Rated Recovery Points
Without a doubt, the most significant benefit of the X-Bar 79 Series over standard towbars is the officially rated recovery points.
While standard towbars work as anchor points, hopefully with an appropriate anchor replacing the tow ball itself, in reality, this isn’t a rated setup. I’m not saying traditional towbars aren’t suitable for recoveries, but a bar officially engineered for the dynamic loads in play, especially the spikes of energy in snatch recoveries, must be safer.
The Hayman Reese X-Bar 79 Series has three rated recovery points. The central recovery point has a rating of 8,000kg. The two side points ratings are 4,000kg, but this increases if used with a bridle.
This combination of anchors gives plenty of options for recovering others (or being recovered) from various angles.
The internal radius of the recovery points is smooth and curved, making them suitable for soft shackles, which, together with the engineering of the recovery points, is another plus for safer recoveries.
Often the rear of the Toyota LandCruiser 79 Series is prone to damage off-road. With many trays and canopies, this vehicle has a longer than usual rear overhang, which means the rear can hit through dips and some obstacles. However, the strength, shape, and position of the X-Bar 79 Series mean that it is likely to bear the brunt of hits in most instances.
Additionally, when the rear does hit the ground, the trailer connection plug is cleverly recessed up into the bar to avoid damage. It’s a small detail, but it can be a hassle relocating this plug to prevent damage but still be accessible.
The Hayman Reese X-Bar 79 Series can sit up to 100mm higher than other options depending on the bar compared. This 100mm difference equates to an improved departure angle of roughly five degrees.
While it likely goes without saying, this towbar also is one of the most robust options for towing. It is rated as class 4 (heavy duty) and features the widely used 50x50mm square hitch receiver. The X-Bar 79 Series also comes with two rated shackles, and the location of the anchors for these shackles is easy to access, which makes connecting trailers easy.
Like most modern bars, the tow ball and hitch is easy to remove when not towing. Removing the tow ball is particularly useful for off-road driving as the hitch can often be the lowest point and get snagged on obstacles.
X-Bar 79 Series Engineering
Much of the above is made possible by the design and engineering of the Hayman Reese X-Bar 79 Series. It mounts with heavy-duty brackets on either side. These large brackets bolt into the chassis on each side with five bolts. The towbar itself then securely bolts into place with high-tensile hardware.
The X-Bar towbar range is fully compliant with the Australian Design Rules (ADRs) and includes officially rated recovery points, making it an incredibly unique product.
With the setup of our test vehicle, the top surface of the X-Bar 79 Series made for a handy step. It would be perfect for checking roof loads or hopping up to thread a tie-down strap under the roof rack while securing gear.
We’ve previously looked at the X-Bar for Hilux in ute body. The Hayman Reese X-Bar is now available for many modern cab chassis and ute body makes and models, including Hilux, D-Max, Ranger, BT-50, Navara, Triton and Amarok.
Thank you to Ultimate 4WD in Perth for loaning us their 79 Series LandCruiser for this article.