Toyota Motor Sales USA has announced that its Tundra full-size pickup is scheduled to be the to the vehicle that drags the space shuttle Endeavour on the final leg of its journey to the California Science Center on October 13. The California Science Center will be the final resting place for the Endeavour. I mentioned previously that the space shuttle's trip down some Los Angeles streets required the removal of old-growth trees, angering some Los Angeles residents.
Toyota says that the Tundra will tow the space shuttle the last quarter-mile to its final destination. This is a significant load for the Tundra to pull. Toyota uses some creative math and rounds the load the Tundra will drag down the road to 300,000 pounds. The precise weight of the load is actually about 7500 pounds less than that at 292,500 pounds.
The space shuttle weighs 150,000 pounds; the overland transporter weighs 27,500 pounds; beams weigh 44,500 pounds, bolster beams add another 13,500 pounds, and the dollies weigh 52,000 pounds. There's an additional 5000 pounds of miscellaneous hardware. The Toyota vehicle that will pull the load is a 2012 Tundra CrewMax 1/2-ton truck with no modifications made to increase towing capacity or power output.
The vehicle has a 5.7 L V-8 engine and is rated for a maximum towing capacity of 10,000 pounds. That means the truck will be towing roughly 282,000 pounds over its maximum rated capacity. At least, it only has to go a quarter-mile towing the load. I wonder if the footage of the truck towing the space shuttle will end up in a Toyota commercial.