First drive: Toyota Hilux Tipper

"The tipper drives like any other Hilux although there is slightly more wind noise owing to the 1,900mm-wide load bed protruding at either side."



Factory-approved conversions on the Toyota Hilux Tipper qualify for the full five-year warranty. 

Toyota launched its Trade Plus programme back in May at the Commercial Vehicle Show.

It was part of the company’s drive to jump-start its dwindling commercial vehicle operation.

The Hilux Tipper is among the first models to be offered under the scheme, which provides converted vehicles direct from the dealer.

It removes the hassle of dealing with third parties and multiple invoices.

The purchaser can visit any Toyota LCV dealership to place an order. Toyota handles all the logistics and delivers the truck (for £150), ready-to-work.

Because the partner converters involved in the Trade Plus programme are thoroughly vetted to make sure they meet Toyota’s criteria, the whole vehicle measures up to the standard warranty length.

That means the Hilux Tipper is covered for five years or 100,000 miles. 

TGS takes care of the mechanics. It removes the rear tub from a standard Hilux and replaces it with a tipper bed and the associated electro-hydraulic control system.

There is even a wander-lead to allow operation from a distance.

The tipping frames are fully galvanised to reduce corrosion, while the sideboards are anodised aluminium and have a dropside function for additional load area access.

At the rear is a two-way tailboard hinge mechanism, retaining the pick-up practicality for when the tipper function isn’t required.

A powder-coated gantry protects the back of the cab although the central panel, which features a Toyota logo, does restrict visibility.

There are two versions to choose from; a two-door Single Cab or a four-door Extra Cab.

The Single Cab offers a larger bed length at 2,350mm versus the 1,850mm of the Extra Cab.Both offer a load width of 1,800mm (internal) and a height of 300mm.

Extra Cab models can carry a slightly heavier payload of 1,000kg (versus 930kg).

The tipper drives like any other Hilux although there is slightly more wind noise owing to the 1,900mm-wide load bed protruding at either side.

It is also only available in the basic Active trim-level with the 150PS 2.4-litre diesel engine, and this combination works well – especially for a vehicle that is effectively a work-horse.

It isn’t particularly fast and the ride is rather jittery without any weight over the back wheels, but it is refined and well made.

The Tipper conversion costs £3,795 on top of the price of the truck, which means a total of £22,498 (ex VAT) for the Single Cab and £23,744 for the Extra Cab.

There are no official running cost figures for the Tipper but the standard Hilux Extra Cab manages 40mpg with CO2 emissions of 187g/km. 

The Hilux Tipper demonstrates a clear commitment from Toyota to its LCV division.

Although it may only have the capacity to service smaller fleets for now, as the Trade Plus initiative gains momentum it will be hard to resist these factory-approved conversions – especially with the five-year warranty intact.

CO2 emissions and fuel consumption data correct at time of writing. The latest figures are available in the Fleet News fuel cost calculator and the company car tax calculator.