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New Cruiser: Expeditions

The travels of an all aluminum Land Cruiser and its owners…

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Safety

Written by Robin on Monday, January 3, 2000

Well, here’s a pretty big issue, many people ask me about as well. How safe is this thing?

Of course there has been no crash testing or anything like that, just pure guess work. In an accident, I really don’t know what will happen. But here’s what I think.

In most cases I think I would rather be in this truck than be in the vehicle I hit. This truck is pretty heavy (600 lbs over stock) which makes it 5200 lbs dry weight. It’s pretty high, has a really solid bumper. It will do a lot of damage to the vehicle it hits (in fact it has, but that’s another story…)

 

That said, we’ve all seen crash tests of modern vehicles thrown straight into brick walls, and there really is nothing left of the front ends, but the cab maintains enough shape to protect the passengers. I fear that the New Cruiser will maintain too much of the original shape, and my seatbelt will damage me more. The truck is really solid. I did make the front end out of a lighter gauge material, and just by design it will crumple more than the cab – but there is still the frame that is common on all cruisers that is a pretty solid piece of steel.

The truck has a pretty high center of gravity compared with the average car on the road. It handles pretty well, but when you take off the front swaybar (there is no rear) it is pretty scary to drive. I guess you have to remember that a swaybar only hides the symptoms of rolling over. Instead of it happening gradually (and being uncomfortable to be in) it happens all of a sudden.

Another big issue for me is how the dash fits around the drivers right knee. Even in a small accident if the driver were to be pushed forward, the angular aluminum dash where the heater controls are would probably crush the kneecap. That was a poor design, one of the things that are really hard to foresee until you actually sit in it.

 

If I were t-boned I might have way more side impact resistance than most vehicles. In a roll over I would be fine unless I bumped my head on something. This vehicle is really stiff; you can pick the body up with an overhead crane and turn it over without any worries of it warping. In most accidents I’m sure I would come out on top – little injury and little damage, where the other vehicle might have no injury, but their repair bills could be high.

Further Reading on The Truck: