How important are tray dimensions?

    • Not all trays and tubs are created equal
    • There are some models with long-tray versions available
    • Only some utes can fit a pallet in the back

    A lot of the dual-cab pick-up utes out there have very similar tray sizes, but there are some important differences in the usability of a ute tray, depending on the limiting factors. 

    There are some considerations - the deeper the tub, the more you’ll be able to stack in there, and the harder it’ll be to reach in from the outside to try and secure the load in place.

    The longer the tub, the longer the ute… in most instances. Most dual-cabs in this segment of the market are in the 5.2m to 5.4m length range, so there’s a bit in it. You’ll need to check the exact dimensions for each ute before you put your money down - the last thing you want is to have to do renovations on your garage because it won’t fit.

    And the last thing to keep in mind is tub width - and, more specifically, the wheel-arch gap.

    The reason this is such a vital thing to take note of is because, if you ever need to forklift something into the tub of your ute, it may not fit.

    Australian standard pallets are 1165mm by 1165mm - so, for the majority of utes on the list you see below, they won’t stack up if you need to travel with pallets on board. Of course, there are also European pallets which measure 1200mm by 800mm, so you could fit one of those in each of the utes below, but hardly anyone uses those in Australia. Likewise, if you’re farming, an IBC measures 1200mm by 1000mm, so that leaves the same two options only - the VW Amarok and Ford Ranger.

    Here’s a table of the dimensions of the ten best selling utes in Australia, which should help you figure out which is the best fit for you. Note: these are the “midsize” utes on the market, and these figures are for dual-cab models only, since those types account for the vast majority of sales in Australia:

    • Toyota HiLux  - 1570mm length - 1645mm width - 1109mm between the arches - 481mm depth
    • Ford Ranger  - 1547mm length - 1584mm width - 1224mm between the arches 529mm depth
    • Mitsubishi Triton  - 1520mm length - 1470mm width -1085mm between the arches 475mm depth
    • Isuzu D-Max  - 1570m length - 1530mm width -1122mm between the arches 490mm depth
    • Mazda BT-50  - 1571mm length - 1530mm width -1120mm between the arches 490mm depth
    • Nissan Navara  - 1509mm length - 1560mm width -1134mm between the arches 519mm depth
    • GWM Cannon Ute  - 1561mm length - 1614mm width -1146mm between the arches 563mm depth
    • LDV T60  - 1525mm length - 1510mm width -1131mm between the arches 530mm depth
    • Volkwswagen Amarok  - 1555mm length - 1620mm width -1222mm between the arches 508mm depth
    • SsangYong Musso  - 1300mm length - 1570mm width - 1140mm between the arches 570mm depth

    Now, we need to point something out. Two of the utes on the above list also come with longer tray options available - see below:

    LDV T60 Mega Tub

    • 1760mm length
    • 1510mm width
    • 1131mm between arches
    • 530mm depth

    SsangYong Musso XLV

    • 1625mm length
    • 1570mm width
    • 1140mm between arches
    • 570mm depth

    Both of the above models have a longer wheelbase to help balance the additional tray length, as well. The T60 Mega Tub’s wheelbase is stretched by 310mm (to 3470mm), while the Musso XLV’s rear wheels are pushed backwards by 110mm (3210mm).

    These two options - the T60 Mega Tub, more so - really offer something more closely comparable to a space-cab pick-up tray, but with the practicality of a dual-cab interior space. Both are pretty long nose to tail, though (Mega Tub - 5680mm; XLV - 5409mm).

    And if you are curious, here are the comparative dimensions for the next-size-up utes on sale:

    Ram 1500

    • 1712mm length
    • 1687mm - 1270mm (with Ram Boxes) width
    • 1285mm or 1270mm (with Ram Boxes) between arches
    • 509mm depth

    Chevrolet Silverado

    • 1776mm length
    • 1814mm width
    • 1286mm between arches
    • 569mm depth

    It stands to reason that those bigger utes have bigger cargo areas, and that certainly helps if you need to load long or wide items. Just don’t expect to load up as much weight into the back of a full-size pick-up truck, as the payload limitations are significant. 

    Having stated all of the above, the tray equations are irrelevant if you decide you don’t want or need a dual-cab. An extra-cab (space cab or king cab) or single-cab will offer more size for stuff. 

    Likewise, if you decide to choose a dual-cab, you may be able to tailor your ute to your needs if choose a cab-chassis version, and get a tray to work for you, rather than you making your needs fit into a potentially unsuitable tray layout or space.

    Matt Campbell
    Matt Campbell is a Senior Contributor at CarExpert.