ON THE JOB

4 x 4 Australia - - Driven -

AN in­te­gral part of a ute’s role is to carry stuff, best tested by throw­ing a de­cent load on board (in this case, 800kg). We use 800kg as the stan­dard test weight for utes, as 800kg is more or less the max­i­mum you can legally carry in a tub of most cur­rent dual-cabs, given the weight of the driver and pas­sen­ger and any ac­ces­sories fit­ted. The Sportline has the high­est pay­load rat­ing of the three Amarok V6s (1002kg), but 800kg plus 160kg for driver and pas­sen­ger means you’re close to max­i­mum pay­load.

Load­ing the Amarok up with 800kg is made es­pe­cially easy as it will take a stan­dard pal­let be­tween the fac­tory tub’s wheel arches. Large and well-lo­cated tie-downs then make it easy to lash the load down. With the load on board, the Sportline set­tled around 65mm at the rear axle line.

On the road the Sportline felt se­cure and sta­ble. Sure, you can sense there’s a de­cent weight in the tub, but the steer­ing didn’t feel no­tice­ably lighter and re­mained re­as­sur­ing, even at high­way speeds on less than per­fect coun­try roads. Nor did the rear sus­pen­sion bot­tom out over the big­ger bumps.

No prob­lem, ei­ther, with the en­gine’s abil­ity with that pay­load, even on hills. The V6’s solid 550Nm that’s on-stream from just 1500rpm means it hardly felt the weight at all.

A big thanks to Tar­alga Ru­ral for their in­valu­able as­sis­tance with the 800kg pay­load test. Web­site: www. taral­gar­u­ral.com.au

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