Home / News / 2023 Ford Ranger build: Hayman Reese X

2023 Ford Ranger build: Hayman Reese X

Apr 27, 2023Apr 27, 2023

I’ve said before that having so many different shops work on and fit gear to your vehicle isn't ideal, but when you’re working with sponsors who in some instances are using your vehicle to develop new products for a new model, then it's unavoidable.

Massive kudos here to Murray Brookes and the team at Trig Point because, with the canopy on the back of the Ranger containing and affecting so many parts of the build, many other components are relying on it.

As was the case when it came to fitting the Hayman Reese X-Bar to the back of the Ranger. The team at Hayman Reese was developing a new product for the RA Ranger and when I pointed out to them that the rear-end of our example wasn't like most other new Rangers due to the canopy, we put the two businesses in touch with each other and they were able to work through any problems in the best possible way. This proved a far better solution than finding out later on that the X-Bar wouldn't suit the vehicle with the canopy already fitted.

Check out the new Ranger forums and you’ll read all about folks who are fitting trays and/or canopies and having trouble with the BLIS (Blind Spot Information System) sensors that are located in the taillights of the styleside ute body and need to be relocated.

Trig Point was on to this early with its relocation mounts and our Ranger retains all its reversing and BLIS functions as they should work from the factory.

When we looked at the initial plans for the X-Bar, with the outer recovery points mounted vertically on either end of the bar (as they were on our previous PX Ranger build , it was evident that they would interfere with the BLIS sensors. Picking this up early allowed the Hayman Reese team to alter the design so that it all still works as it should, and as a result the new X-Bar was fitted to our vehicle without any problems in its operation.

This X-Bar has been specifically designed to work with Rangers fitted with the Trig Point canopy, but it has given the engineers the basics to make it work with other trays, service bodies and canopy combinations.

The Hayman Reese X-Bar takes the humble tow bar to the next level of usability as it has been specifically designed for 4x4 use with built-in recovery points at each end as well as in the centre of the bar. The outer recovery points are each rated to 4000kg when used with a bridle strap, while the centre one is rated to 8000kg.

The benefit of using the outer points for heavy recoveries is that they put the load directly on to the chassis rails unlike the one in the centre, or if simply using a box hitch as a recovery point. All three hitching points are heavy forged steel pieces with rounded edges so they are suited to use with soft shackles and straps without damaging them.

Hayman Reese might have been making tow bars for Australians for more than 70 years but its products are always evolving. Aside from adding the three recovery points to the bar, the X-Bar is designed to sit high against the chassis to allow the best possible departure angle for off-road driving. Likewise, the location of the trailer plug has always been mounted up high and out of harm's way.

Our new X-Bar takes this a step further, debuting a new mounting position within the main channel of the tow bar. There's also a spot beside this to fit a pair of Anderson plugs if you need to, and the engineers tell us that their testing confirms that putting these in the bar like this has no effect on its integrity or capacity.

Speaking of which, the X-Bar maintains the Ranger's factory 3500kg towing capacity, so there's no loss there. In addition, Hayman Reese towbars are covered by a limited lifetime warranty for the original owner, so you can rest assured of their quality.

As mentioned, this X-Bar was a one-off, but it will now open up the design for production. As such there is no price for it as yet, but the guys tell us it would likely cost around $1700 for the X-Bar only. Available X-Bars retail for between $1500 to $1800 depending on the vehicle, so it pays to get in touch to check if they have an X-Bar for your 4x4.

The X-Bar not only looks great but adds functionality, and protection to the back of the Ranger.

Matt is a 30-year veteran of the auto industry spending the last five as 4x4 Australia editor.

Hayman Reese X-Bar