In Issue 003 of Loaded 4X4, we reported on the new Tailgate Assist package that the good folk at ARB were producing for Triton, Ranger and BT50, Navara, Colorado and D-MAX. Now Steane’s put one on TREV the Triton and reported back that it worked a treat and on the strength of that recommendation I went out and bought a set for my work D-MAX.
A heavy tailgate occupies the same space as my love of drum brakes and leaf springs, none of them is welcome but bad luck, that’s what gets offered to us on the showroom floor. You stump up good money for a product half-done, half-baked. When it comes to the tailgate, having to lift or lower that mass when almost always one or both hands are full is a PITA!
In Issue 005 you may have read my review on the HSV Silverado and the joyous moment I had when I discovered that straight off the showroom floor the tailgate on this baby was spring-assisted!!! See now; someone’s been listening to customer feedback and responded.
I say to the fine engineers at ARB, thank you a thousand times thank you for delivering me from my tailgate evil!
As we’d reported before, the Tailgate Assist package comes with a pair of gas struts made by German gas strut manufacturer Stabilus and tuned one for lifting and one for lowering. Installed per the supplied instructions (and better than an Ikea guide by a country mile) the Tailgate Assist makes the drudgery of opening and closing a tailgate a piece-of-piss.
My long-suffering 4WD widow Rose enjoys going holidaying with me and the D-MAX when her M-UX is spoken for because the D-MAX can carry more fishing gear, but she hated having to lift that lid. Now she says to me “why didn’t you do that ages ago” and “don’t you ever buy another ute again without that lift-thingy”.
So I’m now on notice that never again will I take possession of a utility that has a heavy tailgate! I’ll handpass that challenge to every ute maker supplying vehicles into this country as the technology exists, so why wouldn’t you offer it as a standard feature? If you’re going to argue otherwise based on cost, I’ll happily swap out that dim-witted push-button start malarkey for a bog-standard key if that helps your price-point???
All jokes aside, Tailgate Assist is one of God’s (err ARB’s) greatest innovations and likely to preserve more than just your shoulder-blades, possibly even your marriage too!
To find out more head over to ARB’s website.