Personalising your own ute can add significant appeal
Buying your new ute can be just the start of a long lasting personal relationship that may see you add accessories and optional extras that increase the capability and appeal of your everyday transport.
For those heading off-road, the opportunities for adding extras are as open as your wallet. This time around we are looking at those that stay on the bitumen but want that little bit more than came as part of the standard package.
The Delivery Magazine D-Max forms the basis for our test bed, and we started by switching the standard AM/FM radio cassette player for a Pioneer AVIC 950-DAB. Occupying a double DIN slot on the dashboard, the Pioneer unit connects through Bluetooth to your phone plus your iPod to access your music and also play your DVDs. Through its touchscreen it provides Sat/Nav mapping, audio streaming and digital as well as analogue radio connections. There’s a huge advantage in being able to incorporate a SAT/NAV unit within the dashboard area and you can say goodbye to cables running over the top of the dashboard to a windscreen-mounted alternative.
As an added safety feature we connected up a waterproof rear-vision camera mounted above the registration plate holder, and this displays high-quality vision through the Pioneer AVIC touchscreen.
Mounted up high on the windscreen, virtually behind the central rear-vision mirror, we mounted the latest Navman MiVue dash cam. This unit records everything happening on the road ahead of the D-Max, and is a great safeguard to any professional driver. The high definition video footage stored within the unit can match up to a PC computer programme that identifies Sat/Nav locations, speeds, times and dates of events that happen in front of you. The software is currently not compatible with Apple computers. Cable routing for power is made particularly easy on the D-Max as the cable can be trimmed into the windscreen surround and powered through a 12-volt socket within the top dashboard locker without showing any of the cable.
Our Space Cab D-Max has a factory-supplied all-steel bullbar on which is mounted a pair of Hella Luminator LED driving lamps. These are phenomenal driving lamps that project a clear white light in a broad fan pattern, making them ideal for anyone in country areas. For added safety we included a pair of LED circular Hella daytime-running lamps that are mounted in the pre-cut section of the bar that houses fog lamps in the higher spec’ models. At the rear we switched to LED rear lamp assemblies for their superior durability, and also adding extra amber and red LED marker lights under the edges of the tray for improved nighttime visibility.
Buyers of the chassis/cab versions of the D-Max can option their tray bodies as original equipment from a choice of light-duty alloy, heavy-duty alloy and a heavy-duty steel version. If you are going to use your ute for hard yakka, then go for the all-steel version. It’s stronger and will last longer without rattling. We protected the top of our tray by fitting rubber capping available from Transcom Industries.
D-Max now rates its maximum towing ability at 3,500 kg, but make sure your towball and mount is rated for that level. Go for the officially approved tow package rather than some of the cheaper and inferior-rated units, and remember to include an electric brake unit that can be matched to suit the trailer in all varying states of laden conditions.
Delivery will report back on more accessory options in future issues.