R.A.T. program

In order to ensure our products do the job and to provide feedback for the next generation of products, Vehicle Components carries out extensive testing in the field. Products are tested over long distances, and under all types of road conditions to check for strength and performance in the harsh Australian outback.

Since 2009 we have performed one major trip each year to put our suspensions and couplings through their paces in remote conditions, ensuring that all components will exceed expectations.

Our comprehensive testing regime includes fitting custom built test trailer vehicles with Mo-Tec data logging equipment. This records what is happening to the suspension or coupling over different surface conditions in real time. Information such as shock absorber temperature, suspension position, vehicle speed and G forces on the trailer is stored for later analysis.

 

RAT RUN 2016

With little to no breeze around the red dust hangs on the road for ages. Spare a thought for every dust covered trees lining the road. Their green leaves heavy with days of accumulated red dirt.
Every now and then sections of sealed road provide welcome relief from the shaking, noise and dust. Seems there is more of this than last year. How long will it be before the road to The Tip is all blacktop?


 

 

RAT RUN 2015 - NON STOP TO THE TOP

As most of us were freezing through the cold of winter, the 2015 RAT (Remote Area Test) Team of Chris, Andrew, Deon and Brayden were preparing to tackle the Cape.

The team set off early, heading north with a task of conducting durability testing on the CRUISEMASTER¨ ATX. Despite a heavily corrugated run, the team successfully made it to the northernmost point in Australia and came back along the infamous Bloomfield Track.

Covering over 5000kms in just 10 days, here are some of the highlights for you to enjoy.

 


RAT RUN 2014 - DUST ALONG THE DARLING

Every year the team set off for product testing, simply called the RAT (Remote Area Testing) Run this time to test a prototype of an airbag suspension and some options to the recently released CRUISEMASTER® CRS.

 

With a single axle trailer and tandem axle caravan (AKA the new abode for Chris Goddard our MD) the team optimistically set off, this time to head south into the cold of country NSW following the path of the Darling River. An easier run was planned this year as CRUISEMASTER® CRS has not been developed as a hard core off road suspension like its big brother the CRUISEMASTER® XT. 

Products Tested during RAT Run 2014 - DUST ALONG THE DARLING: Prototype single trailing CRUISEMASTER® independent suspension, different coating on the couplings it was similar to premium powder coating, anti-sway bars on both tandem and single axle suspensions, single and dual shock absorber set ups to see the impact on roll and further testing on CRS variations. We also tested our own endurance for extreme cold. And for the first time we conducted a red wine test.

RAT RUN 2013 - OUTFRONT IN THE OUTBACK

This year the RAT Team set out to test the new Cruisemaster® CRS suspension and a swag of our market leading products in some of the most remote tracks across Queensland. A massive 5500kms was clocked in just 7 days as we traveled through Mackay, Innisfail, Chillagoe, Burke Development Road, Karumba, Normanton, Einasliegh, Muttaburra, and Lake Maraboon.

 

Products Tested during RAT Run 2013 - Out front in the Outback: Cruisemaster® CRS, Hitchmaster® DO45 coupling, XT G5.3 Coil suspension with bolt-on stub axle and anti roll bars, ALKO ESC, various coil springs, Shockmaster® HD foam Hitchmaster® DO35 V2-I, and Shockmaster® LT. 

DVD out now: see video footage of some of the best outback scenery, 4WD tracks across Queensland, and our latest products in action. Also, RAT Team members Matt and Deon deliver their in car fitness program, essential for long distance travel.Click here to view all RAT Run merchandise available through our online shop.

RAT RUN 2012 - A TESTING TIME

In 2012 the RAT Run team remote area tested the our market leading products in some of Australia's most testing off-road conditions. We travelled approximately 7500kms across Fraser Island, Cunnamulla, Cameron Corner, Lyndhurst, Oodnadatta, Old Ghan Railway track, Alice Springs, Cammoweal, Hughenden, Longreach, Springsure, and 1770.


Products tested in this trip include: Hitchmaster®DO35 V2 R, Prototype CRS, Cruisemaster® G5.2 coil suspension, rebound cable, Shockmaster® HD prototype, ALKO on & off road brakes.

 

RAT RUN 2011 - CIRCLING THE SIMPSON

Circling The Simpson was the third annual RAT Run trip. Once again, our new products were vigorously put to the test off-road in the harsh Australian outback. We traveled over 13 days and over 7500kms through Charlesville, Finke Gorge NP, Kings Canyon, Old Andado Track, Oodnadatta Track, and Cooper Creek.

 

Products tested during RAT Run 2011 - Circling the Simpson:  Hitchmaster® DO35, Cruisemaster® G5 Coil suspension, various coil springs, various shock absorbers, and the Hitchmaster® DO35V2 prototype.

RAT Run FEATURES In the Media:

Next

RAT RUN 2010 - BREAKOUT TO BIRDSVILLE

Breakout to Birdsville was the second annual Remote Area Testing (RAT Run) by Vehicle Components. Over 6800km was covered and our highlights include Cameron Corner, Lyndhurst, Iga Warta, Monte Collina, Windorah, and Birdsville. Check out our gallery of photos to view the fantastic photos of this trip.

 

The objective of the trip was to rigorously test our new products under the toughest outback conditions. The following products were rigged up to our Mo-Tec data logging equipment which enables us to record what is happening to the products over different surface conditions in real time. Information such as shock absorber temperature, suspension position, vehicle speed and G forces on the trailer is stored for later analysis.

Products tested during RAT Run 2010 - Breakout to Birdsville: Cruisemaster® Air suspension, Cruisemaster® G4 Coil suspension, greasable bushes, alloy sub-frame, Hitchmaster® DO35V1, VC Jack, Hitchmaster® DO45 pre-production, various airbags, various shock absorbers, and MOTEC data logging.

Next

RAT RUN 2009 - ESCAPE TO THE CAPE

Escape to the Cape marks the beginning of Vehicle Components remote area testing runs - aka RAT Runs. In this inaugural trip 6000 kms was covered from Brisbane to Cape York and back. Famous tracks covered include the Old Telegraph Track and Gun Shot. Check out our gallery of photos to view the highlights of this trip.

 

Escape to the Cape marks the beginning of Vehicle Components remote area testing runs - aka RAT Runs. In this inaugural trip 6000 kms was covered from Brisbane to Cape York and back. Famous tracks covered include the Old Telegraph Track and Gun Shot. Check out our gallery of photos to view the highlights of this trip. 

Products tested during RAT Run 2009 - Escape to the Cape: Economaster Coil Suspension, Cruisemaster® G4 coil suspension, powder coat durability, marinised brakes, Trojan electric brakes, Hitchmaster® DO35V1, and a range of shock absorbers.

Next