September 27, 2023


Just Do Automotive

It is Time For A Rig Examine

6 min read

Should you’re on social media and observe our Speedhunter regulars, likelihood is you’d have seen the ‘!!RIG CHECK!!’ caption flying round on posts for a short while now. Properly, you possibly can thank our personal Ryan Stewart for it.

Again in 2021, Ryan wanted a strategy to transport his then newly-acquired AE86 to occasions up and down the nation and over to Eire with out having to drive it. He wanted a tow car, and blindly dove into tow truck possession.


The truck in query was a mid-2000s Ford Transit flatbed, painted a mysteriously fetching shade of Nardo Gray. “It was a bit of turd; a rotten factor from a dodgy camp web site, however I actually beloved it,” says Ryan.


At first I wasn’t very skilled with strapping vehicles down, so I’d verify the load ceaselessly, stopping to verify the straps and stuff, ensuring it hadn’t moved.” Once in a while, this pitstop could be made at a scenic location the place Ryan acquired to take a step again and benefit from the view. As any automobile man would, he would pull out his telephone and snap a photograph.

He would then chuck it up on his Instagram story, with the caption: !!RIG CHECK!!.


Earlier than I knew it, I used to be scrolling by way of my Instagram feed to search out each different one in all my mates with a trailer on tow posting their very own photographs, all with the identical caption.


Naturally, individuals with spectacular tow automobile and trailer hundreds have been beginning to get entangled. And so slightly development was born.


Final yr, once I attended Dorifest up in Scotland, I discovered myself strolling about with my digital camera in my hand while everybody was packing up after a weekend of skid-car motion.


Most of those individuals towed their vehicles in, and as they have been loading up it dawned on me that what was a drift occasion for the entire weekend immediately turned a rig gathering to shut issues off.


I used to be at a bizarre melting pot of this new development, virtually feeling omitted as a result of I didn’t have a automobile or a trailer of my very own there. However I did what I all the time do and began to snap away, capturing the backdrop photographs for this publish.


Anyway, for some the tow rig is a piece instrument, while for others it’s a interest and keenness. I spoke to 2 of my towing friends, Austen and Latham, who type of fall awkwardly in the midst of the 2 classes in regard to what they worth in a tow automobile and what they’ll’t stay with out.


Austen drives an F15 BMW X5 30d, the black one loading up the inexperienced Chaser within the photographs.

I wished an X5 as a result of they give the impression of being sick,” began Austen, however he then went onto clarify that in addition to the appears he wanted one thing economical and dependable. There have been larger engines on supply, the 40d or 50d, however these got here with extra turbos and doubtlessly extra issues. “Are you able to think about attempting to work on that engine bay if one thing goes incorrect, with two or three turbos in the way in which?


Financial system and reliability is vital because the X5 can also be Austen’s each day. Past towing, it wanted to do regular automobile issues. It wanted to be comfy sufficient for journeys to the retailers, have a window line low sufficient for his canine to hang around from, and be sufficiently big to get all his mates about in it.


Realistically although, a variety of autos can try this, so we return to its towing talents. “One factor I can’t stay with out is the self-levelling rear suspension,” says Austen. “It permits me to load the entrance of the trailer as much as get higher total steadiness of automobile and trailer collectively. It’s safer, helps to keep away from snaking and the automobile isn’t squatting on account of it.”

I suppose that is the place trendy know-how trumps older, extra standard strategies. Austen’s earlier automobile, a BMW E39 saloon, didn’t have self-levelling on the rear, and it appears to be a kind of issues you possibly can’t go with out when you’ve had it.


Latham’s method to his tow car of alternative was slightly extra utilitarian: “It was all about towing capability for me,” he says. This was the important thing to the right rig verify for Latham. In December 2021, the UK regulation on towing modified permitting your on a regular basis Joe to tow a trailer and cargo including as much as 3,500kg with out having to go any type of further {qualifications} or assessments. A standard driving licence is just sufficient.


Every automobile has their very own tow restrict set by the producer. This is a crucial factor to notice once you’re selecting your personal rig, because it actually impacts what you possibly can really do with it. “If you wish to tow something with a mixed weight of two tonnes, you really want a three-axle trailer and people can generally weigh a tonne themselves,” Latham tells me.

Latham has a catering enterprise, promoting tacos from his personal meals truck, and due to this he wanted to tow the utmost quantity of potential, that means common vehicles have been out the query. An E46 330d Touring has a tow capability of round 1,800kg; the equal X5 of the identical era (E53 30d) can tow practically 1,000kg extra. Fashionable AWD SUVs, such because the BMW X5 30d Austen has, have a towing capability of three,500kg. Once more, within the rig verify land, the classics merely get out-trumped by the trendy package.


So, Latham knew he wanted a contemporary sufficient SUV to tow his enterprise round.

The plain place to begin was German choices – the X5, Mercedes-Benz G Wagon or ML, Porsche Cayenne or Volkswagen Touareg – all of that are dependable sufficient and nice sufficient inside to stay with each day. Whereas the Japanese choices such because the Toyota Land Cruiser, Nissan Patrol and Mitsubishi Shogun have a nice status for reliability and a rising picture, their interiors simply aren’t as good as these discovered of their German counterparts.


American vehicles are a bit odd ball right here within the UK. They’ve large operating prices by way of gas and tax they usually’ve acquired the steering wheel on the incorrect facet. In addition they don’t sustain with inside qualities within the German vehicles. The final choice is British stuff: Jaguar Land Rover Discovery, Defender and the like. Nonetheless, for those who don’t have a guaranty on these fashions you’re asking for complications. More often than not they’re a fast strategy to burn by way of some money.


Now, some individuals do use vans, Ford Transits and Volkswagen Transporters being widespread choices. All match the invoice, nevertheless generally these require particular insurance coverage insurance policies which aren’t cheaper than a automobile. After all, if a part of your temporary is the flexibility to each day your rig, a van actually restricts this. I’m positive there are literally thousands of T5 homeowners who would argue in opposition to me and die on that hill, however fortunately for us that is my article. They’re nice for transferring stuff about, however not fairly the right each day driver as an SUV is.


So, the place did Latham find yourself? With a VW Touareg. He’s a calculated man and the maths added up for him. That, they usually’re well-known for towing a Boeing 747 jumbo jet on Prime Gear, which might be the good accolade to have on any CV. A taco van needs to be no downside then.


So, you perhaps questioning, does Ryan nonetheless personal the crusty Transit? Properly, no, he doesn’t. Ryan too did the maths, and while his AE86 might be as removed from a Boeing 747 as a automobile might be, he additionally couldn’t resist the Touareg.

I’ll go away you with a query: What’s your tow car of alternative? I’m positive a few of our American readers will embarrass us Brits right here…

Michał Fidowicz
Instagram: candyshowroom

Further Pictures by Ryan Stewart
Instagram: 7.nth 
[email protected]

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