Struth! Seven trail­ers and a truck in tow

New Zealand LCV - - THE BACK PAGE | NEWS EXTRA - BY MIKE STOCK

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.

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