Patrol clocks mammoth mileage as pilot vehicle

Noel Maynard – a long-time Nissan Patrol aficionado from Proserpine, Queensland – has driven over one million kilometres in his 2005 Series IV GU Patrol ute, much of this as a pilot or escort for oversize loads. His Patrol is still going strong after 16 years, testament to the vehicle’s incredible staying power and Maynard’s strict adherence to scheduled servicing intervals.

He says that putting his faith in the Patrol was an easy decision, especially since it wasn’t his first time owning one.

“I had a Nissan Patrol before this one, and I put 300,000 kilometres on it,” said Maynard.

“You go back to something you know you can trust.”

Maynard bought his current Patrol new in 2005 and by 2013 it had travelled around 180,000km.

At that point he started a career as a wide load pilot and has since driven another 850,000km in it.

Perhaps suggesting the manufacturer didn’t anticipate its vehicles requiring ‘a second stint around the clock’, Maynard said the odometer refused to return to zero at the appointed time.

“Something like the Grandfather’s Clock, the odometer didn’t quite make the million,” he said.

“It stopped short at 999,999 and won’t click over.”

Asked his view on how the Patrol has achieved this remarkable milestone, Maynard said he never misses a service – whether it’s the minor maintenance he carries out at home or one of his regular visits to the service department at Rod Grittner Nissan in Proserpine.

Many Patrol enthusiasts would not be surprised that Maynard’s vehicle has topped one million km, as the legendary TD42 inline six-cylinder intercooled turbodiesel that powers it is widely considered the most reliable and durable Patrol engine of all time.

Indeed, it was a sad day for many when the engine was discontinued in 2007.

“A reliable vehicle is everything,” Maynard asserted. “As I’ve said to a lot of people now, if I’m not there, you’d better send a search party, because something’s wrong with me.”

When asked if he would ever consider buying another brand of 4WD, Maynard’s response was swift and succinct.

“The Nissan Patrol is it for me,” he said. “I’ve bought a second one now so I can take this one off the road at some point in the future – not because it has broken down, just because of the kilometres, so I can do the necessary maintenance on it.”

For a man who has already seen so much of Australia, and knows more about life on the road than most car drivers, Maynard is adamant that nothing makes him happier than jumping behind the wheel of his trusty Patrol and heading off on another long-distance adventure.

“When people ask me if I get sick of driving I can honestly say I don’t,” he said. “Besides, it’s all I’ve done for years now.

“I’d sooner be out on the road looking through a windscreen than sitting in an office looking at four walls.

“When you do this job you’ve got to love driving, it’s as simple as that.”