While a properly secured load is important in any vehicle, it becomes utterly vital in an off-road situation. Especially when you consider some of the gear you need to carry when you head off the paved stuff, particularly if you are going by yourself.
When we do a vehicle test here at NZ4WD, we prefer to have a back up vehicle with us, but this isn’t always possible, so all the recovery gear ends up in one vehicle. And this is usually quite a bit of stuff!
Fortunately most of the vehicles we test have plenty of room and usually a number of accessories to make the job easier, such as canopies, load covers, roof racks, deck liners (with tie down points, or other handy storage systems) and tow bars.
Equally fortunately, all these accessories are available for your vehicle, pretty much whatever it is too.
For a ute, a canopy is the easiest and probably best solution for creating more usable load space and fitting a roof rack to it will expand that capacity even more. But, of course, you must always bear in mind that loading a canopy and roof rack up will raise the centre of gravity of your vehicle, and that heavier items should always be stored as low as possible to avoid this.
If a canopy isn’t practical, then a hard cover is your best bet. There are a vast variety of these available and one that suits your needs shouldn’t be hard to find.
The new generation of modular drawer systems that have been appearing recently add a new dimension of practicality to your vehicle, while the trusty old standbys of roof racks and, of course, a tow bar are always solid options.
On the following pages we bring you a selection of some of the options available for expanding the load carrying ability of your vehicle. As always, we recommend you talk to an expert before fitting anything load bearing, for your own safety more than anything else.