed this kit, I was faced with the problem of where to put the spare wheel as it did not fit in the original place.
I had it on the roof rack for a while, but that took up valuable camping gear space, so I decided to build my own tyre carrier. The corners are the hardest to get right, so I used cardboard cut-outs as a template to get an idea of how the finished product would look. Once I was happy with the fit of the template, I opened it up and traced dot-to-dot, then followed the same shape with metal, bending it along the lines I had drawn. Once the corners were done, I made up the middle section, which includes cut-outs for the lights and a removable tow hitch which would enable me to use my bicycle rack. The tow hitch is incorporated into the bumper and recovery points