Ford Australia uses 2012 Ranger to pull steam locomotive to prove towing power

Article by Christian A., on January 16, 2011

To draw attention to the new Ford Ranger, Ford’s Australia arm used the vehicle to tow a 160-tonne steam locomotive. A factory stock Ranger was used. It was powered by a five-cylinder diesel engine that delivers 147kW (200hp) of power and a maximum torque of 470Nm, and it had a six-speed automatic transmission.

The vehicle was engaged in low-range four-wheel drive and with a simple tug, the train just followed it.

The new Ranger has a first-rate towing capacity that exceeds 3,000 kg and it features smart technologies such as Trailer Sway Mitigation and Adaptive Load Control to make sure that it remains upright.

If a trailer starts to sway, brakes are selectively applied to slow down the truck-and-trailer combination.

Ford’s press release states that the Ranger is able to maintain a stable ride when carrying full loads of cargo because of the Adaptive Load Control that determines the payload and makes the adjustments to maintain a straight and level ride.

The locomotive used to test the Ranger was a R711, one of the 70 express passenger steam locomotives that the North British Locomotive Company in Glasgow brought back.

The machine was first used in 1951, and it retired 14 years later when mainline diesel-electric and electric locomotives took over.

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