14 Apr 1999
There's a construction site at Queanbeyan I
scoped out a while ago. It has several ditches and piles of dirt,
just the thing to give the truck a bit of a work-out.
I started by backing the rear end up the side
of a slope.
Then I placed steel rods across the chassis rails,
one at the rear and the other just behind the cab. The yellow lines
extrapolate these rods to give a clearer idea of the chassis flex.
Measuring the angle I came up with 10 degrees. It actually looked
much worse in reality. This info will be placed into my CAD package
to check the design.
Then I ran one of the front wheels up on a ledge,
this gave a similar reading. Note that, at the back, the far rail
is higher than the near one and can easily be seen. They cross over
somewhere near the centre where the near rail becomes higher and
obscures the far one.
Remember that these chassis rails are massive
and DOUBLE, each rail is actually two huge channels, one inside
the other. Any body mounted directly to these would also flex resulting
in broken cupboards, wall panels etc.
Next I wanted to get maximum articulation of the
rear axles. This was easy, I just continued driving over the ledge
at an angle until one wheel was up and the others were down.
At this point the front axle is on the bump-stops on the left side. The rear left wheel is just barely touching the ground. This info will be used to make sure I have enough clearance above the wheels.
Just fooling around.
Next I wanted to see how it went crossing a gully.
There was a small gully on the site but it really wasn't much of
a challenge. Here we see the truck at the top looking like something
from Jurassic Park.
I drove across the gully while a friend took some shots. It looked steep from the cab but as you can see is a bit of a non-event as far as testing approach and departure angles goes. Still, try even this simple trick in a normal motor home.
All in all I was very pleased with the way the truck handled. In six-wheel-drive-low-range it just walked up anything I could find.