After working together for a couple of years in the geothermal world and realizing that we had a mutual passion (and a large slice of craziness) for modifying everything, in November 2016, Darren Pettengell decided to start MUDMODS Limited and invite Shane Southwick-Hazelden to be his chief fabrication engineer (MODifier).
From there, we opened our shops in Taupo and Wellington and spread the word to our friends in the 4WD scene about what we were starting. Additionally, we started our Facebook page and highlighted the various vehicle rebuilds and modifications that we had previously completed to show examples of what we could do. The work started coming in and word of mouth helped our business grow further. Our motto is that “everything needs modifying” and although our passion is predominantly 4WDs, we have put the “everything” to the test with the varied projects we have done over our first year in business.
When it comes to the work we take on, we do just about everything. Shane is a heavy fabrication engineer by trade, specializing in welding and fabrication, whilst Darren has a background in mechanical engineering, auto electrical, and panel beating. In our first year of business, we have covered a wide range of modifications from bush trucks to factory equipment and nearly everything in between.
Highlights of the past year include:
– 1974 Toyota Crown Coupe: engine transmission conversion to 1JZ VVTI and R154 transmission with corresponding upgrades to the rest of the vehicle to make it road safe and legal
– Trailer Conveyor: design and build for Cameron Transport of their wood chip conveyor which feeds their blower truck. Its a complete standalone unit with hydraulic power pack to drive conveyor and winch. This was a great challenge as it had to be under 3.5 tonne to be towed by a ute.
– Trials Trucks: Various repairs and modifications, along with roll cage modifications to align them with the new regulations
– Geothermal Equipment: Built and modified specialized equipment to be used on surface at well sites, as well as down hole in wells in the extreme geothermal environment
– Bush trucks/winch trucks: Numerous upgrades and modifications to help our customers get their trucks back in the bush so they can enjoy them for what they were designed to do
– Amphibious boat: Assisted in the completion of an aluminum pontoon boat which was customized to be amphibious
We love the buzz we get when we are able to exceed our customer’s expectations and see their, and the public’s, reactions to our builds.
During this extremely busy time as we have built our new business, we have also made sure to make time for our own projects and company vehicles. Starting out as a rescued vehicle from a paddock, the HOLTROL is now a beast on and off the road and after spending several years in limbo, the SANDTROLL is now ready to roll off road and join the trials scene.
Our second year in business looks just as busy with our own projects (keep an eye out for the LS2 powered GU Patrol and the Lexus V8 powered Suzuki Samurai) and the work is lining up from clients (watch out for a sprung over FJ45 Land cruiser on 37in tyres and fitted with a 1JZ, a V8 powered 80 series chassis FJ Landcruiser, an ’89 Jeep with GQ running gear and Nissan V8, and some top secret race cars). With 4WDing a big passion of ours, we compete or attend club events as often as possible and help out where we can with pegging out, marshalling, repairing, and etc.
-Darren and Shane@Mudmods
NZ4wheeling will be bringing several mudmod articles and videos to you throughout the year so show what level of crazy Darren and Shane are at, as you can see from their work premises, there is plenty of room for all manner of projects. For more information contact them on facebook.