Where the tracks get tough and regular garbage collection services fear to tread, the work of Outback Cleanups Australia (OCA) begins. This not-for-profit charity has spent the last few years collecting tons of trash in remote locations while inspiring travellers to take personal responsibility in protecting Australia’s natural beauty. Hear from OCA’s founder, Boe Langford, after switching to the Toyo Tires Open Country M/T on his 70-Series Toyota LandCruiser Troop Carrier.
Hi, Boe from Outback Cleanups Australia here. We’re a small, volunteer-run organisation that I founded in 2019 with the ambitious goal of cleaning up Australia’s most remote regions. Since then, my partner Kimberley and I have been from the dry desert outback to remote beaches and marine waters, from hot, sticky Northern QLD over to the Kimberley and down to the raging waters of the Southern Ocean. During our travels, we’ve covered 200,000km and collected over 61,000kg of trash from some of Australia’s most iconic landscapes, doing our best to preserve the natural beauty that we were lucky enough to grow up around for generations to come.
All the while, my trusty Toyota LandCruiser, known affectionately as @BoomyTheTroopy, has been plodding along to keep our self-funded clean-up mission moving. This 1993 HZJ75 RV was ordered by the SES in Grafton NSW with every optional factory extra and it took me 2 years of hard searching to find a good example of what is a pretty rare model. Sure, it hasn’t all been smooth sailing and there have been plenty of mechanical gremlins between the trailers we’ve gone through and the nearly 30-year-old 4x4 towing them, but we always manage to get going again and have become quite fond of the vehicle that is our home for most of the year. I’ve always named my cars and I was at a loss on what to name Boomy, that is until the gearbox exploded 2 months into ownership, shredding every single gear; you get that on the big jobs!
The terrain that Australia has to offer is so diverse, but regularly harsh and rough, so tyres have been very important in getting to where we’re needed most and being able to reliably get the rubbish back out. 285/75R16 is quite common and an easy size to find, so it’s the perfect size for Boomy The Troopy, giving extra ground clearance and traction without working all 51 horsepowers of the naturally aspirated 1HZ diesel engine with 484,000km on the clock too hard. That’s particularly important when we’ve got the boat on the roof and a heavy trailer in tow, with the 0-100km/h time being about 3 minutes when fully loaded.
We started out with some cheaper M/Ts in this size and while they worked reasonably well off-road, they felt really floaty at speed on our long highway stints and wore quite quickly, even with correct pressures, regular rotations and a very good wheel alignment. Taking sidewall damage in one tyre near Alice Springs and not being able to find a matching replacement was the last straw; we needed a well-constructed, strong tyre that’s trusted by true blue Aussie bushies.
We noticed that a lot of the outback tyre shops we stopped past had Toyo’s Open Country 4x4 tyres on the shelf and spotted them on the utes of every outback station we visited too, which is a good vote of confidence in our line of work, so we made our move to the Open Country M/T and they’re bloody awesome! We’ve covered 30,000km on them now and have flogged them up the Oodnadatta Track, through the Tanami Desert, down the Gibb River Road, across the Trans-Continental Track, and we haven’t had a single bit of damage. They’re a seriously tough tyre that’s built for the open country that we’re constantly travelling through but with the benefit of actually having good on-road grip for those hauls into town or down to the billabong on a Friday night.
We’ll continue travelling this great southern land and hope to inspire others to take some extra trash home with them, or at least clean up after themselves to make our job a little easier. If you’d like to follow the Outback Cleanups Australia adventure, you can follow us on Facebook, Instagram and TikTok.