PULLING POWER

Top dual-cab utes mus­cle up to prove whether they can tow and carry what they claim.

4 x 4 Australia - - Contents - LOAD TESTS BY FRASER STRONACH TOW TESTS BY MATT WOOD PHO­TOS BY ELLEN DE­WAR AND NATHAN JA­COBS

To­day’s pop­u­lar 4x4 dual-cabs make big claims when it comes to tow rat­ings and pay­loads, but are they re­ally up to se­ri­ous yakka? We asked them to mus­cle up and prove it.

MOST of the utes you see here are rated to tow 3500kg. That’s as­ton­ish­ing, given that 3500kg is as much as a Landcruiser 79 is rated to tow – and the 79 is more truck than ute with its large V8 diesel, rather than a much smaller four or five-cylin­der oil burner. What’s more, those lighter utes claim to do bet­ter – in the most part – than the LC79 dual-cab’s pay­load ca­pac­ity! So what gives? Are these fam­ily-friendly dual cabs re­ally up to do the work of a truck, tow­ing 3500kg or car­ry­ing a metric ton?

To find out we lined up a tailer loaded with a site fork­lift and a pal­let of bagged ce­ment, weigh­ing 3500kg in to­tal. To cater for the lighter-rated Toy­ota Hilux (3200kg) and Mit­subishi Triton (3100kg) we had a sec­ond trailer on hand, this one car­ry­ing an ex­ca­va­tor weigh­ing in at 2800kg.

To test load-car­ry­ing ca­pac­ity we used a pal­let of bagged ce­ment weigh­ing 800kg, which, when added to the other pay­load ele­ments (driver and pas­sen­ger, etc.), brings the to­tal close to 1000kg – ef­fec­tively the max­i­mum pay­load in the class, give or take a lit­tle. In each case the 800kg pal­let was loaded up against the front of the tub, not an easy task given the tail­gates don’t drop right down on any of these mid and up-spec utes. Be­fore and after load­ing, the ride height (at the axle line) was mea­sured to see how far the rear of each ute dropped.

The tow and load tests were con­ducted sep­a­rately (see GCM, GVM and Pay­load). For the load and tow tests the ve­hi­cle was driven along a set course con­sist­ing of a wind­ing up­hill road and fol­lowed by a down­hill sec­tion, again with lots of cor­ners thrown in for good mea­sure. The course was cov­ered at least twice both for the load and the tow tests. That made four or more runs for each ve­hi­cle.

Un­for­tu­nately, the Volk­swa­gen’s remarkable Amarok auto – a favourite here at 4X4 Aus­tralia – is not rep­re­sented, as VW Aus­tralia didn’t wish to fit an elec­tric trailer-brake con­troller to any of its press-fleet Amaroks.

Trailer weight be­comes pay­load via the tow bar, so it pays to get it set up cor­rectly. Be­fore and after load­ing, the ride height was mea­sured The abil­ity to se­cure the load is vi­tal.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.