September 30, 2023


Let's Talk Car

Industry profile – Clearview Accessories


Time flies. Whether you’re considering of easing off the throttle a little bit and using life uncomplicated or thinking if you have achieved the pinnacle of your career, it possibly only appears to be like yesterday you were being ‘starting off’. It’s one thing Clearview Components’ Mike Cowan can relate to when he thinks back to how his very productive off-street aftermarket equipment business enterprise began. And it was all mainly because he could not see what he desired to see …

Inspiration from irritation

It was the early 2000s when Mike Cowan to start with believed of what would develop into the success that is Clearview Equipment and, unsurprisingly, it was although he was towing a caravan driving his then-tourer, a LandCruiser 80 Sequence, which had the misfortune of adhering to on from his former tow-rig, a monster Ford F-350. You see (excuse the pun), the big Effy’s bulk meant it experienced, equipped to it, rear-view mirrors that ended up suit for purpose, when it arrives to rearward eyesight. Some thing the if not spectacular 80 Sequence lacked.

“It was aggravation, truly,” Mike recounts. “I have a history in towing, and I experienced been towing for a extensive time. I had an F-350 in advance of the Toyota it was a significant American truck, and it had seriously very good mirrors on it. Then when I bought my 80 Collection, I’d hook my caravan up and push out the entrance gate and all I could see was caravan.”

This predicament led to some pondering for Mike, who settled to attempt and replicate what he’d knowledgeable with the Ford’s a lot more successful mirrors. To this end, he imported a established of Silverado mirrors from the United states of america and equipped them to his 80 Series. The benefits were superb – as was the focus from fellow towing fanatics.

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The Clearview shop truck in testing Tasmanian mud

“People would just flock above when we drove in to a caravan park,” he laughs. “You know what it is like at parks they are all wanting at what all people else has obtained. When they noticed my tow mirrors, I had individuals asking me to make some for them. And then just one dude presented me a blank cheque and advised me to fill it in when I was finished.”

The earlier and the present

Understandably, that was what certain Mike his thought was a bloody fantastic one. He’d just constructed a established for himself and was in the beginning just content to have a set of mirrors that essentially worked, but when delivers of what he phrases “stupid money” commenced coming in, he realized there was a definite market place in Australia for a item these types of as that, as a result Clearview Extras was born.

At the start out, it was just Mike and his son-in-law Jay Praag, who experienced beforehand labored in yet another enterprise with him. However, the group – and the product or service range – before long grew to the stage that, now, Clearview is regarded 1 of the aftermarket leaders in the towing and 4×4 scene and has more than 1500 partner dealerships throughout Australia, as nicely as far more globally, in nations around the world such as the Usa, New Zealand, South Africa, and locations such as the Center East, South East Asia and Europe.

Right now, Clearview mirrors are obtainable for most of the 4×4 industry right here in Australia, with only a number of not currently being catered for. This is thanks to the structural requirements for fitment of the mirrors unlike flimsy strap-on mirror extensions, with a complete replacement mirror, a vehicle’s door demands to be solid sufficient to cope with the alternative mirror.

All of Clearview’s mirrors meet the demanded ADRs for each and every available motor vehicle design fitment, with that procedure getting a little little bit of toing and froing across a range of style features, together with what was the original gestation of Mike’s idea – rear eyesight – as he points out.

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Mike Cowan with his most current generation: the Energy Slide fridge slide

“You have what you connect with the field of eyesight,” he suggests. “That field of vision desires to be a particular space again behind the automobile. And yeah, you’ve received to be equipped to comply with that, and all your lights and everything must be to a selected regular. There’s a reasonable little bit in the ADR specifications.”

Proving, once more, that Mike and his group are not information with a products that is super-well known and very regarded, Clearview has released its up coming-gen mirror, with some intelligent tweaks to the initial design, borne from customer opinions. Being a very well-identified (and very easily approachable) component of the touring neighborhood means Mike is normally getting stopped for a yarn about a customer’s Clearview products, a little something he is constantly grateful for.

“Most of the stuff we do is from people inquiring us, ‘Have you imagined about undertaking this and can you do that?’ We pay attention to what our clients are inquiring us.”

Future eyesight is now

These days, Clearview is recognized for a lot more than just its mirrors, with its fridge slides also pretty common with tourers – with very good cause, and once again for the reason that it listens to its consumers. Possibly the finest illustration of the company’s continuous aim on bettering solutions and bringing exciting new ones to the current market is its revolutionary Electricity Slide fridge slide. This is the world’s initially patented aluminium (additional on that afterwards) driven fridge slide that is the consequence of three a long time of progress and extensive tests (it outlasted 10,000 movements for the duration of the exam interval). To say Mike is satisfied about the Electricity Slide is an understatement.

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Making a great extending mirror was the start off for Clearview Components

At first powering up a single of its present Straightforward Slides, the staff realised that, to make the finest possible solution, they’d have to do much more than just incorporate actuators to a fridge-slide.

“We did do an straightforward slide with electric actuators on it,” Mike suggests. “But there is occasionally when you change factors, you get to a issue wherever you look at it and you go, ‘I can make this improved.’ And all people was declaring to us that our slides have been large, which they have been – they were metal.

“We decided what we would do is, we would create one particular out of aluminium. Our new Electricity Slide is mostly aluminium. When I say typically, just the bearing runners are metal and that’s exactly where it receives its strength, and the scissor arms are however steel. But all the things else is aluminium. And we have utilized aluminium extrusion for the rails that attach to the bearing runners.”

The crew figured out early on that the slide was heading to be far more pricey than its Simple Slide stablemate, so they would get started from scratch with the entire layout, somewhat than rehashing a structure that is been close to for a long time, as Mike points out in relation to the Ability Slide’s progress system.

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“You just take a thing that’s 20 many years previous and just hold building tweaks to it,” he suggests. “And it comes to a level where you have received to begin again, and we don’t like to just take a little something that is outdated and adapt to it mainly because that is all it is, it’s just adapting we want to redesign it.

“We have straightened out all the scissor arms, we have created it so that it is more compact. It is not as wide as what it was ahead of, and that will allow the actuators to function straight in line as an alternative of offset, and just manufactured a much better products out of it.”

Likely the cleverest element of the Electricity Slide’s design and style, however, is what Mike calls the ‘brain box’ or synchronising module. This makes sure the motor in each individual of the rams is in sync, as Mike clarifies, “It talks to both of those motors so they appear down at the exact same time,” consequently eradicating the opportunity of a person decreasing quicker than an additional, a thing sometimes found in a established-up with out a synch module, even if the two motors are the exact same ability. The Power Slide was then examined with 120kg of fat and managing a obligation cycle for 24 hrs a day, for 30 times.

No slowing down

It is really clever and impressive things, but when you imagine of how Clearview started out – with sensible contemplating, innovation, and a passion to make anything function as successfully as probable – possibly we shouldn’t be amazed at how the company’s most current product or service has turned out. Given that he begun the organization, Mike has ongoing to drive the layout envelope with all the Clearview Equipment solutions. For us off-highway tourers, that’s usually going to be a good thing!


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