In a prior post, we reported that the Toyota Tundra would get the privilege of towing the space shuttle Endeavour for part of its journey to the California Science Center in Los Angeles, where it will become part of the permanent exhibition. The Tundra is still going to help out with the task, but the leg which it’s going to get towing duties has changed. In a statement released by Toyota, the latest update is that the Tundra will be towing the Endeavour over the 405 freeway on October 12, 2012 on the Manchester Boulevard Bridge.
The original plan was for the Tundra to tow the Endeavour on Bill Robertson Lane closer to the California Science Center near downtown Los Angeles. The change reportedly necessitated a change in the towing equipment for weight distribution purposes.
As we reported in our prior post, the total weight of the Endeavour with the specially-built trailer dolly is over 300,000 lb, about 30 times the Tundra’s factory-rated sustained towing capacity. Although Toyota obviously doesn’t recommend such heavy towing loads for the Tundra, the company extensively tested the truck, and is confident in its ability to handle the weight.
Below is a video showing some of the testing involved preparing the Tundra for its epic task. Admittedly, big concrete blocks aren’t as cool-looking as the Endeavour, but replicate the weight of the spacecraft. Watch as Toyota engineering consultant Greg Bryant explains the preparations involved.