In the event you’re on social media and comply with our Speedhunter regulars, likelihood is you’d have seen the ‘!!RIG CHECK!!’ caption flying round on posts for a short while now. Nicely, you may thank our personal Ryan Stewart for it.

Again in 2021, Ryan wanted a solution 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 chunk of turd; a rotten factor from a dodgy camp website, however I actually beloved it,” says Ryan.


At first I wasn’t very skilled with strapping vehicles down, so I’d test the load steadily, stopping to test 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 obtained 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 means of my Instagram feed to search out each different one among my buddies with a trailer on tow posting their very own photographs, all with the identical caption.


Naturally, folks with spectacular tow automotive and trailer masses had been beginning to get entangled. And so a little bit pattern was born.


Final 12 months, 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 instantly grew to become a rig gathering to shut issues off.


I used to be at a bizarre melting pot of this new pattern, nearly feeling unnoticed as a result of I didn’t have a automotive or a trailer of my very own there. However I did what I at all times do and began to snap away, capturing the backdrop pictures for this submit.


Anyway, for some the tow rig is a piece device, while for others it’s a pastime and keenness. I spoke to 2 of my towing buddies, Austen and Latham, who form of fall awkwardly in the course of the 2 classes in regard to what they worth in a tow automotive and what they will’t reside 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 appear sick,” began Austen, however he then went onto clarify that apart from the seems 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 probably extra issues. “Are you able to think about making an attempt to work on that engine bay if one thing goes fallacious, with two or three turbos in the way in which?


Economic system and reliability is essential because the X5 can also be Austen’s every day. Past towing, it wanted to do regular automotive issues. It wanted to be snug sufficient for journeys to the outlets, 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, loads of autos can try this, so we return to its towing skills. “One factor I can’t reside 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 trendy know-how trumps older, extra typical strategies. Austen’s earlier automotive, a BMW E39 saloon, didn’t have self-levelling on the rear, and it appears to be a type of issues you may’t go with out when you’ve had it.


Latham’s method to his tow car of alternative was a little bit extra utilitarian: “It was all about towing capability for me,” he says. This was the important thing to the proper rig test 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 move any form of further {qualifications} or checks. A standard driving licence is just sufficient.


Every automotive has their very own tow restrict set by the producer. This is a crucial factor to notice while you’re selecting your personal rig, because it actually impacts what you may truly 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 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, 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 technology (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 test land, the classics merely get out-trumped by the fashionable 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 reside 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 vans are a bit odd ball right here within the UK. They’ve large working prices when it comes to gas and tax and so they’ve obtained 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, in the event you don’t have a guaranty on these fashions you’re asking for complications. More often than not they’re a fast solution to burn by means of some money.


Now, some folks do use vans, Ford Transits and Volkswagen Transporters being widespread choices. All match the invoice, nonetheless generally these require particular insurance coverage insurance policies which aren’t cheaper than a automotive. In fact, if a part of your transient is the power to every 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 transferring stuff about, however not fairly the proper every 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, and so they’re well-known for towing a Boeing 747 jumbo jet on High Gear, which might be the best accolade to have on any CV. A taco van ought to be no drawback then.


So, you perhaps questioning, does Ryan nonetheless personal the crusty Transit? Nicely, 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 go away 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