Musings with Matt Frost
Matt Frost has been a long-time significant personality in the Australian 4WD industry as the marketing manager and later director of Sales & Marketing for ARB. For 28 years, he was tasked with getting the products that ARB’s engineering crew developed into the market. Given how many products have been released in that period, he’s been a busy guy.
Matt recently stepped up into a new role as the General Manager of Boss Aluminum. A Melbourne-based manufacturer of ute canopies, trays, rooftop tents and awnings. With the business about to significantly expand its manufacturing capabilities, Matt will be focused on growing the brand and its distribution network.
We jumped at the chance to catch up with Matt and had a chat with him about a range of experiences he’s had since being in the industry since 1993.
Where’s the remotest place you’ve been to?
North and Central Africa. I spent six months 4wheeling there.
What's the best trip you have ever done?
Six months around Australia. I did that trip when I first came to Australia and really fell in love with overlanding here. It was after this trip that I started working for ARB.
Hairiest moment on any trip?
Having a gun pointed at me in Zambia, Needless to say, I survived but I did need to change my pants shortly afterwards.
Ever been ridiculously lost?
Yep, a mate and I were winning the Rhino Trophy in the late 1990s and then I took over as navigator and got us lost in the High Country.
What has really changed how you travel?
Packing. I love having everything so well organised and accessible. Products that have been developed such as drawer systems, easy-to-set-up awnings, through to trays and canopies make travelling a much easier affair than it used to be. Solar and battery management too. It’s always nice to have a cold one at the end of a long day without fear that the truck won’t start the next morning.
Favourite touring vehicle?
A dual-cab ute with a Boss tray/canopy. An epic 4WD trip begins with good planning, and a vital component of this is a well-packed vehicle. 4WD utes have become immensely popular because they have far better load carrying characteristics than their SUV counterparts, yet their levels of safety, performance and refinement is on par.
What is one piece of advice you would like to pass on to the readers?
Lots of people spend $1000s on gear they’ll hardly ever use (winches, diff locks etc), then buy a cheap crappy Chinese-made awning. A good awning is something you’ll use daily on a 4WD trip so buy the absolute best one you can afford. Think about what you will actually use regularly and buy the best quality you can afford. Buy once and you’ll forget the cost once you've got quality gear that works year after year. Supporting local manufacturers is so important to keep the industry healthy. Try getting support from an overseas manufacturer when something goes wrong.
Thanks Matt, we’ll see you out on the wallaby some time!