To do this we have lined up a trailer 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 have a second trailer carrying an excavator totalling 2800kg.
To test load-carrying we have a pallet of bagged cement weighing 800kg, which when added to the other payload elements (driver and passenger, etc.) brings the total payload close to 1000kg, effectively the maximum payload in the class, give and 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. For the separate load and tow tests the vehicle was driven over a set course encompassing an uphill winding road followed by a downhill descent, again with lots of corners.
The course was covered at least twice for both load and the tow tests, so four or more runs for each vehicle.
See the video to learn how they went. Some did it better than others, while some results were eye-opening.