December 4, 2023


Power Of Engine

It is Time For A Rig Test

6 min read

For those who’re on social media and comply with our Speedhunter regulars, chances are high 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 might examine the load continuously, stopping to examine the straps and stuff, ensuring it hadn’t moved.” Every so often, this pitstop could be made at a scenic location the place Ryan received to take a step again and benefit from the view. As any automotive man would, he would pull out his cellphone 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 my Instagram feed to seek out each different certainly one of my pals with a trailer on tow posting their very own images, all with the identical caption.


Naturally, folks with spectacular tow automotive and trailer hundreds had been beginning to become involved. And so just a little pattern was born.


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


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


I used to be at a bizarre melting pot of this new pattern, nearly feeling not noted as a result of I didn’t have a automotive 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 photos for this put up.


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


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

I needed an X5 as a result of they appear sick,” began Austen, however he then went onto clarify that moreover the seems to be 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 fallacious, with two or three turbos in the way in which?


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


Realistically although, numerous autos can do this, so we return to its towing skills. “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 general steadiness of automotive and trailer collectively. It’s safer, helps to keep away from snaking and the automotive isn’t squatting because of it.”

I assume that is the place fashionable expertise trumps older, extra standard strategies. Austen’s earlier automotive, 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 strategy to his tow car of alternative was just a little extra utilitarian: “It was all about towing capability for me,” he says. This was the important thing to the right rig examine for Latham. In December 2021, the UK legislation 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 extra {qualifications} or checks. A traditional driving licence is solely sufficient.


Every automotive has their very own tow restrict set by the producer. This is a crucial factor to notice once you’re selecting your individual 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 actually need a three-axle trailer and people can typically 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, which means common vehicles had 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. Trendy AWD SUVs, such because the BMW X5 30d Austen has, have a towing capability of three,500kg. Once more, within the rig examine land, the classics merely get out-trumped by the trendy equipment.


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 every day. Whereas the Japanese choices such because the Toyota Land Cruiser, Nissan Patrol and Mitsubishi Shogun have a nice popularity for reliability and a rising picture, their interiors simply aren’t as good as these discovered of their German counterparts.


American vans are a bit odd ball right here within the UK. They’ve enormous operating prices by way of gasoline and tax they usually’ve received the steering wheel on the fallacious aspect. In addition they don’t sustain with inside qualities within the German vehicles. The final possibility is British stuff: Jaguar Land Rover Discovery, Defender and the like. Nonetheless, when you 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 some money.


Now, some folks do use vans, Ford Transits and Volkswagen Transporters being fashionable choices. All match the invoice, nonetheless typically these require particular insurance coverage insurance policies which aren’t cheaper than a automotive. In fact, if a part of your transient is the flexibility to each day your rig, a van actually restricts this. I’m certain there are literally thousands of T5 house owners who would argue towards me and die on that hill, however fortunately for us that is my article. They’re nice for shifting 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 mathematics 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 automotive could possibly be, he additionally couldn’t resist the Touareg.

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

Michał Fidowicz
Instagram: candyshowroom

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

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