Tow vehicle comparisons according to ARB (Qld)

Boots in Action

Well-Known Member
Mar 13, 2017
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Ferny Grove, Queensland
#1
Recently I attended the monster Caravan/camping Show in Brisbane and just happened to enter into the ARB display where I found the attached table of current vehicles' load and towing capacities compared. I was rather shocked to read some of the stats and even called over the expert there to explain a few things to me.

The ranking for Vehicle Only is pretty straight forward to follow - Gross combined mass (total of everything together) minus gross vehicle mass (weight of your tug loaded) minus the kerb weight of your tug (empty but with all standard fittings included) leaves you with the payload that you can legally place in tug. The 79 Series wins this with an available payload of 1125 kgs just ahead of the BT-50 with 1096 kgs.

The ranking for vehicles At Max Tow Capacity is also easy to follow : Gross combined mass as per top comparison minus Tow capacity if reached ( the max weight that your tug is rated to tow) minus Gross vehicle mass remaining (reduced from comparison in top column) , minus the Kerb Mass (the same as top column same figures) leaves you with the reduced payload you can place in your tug. Once again, the 79 Series comes out on top with 1125 kgs still available whilst the Defender is a close second with 1078 kgs avaliable. The BT-50 is way behind now at only 396 kgs and the Colorado a long way last with only 57 kgs available!

The last comparison had me beat for a while until I was advised that the weight of passenger/s is calculated at 47 kgs each , but each passenger has an luggage allowance of 15 kgs (total of 62 kgs per passenger!!). I guess this makes allowances for children (or small adults?) So, to NOT use up your payload, get rid of the kids and their luggage!

In reading the comparisons in the last columns, they work on the max passengers plus the STANDARD fuel tank capacity/weight plus average ball weight of your loaded van (300 kgs seems heavy, but they do say it does not alter the rankings). The Defender tops the class with 412 kgs still available and the 79 Series a close second with still room for 403 kgs. 13 out of the 17 would be OVERLOADED by anything from 11 kgs (200 GXL) to 602 kgs (Colorado) and that is with only 5 passengers included.
So every time you add that extra bit of weight - bull bar, long ran
ARB  towing Info.jpg
ge fuel tank, roof racks, light bars and winches, it will affect something. If you have only two persons and are not carrying passengers, you gain 186 kgs of extra capacity to cover some of your extras fitted. But when you add your OWN weight plus that of an adult passenger, most of us are going to eat up more load capacity by being over the 62 kgs EACH allowed for in the calculations.

This should make interesting reading for a lot of forum members with heavily loaded vans and tugs. But as the comparison sheet states:

DON'T KILL THE MESSENGER!!!..........Please
 

BJM

Active Member
Sep 29, 2018
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Yamba
#2
Geez looks if I will have to go and buy a Triton ute !! Lets not forget that most of the utes mentioned need ,a suspension upgrade for towing ,plus some wont pull the skin off a rice pudding,and some are still bending chassis. !!
 

Crusty181

Well-Known Member
Feb 7, 2010
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Mentone, VIC
#4
Lays it all out in very nicely, simply and easy to digest. ABS stats has the average Aussie male weighs in at 85.9kg and females at 71.1kg, averaging out at almost 80kg overall; removing the 47kg dwarfs and replacing them with 5 robust Aussie occupants the weight suddenly become another 165kg heavier, add to that the LC200 GXL along with the Y62 have a further 240kg again in their 8 seat capacity.

Just for completeness I note the Defender only beat out the LC79 by 9kgs in the last group of total stats because the Defender (which is a "has been" and has gone to god now anyway) has a fuel tank the size of my whipper snipper. (you simply cant win by pathetic under achievement, thats just wrong) The tiny useless fuel tank is nothing to be proud of and there's precious little point having a 4x4 if you need to turn around before the dirt road turnoff, and go back to town to get fuel.

Great research as a forward scout for the Landcruiser brotherhood @Boots in Action, the glorious and unbeatable 70 series V8 beast comes up trumps again what more is there to say. Now bring on the nay sayers .... lets see what ya got (whatever it is you got, you wont be carrying or towing it)
 
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Drover

Well-Known Member
Nov 7, 2013
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Cooloola Coast, QLD
www.expandasdownunder.com
#5
Nothing like stats ................................. proves what I've said all along that a 3.5t tow cap in reality is only about 2.8t max in a dual cab, I would like to see the vehicles in a standard config ie; bull bar 2 normal sized pax as @Crusty181 pointed out, vehicle town loading so tool box and full fuel, then work the weights out.

Good find @Boots in Action and one which many will fail to understand but some will take it as what their vehicle is capable of but in the end it is a desk bound calculation based on supposed mythical figures .......................... and I think the Colorado figures are way out, 57 kgs is way too much, be more likely in the minus.
 
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cwcchap

New Member
Sep 9, 2018
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Belrose
#8
I would check the kerb of the LC79, It may be cab chassis without the tray or tub? You will need to add around 139kg for heavy duty tray?
 

Boots in Action

Well-Known Member
Mar 13, 2017
854
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Ferny Grove, Queensland
#14
No worries for me, no Prado on the list.
I would not get too excited there @rags just because your tug is not listed. As I remember, Playdohs have only 2500 kgs recommended max tow rating and the vehicle is a 5 seater. I do not know the GVM of the Prado nor the Kerb Mass (which does not include ANY accessories, not even floor mats) , but I am sure you can check this on your compliance plate. This will then enable you to calculate your Vehicle Payload left. Then you only have to add on the Mass of driver and passenger/s? plus weight of fuel and Ball Mass to see if your Prado is within the legal limits. Of course if your loads are "light", you may be in the pass zone. With 13 out of the 17 listed NOT getting a pass, it will be interesting to see how you go. In my initial post, I forgot to mention that the extra long range fuel tanks/weight added when full will use up a lot of Vehicle payload.
One "good" point that the ARB guy brought up was that if your vehicle payload is way up there, you can always place more mass in your van - if you have room!! Then you must not exceed the recommended load for van!! Then we are back to GCM (Gross Combined Mass) again!! No wonder @Crusty181 is crowing because his monster vehicle is "King of the off road tugs" for those who NEED and can PAY for such a tug as quoted in the motoring section of our Brisbane paper.
 

Crusty181

Well-Known Member
Feb 7, 2010
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Mentone, VIC
#15
No wonder @Crusty181 is crowing because his monster vehicle is "King of the off road tugs" for those who NEED and can PAY for such a tug as quoted in the motoring section of our Brisbane paper.
Add to the "King of the off road tugs" a secondary manufacturer suspension upgrade which pimps up the GVM and GCM to 3900kg and 7400kg respectively, total payload of 1600kg without sacrificing a single kg from the GCM. Very nice ... if not unnervingly expensive.

Now ..... PAYing for it .... um, yup ouch. I have a very corrupt accountant, and very very enthusiastic dark laneway loan shark
 

rags

Well-Known Member
#18
I would not get too excited there @rags just because your tug is not listed. As I remember, Playdohs have only 2500 kgs recommended max tow rating and the vehicle is a 5 seater. I do not know the GVM of the Prado nor the Kerb Mass (which does not include ANY accessories, not even floor mats) , but I am sure you can check this on your compliance plate. This will then enable you to calculate your Vehicle Payload left. Then you only have to add on the Mass of driver and passenger/s? plus weight of fuel and Ball Mass to see if your Prado is within the legal limits. Of course if your loads are "light", you may be in the pass zone. With 13 out of the 17 listed NOT getting a pass, it will be interesting to see how you go. In my initial post, I forgot to mention that the extra long range fuel tanks/weight added when full will use up a lot of Vehicle payload.
One "good" point that the ARB guy brought up was that if your vehicle payload is way up there, you can always place more mass in your van - if you have room!! Then you must not exceed the recommended load for van!! Then we are back to GCM (Gross Combined Mass) again!! No wonder @Crusty181 is crowing because his monster vehicle is "King of the off road tugs" for those who NEED and can PAY for such a tug as quoted in the motoring section of our Brisbane paper.
It's ok Boots, I am neither excited nor worried. The base GX is a 5 seater which I have and it has a kerb weight of 2240kg and a GVM of 2990kg. For a better model with 7 seats add around 120 kg to kerb weight. My model is pegged at 2500kg tow limit however the current facelift version has a 3000kg tow limit.
I had a weigh bridge certificate done a few months back with van attached and fully loaded as we prepared to go on a trip. I can't remember all the figures but the Prado fully loaded for a trip only me as driver, fuelled up with 150litres of diesel, fridge, bar work tools etc weighed around 2660kg ??. I had a ball weigh around 145kg, van weigh in around 1565kg including 280 amps of AGM batteries and solar panels.
I still have 95kg spare in van which will be helpful as I am about to fit a 2nd water tank and so should be within a kg or two( especially when I won't have the 20 kg water can on draw bar).
I have had an GVM upgrade assessment done and can get an increase on the van to around 1780kg without any mods as the specs check out. Put 12" inch brakes on and I can go even more. I will be replacing the springs regardless as they are tired so will go to a heavier rating Alko Spring.

I'm happy with that as I love our combination of vehicle plus 12.ft 6" expanda outback with a few mods.
 

Crusty181

Well-Known Member
Feb 7, 2010
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Mentone, VIC
#20
I couldn't find any negs other than price for the 2500, actually none for the 1500 so long as you bought the right one...........
Payload, low sales volumes, inadequate support, parts .... and any imported vehicle that has to be extensively re-built here is certainly not factory delivered nor factory backed.
 
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