Building the Hema Map Patrol
Stage 1 - Tyres & Rims
Hema has readied its LandCruiser 79 Dual Cab for an intensive build journey with some rear wheel and chassis adjustments, but the real work begins by fitting it with tyres that can go anywhere the Map Patrol needs to.
A tyre’s functionality is often underestimated: they support vehicle weight, transfer propulsion and braking, and play a part in softening road impact and maintaining or changing direction. These functions are most obvious in off-road conditions, where it’s common to carry a fully laden vehicle over uncertain terrain. Using tyres that do these things well is important to the Map Patrol, because the new LandCruiser will be expected to carry a loaded canopy through Australia’s roughest regions when its build is complete.
Handling terrain is one thing, but doing so repeatedly over great distances is another. Outside of functionality, the LandCruiser needs tyres that can perform consistently over a long period of time, as Hema mapping expeditions are frequent and often long. To find a tyre that offers this durability and combines it with all-round performance, we took the LandCruiser down to Cooper Tires.
Hema first used Cooper Tires as part of the Map Patrol in 1998, and have continued to use them because they make quality tyres that perform in Australian conditions. The Map Patrol itself has put many Cooper Tires products to the test, but for the new LandCruiser 79 Dual Cab, the right tyre was one that Hema is very familiar with: the Cooper S/T Maxx.
The LandCruiser is carrying on from the previous Map Patrol by running S/T Maxxs, which have proven themselves on countless mapping expeditions. What makes the S/T Maxx the right choice for Hema is that its strengths perfectly align with the Map Patrol’s requirements. Firstly, it uses a cut and chip compound for gravel road touring, allowing the fully-loaded LandCruiser to drive Outback tracks for prolonged periods without generating unnecessary tyre wear. Additionally, the S/T Maxx’s tread pattern allows it to cover all kinds of terrain, meaning they can handle Cape York’s muddy creek beds and the High Country’s rocky tracks without compromising performance in either situation. This also includes travelling on bitumen, which the Map Patrol does to, from and during any given expedition. Meanwhile, the S/T Maxx reduces the risk of tyre failure in any terrain with its incredibly strong sidewall construction, allowing the Map Patrol to do their work without the time-wasting threat of a punctured or torn tyre.
Cooper Tires uses Australia’s harsh terrain to test new and current tyres in a real-world setting. The Map Patrol contributes to this process simply by doing its job and reporting their findings to Cooper, who analyse and make design improvements to tyres from these real-world tests. The LandCruiser will be giving its own feedback soon, with its S/T Maxxs fitted and the rest of the build soon to follow. Once it’s complete, the LandCruiser will be exploring more far-flung places than any Map Patrol before it, and its tyres will be responsible for keeping it on track while it does its work.