“R150 000 for four pieces of plastic! Fokkit, are you okes crazy!”

It’s a 50 / 50 scenario, some guys hear the price of an Arctic Truck conversion and their only reply is: “So, when can I bring her in?” Others, are bowled over by the price. And why wouldn’t they be? It’s a lot money. Heck, if someone tried to sell us a wheel-arch kit for R150k we’d think they were bloody crazy, too. But that’s the misconception, it’s not a kit, it’s a conversion.

Typically speaking, an Arctic Truck takes anywhere between one and two weeks to complete. That’s 10 days or cutting, welding, moving, molding, shaping, fitting and matching countless components. In the case of the Prado 150 we recently built, that vehicle had its interior, fenders, bumpers, headlights and axles stripped off the chassis. Even the floor pan was cut and modified. Getting 33-inch tyres to fit a standard 4×4 is not easy. Getting 35-inch tyres to fit the same vehicle is twice as hard. Doing so, without performing overly jacked-up suspension mods, is borderline impossible.

Prado build (10 of 1)

A Prado 150 being stripped down for an Arctic Truck conversion. We’re about half way there in this pic.

Shamefully, many years ago we did the same thing. Clients would bring us their vehicles and ask for oversized tyres. Back then, not many South African 4×4 companies thought past the idea of installing pillar-like body spacers, extra leaf springs akin to railway tracks, and / or super cranked torsion bars that were tighter than a camel’s arse in a sand storm. The primary problem with building a 4×4 this way, is that the client is never happy. And who can blame him? Vehicles with ridiculously tall suspension lifts are generally kak to drive. The driveshaft angles are a balls up, and the steering geometry looks like it was built by Kermit The Frog and a team marijuana-smoking Muppets.

When we first came across Arctic Trucks, it was a revelation: keep the vehicle’s moving components as standard as possible, and make the tyres fit through a process of clearance and body / chassis modifications. The workload is extensive. What’s more, as per our contract with Arctic Trucks (Iceland), the workmanship must be of the highest possible quality, and carried out to their specifications. (Arctic Truck conversions are Toyota approved in Iceland)

Prado build 2 (10 of 1)

So, if you ever get the chance to drive a genuine Arctic Truck (not a hack ’n tap job), take it for a spin. You’ll be amazed at how stock standard the vehicle feels. Until then, head down to our Pretoria branch and check out our 35-inch Prado 150. Or pop in at our JHB office and see what we’re up to over there. Despite our best efforts, the photographs never do these vehicles justice. Call 012 8031040 or 011 7913822. 

Happy wheeling!


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