Last month, we reported that a 2012 Toyota Tundra would tow the space shuttle Endeavour on one leg of its final journey to the California Science Center in Los Angeles. That's still the plan, but with a slight modification. Toyota has released a statement announcing the new leg that the Tundra will handle towing duties will be over the busy 405 freeway on the Manchester Boulevard Bridge in West Los Angeles.
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.