2022 CMCA National Rally: Bingara Wrap-Up & Video
Wrapping up 2022, we found ourselves reminiscing on a great year and particularly how much fun we had at the 35th CMCA National Rally in Bingara, NSW.
Wrapping up 2022, we found ourselves reminiscing on a great year and particularly how much fun we had at the 35th CMCA National Rally in Bingara, NSW. It really was a fantastic opportunity to catch-up with our customers and CMCA members more broadly after a challenging few years of COVID. There was plenty to see and while we couldn’t capture it all, we hope you enjoy the video below.
To remind ourselves of what life is like on the open road, the KT team road tripped to Bingara in two Maui motorhomes that we rented from THL as another strong partner of the CMCA who were also attending the Rally with a number of their KEA motorhomes. This allowed us to enjoy a scenic drive from our office in Maroochydore through Brisbane to spend a night in Warwick.
In the morning, we pushed off to reach Texas for a lovely lunch at Rustic On High and to fuel up for the final leg through Yetman, Coolatai and Warialda before reaching beautiful Bingara. The 35th National Rally kicked off with beautiful weather and a great atmosphere, with live music and gatherings around the food area already in full swing by the time we arrived on the Sunday afternoon.
With Dave and Xenia from our Marketing Team getting everything set up by Monday night, we were greeted on Tuesday morning by sunshine and the rest of our team arriving, thrilled with the enthusiasm of customers and eagerness of members to chat with the KT team at our stand in the trade hall. There were 8 of us in total; our Managing Director, Tony, Head of Product, Underwriting & Technology, Chris (second from the left), Sales Manager, James (second from the right), Head of Digital, Mike, Head of Risk & Compliance, Madelein (right), and our Head of Claims that many of you already know, Con (left). We also invited CMCA Rally veteran Igor from I & D Industries to conduct independent vehicle valuations at KT’s expense, were extremely popular and booked out fast.
While some of our team chatted with members about their insurance needs and gave out KT merchandise in the trade hall, others presented daily talks in the main marquee from Tuesday. For our first talk, we had the pleasure of inviting Mr 4X4 himself who you may recognise from his ‘Pat Callinan’s 4X4 Adventures’ TV show to share tips that he's learned over many years of touring Australia. The importance of insurance was addressed, particularly the need to be humble when on the road and to understand how to operate safely, which is true for beginners and experts alike.
“It’s easy to buy a product, but ensuring you’re educated around it is another thing” Pat explained, particularly around the use of gas within motorhomes. “It’s important for everyone to educate each other while out on the road.” RVSafe, an initiative of the CMCA, is particularly useful for tips and tricks, which is why Pat is proud to be an RVSafe ambassador. Recovering a bogged vehicle was another important topic addressed, especially how crucial it is to use the right gear correctly. When using a snatch strap in a recovery “a lot of people think they’ve got to go at it like a bull and put your foot to the floor, but that’s not the case, you just need as gentle of a pull as you possibly can to let the kinetic energy in that strap do the pulling for you.” Always taking things calmly and with ease is the best way to go about it, Pat assured. Weight distribution, tyre pressure, communication and regular maintenance are all important topics that were addressed by Pat. The talk was ended with Pat signing our new KT-branded hats and chatting about his adventures for 2023.
On Wednesday morning as rain began to set in and before the KT team took the stage, we were fortunate to join the belated celebration of Erika Whitworth’s 90th birthday in the main marquee. As a founding member of the CMCA in 1986 with her late husband, Don, Erika is a treasure of the club, and we were genuinely grateful for the invitation to join the festivities. An iced sponge cake, prepared by Bingara Bakehouse and purchased by KT Insurance, was enjoyed by many along with an impressive morning tea spread.
Once the Erika’s celebrations had run their course, Con (middle) and Chris (left) took the stage along with Richard Barwick (right) to celebrate another birthday; 30 years of KT Insurance. Con and Chris valued this unique opportunity to front up in person to customers and members alike from their perspectives as KT’s Head of Claims and Head of Product, Underwriting & Technology respectively.
Con began with addressing that KT “is really commited to the cause and we are now doing what members want us to do in terms of taking the product to the next level by taking in honest feedback to inform our features and benefits.” This proved to be a valuable forum to validate many of the recent changes that we’ve made while informing our plans for continued improvement throughout 2022, with many curly questions posed and none shied away from.
Weather damage, personal effects cover, trailer cover, lost keys cover and breakdown cover were amongst the topics addressed. The open discussion allowed for productive and authentic communication between our team and the CMCA member base that we exist to serve. We were also pleased by the input of current KT customers and their eagerness to share their experiences, whether it was an insurance-related event or just their tips on how to stay safe on the road.
On Thursday, our final talk was hosted by KT’s Marketing Manager, Dave (right), and Igor (left) from I & D Industries on how to maintain an RV’s value through regular maintenance, informed by Igor’s decades of experience in the industry and a week spent on independent valuations of CMCA members’ vehicles. Powering RVs correctly, keeping mould away, how to deal with water damage and servicing were all important topics that prompted a number of questions from the audience. “Regularly washing your vehicle using detergent or Exit Mould is great for cleaning and keeping away mould,” Igor explained. “Keeping water out in the first place is better though, so it’s very important to check your seals, and to make sure rubber roofs are sealed and in good condition as they age quite quickly in sunlight but are often forgotten about until it’s too late.”
“Regular tyre checks are often missed too,” Dave chimed in, based on a number of years working in the tyre industry. “Running out of tread is an obvious indicator for replacement, but tyre age is easily overlooked as a serious safety concern. Checking a tyre’s week and year of manufacture in the last 4 digits of the serial number is easy to do, with 5 years being the age when you should start looking closely for signs of ageing and 7 to 10 years being the upper limit of when they should be replaced, even if they look good. Be sure to use the same brand, pattern and construction all round, or at least matching on the same axle, as this greatly affects handling and stability. Also keep in mind that a tyre’s load rating is calculated at maximum pressure, and tyres are far more likely to cause a problem from being under-inflated than over, so be sure to air up when you load up and if your tyres look like they’re bulging, they likely need more air. Most tyre manufacturers will be happy to calculate correct inflation pressures for your application based on your vehicle’s axle weights.”
As the rain took hold, spirits were still high and everyone chipped in to keep things on track. While the KT team had to hit the road on Friday morning to make it home before roads were closed, we were honoured to provide three $100 gift cards to the individual champions of the disc bowls competition and another six $100 gift cards to the winner of each category in the photography competition, which included some beautiful shots that captured the lifestyle we all love. We hope that towing 300+ RVs out of sloppy mud is something that makes the Bingara National Rally uniquely memorable, but you’ll see the KT Insurance team at the next one in Dalby, QLD, rain, hail or shine!