Struth! Seven trailers and a truck in tow
LAND ROVERS ARE RENOWNED FOR THEIR TOWING ability, but the brand’s latest stunt has taken that to new heights. A model year 2018 Discovery Td6 has towed a 110 tonne, seven-trailer road train along a specially closed-off section of the Lasseter Highway in Australia’s Northern Territory
The Td6’s V6 diesel motor develops 600Nm of peak torque, and the vehicle is rated to tow a 3500kg braked trailer on public roads, so hauling more than three times that limit was a big ask.
But the Disco did it, dragging a Kenworth and seven trailers for 16 kilometres along the Outback highway and hitting a top speed of 44km/h.
The Discovery used a standard eight-speed automatic transmission and four-wheel drive system and was hooked up to the road train using a factory-fitted towbar attachment.
The road train itself carried 10-tonnes of ballast in order to hit the 110-tonne weight mark.
Road trains of up to four trailers are only permitted in Australia’s vast Outback regions and typically carry fuel, mineral ore and cattle between remote rural communities.
Strict regulations limit their length to 53.5 metres so Land Rover obtained special permission to pull seven trailers and the 12-tonne tractor unit. The latter was retained to operate the hydraulic brakes on the trailers.
“When Land Rover first got in touch, I didn’t think the vehicle would be able to do it, so I was amazed by how easily the standard Discovery pulled a 110-tonne road train,” says John Bilato, managing director of the rig’s owner G&S Transport.
“And the smoothness of the gear changes under that amount of load was genuinely impressive. These road trains are the most efficient form of road haulage on the planet and using the Disc overy made this the most economical of all.”
Land Rover engineer, Quentin Spottiswoode, says the raw weight of the road train told only half the story.
“Pulling a rig and seven trailers, with the rolling resistance of so many axles to overcome, is a huge achievement. We expected the vehicle to do well but it passed this test with flying colours…”
Top: If it looks like that Kenworth is tailgating the Land Rover Discovery, think again.. Below: What’s happening, in fact, is the Disco is towing the Kenworth and the seven trailers that make up the road train. Bottom: Bird’s-eye view of the Disco and the road train. The Land Rover towed the combination 16km reaching a speed of 44km/h.