Less tilt, more objectivity
I REFER: Witness Wheels February 9, 2017 entitled “Comparing SA’s thirdbest-selling 4x4 bakkie.”
The photo of an Isuzu bakkie on the front page at an almost rollover angle caught my attention.
At first I was particularly impressed with the tyres which were supporting such a weight at that angle with no sign of side distortion or separating from the rim. At second glance I realised why this was so; the photographer used more than a fair share of artistic licence when framing the photo. On this planet of ours, grass, weeds and trees tend to grow up vertically at around 90 degrees to level ground. Even if the ground is not level, most grass at the length depicted under the Isuzu’s number plate grows upright. The weeds to the right of the bumper also show neat uniformity all pointing towards the heavens. However, they do so at an angle of around 60 degrees in the photo! To check this out, take a protractor and place its horizontal axis on the photo’s horizontal base-line and take a measurement along the bottom of the bumper.
You should attain a figure in the region of 60 degrees.
Given a bit of vehicle body flexing, that figure would still be in the region of 55 degrees at least.
Now comes the interesting part. Taking the grass under the number plate and the straight wattle behind the bakkie into consideration, a 90 degree set square will show the true angle of pitch.
According to my calculations using the bumper again as a reference, this is no more than 20 degrees lateral tilt.
In reality it appears that the right wheel is lifted up due to the left back wheel dropping into a deep rut in the forestry track.
As a photographer myself, and a great fan of the tough 80s Isuzu range, I was inclined to look the other way on this seemingly trivial matter; however, I prefer objective reporting and hope that members of the public realise that the vehicle in question was not being driven close to the nearly 60 degree lateral tilt angle depicted.
This is not to say that the vehicle was not travelling up a very steep incline; it probably was.
What I am referring to is the sideways roll, which is exacerbated by camera angle in the published photo.
Since many modern vehicles tend to be designed a bit on the top-heavy side, it would be interesting to know this vehicle’s true ability at around 60 degrees lateral tilt with a declared weight in excess of three tons.
Maybe the journalist could be more empowered to check camera angle in future?
Even with the photo tilted upright, the angle is no less seat-gripping.
It is always good to get an erudite letter to Wheels. You are quite right, the camera angle was severely angled as the camera carrier rushed to snap a photo of the KB see-sawing over a deep axle bender without sliding down The Slope herself. To avoid all the empty corners above, we placed the photo at the angle it was snapped, catching the attention of many more readers than did this photo of Reece Williamson tilting his Hilux at the KZN 4x4 Challenge in December. While lighter than 3000kg, the lifted Hilux shows the lateral tilting abilities of modern bakkies.