Exclusive First Drive of Chrysler’s Big Rig Ram Concept Truck
David Kennedy –
Jun 1, 2012
Photo 1/13 | ram 5500 Long Hauler ram 5500 Long Hauler With Trailer At Iowa 80 Truck Stop | Ram 5500 Long Hauler Concept Truck
Photo 2/13 | ram 5500 Long Hauler ram 5500 Long Hauler With Trailer At Iowa 80 Truck Stop | Ram 5500 Long Hauler Concept Truck
Photo 3/13 | ram 5500 Long Hauler ram 5500 Long Hauler Badging | Ram 5500 Long Hauler Concept Truck
Photo 4/13 | ram 5500 Long Hauler fueling The Long Haulers Fuel Tank | The Long-Hauler’s purpose is to push the limits of what the core Cummins-powered Ram can do. To that end, it was fitted with three fuel tanks: the stock 22-gallon tank, a 38-gallon mid-ship tank, and a 110-gallon auxiliary tank. Based on our testing, the truck is capable of towing 13,500 pounds from Boston to Miami on a single fill-up.
Photo 5/13 | ram 5500 Long Hauler bed With Trailer Hooked Up | There were so many features to love about the Long-Hauler, but one of the first ideas we’re stealing for our own truck is adding these under-rail LED lights, which make hooking the trailer up so much easier.
Photo 6/13 | ram 5500 Long Hauler long Hauler Next To Semi Truck | Concept vehicles rarely ever get driven, and they’re never loaned out for cross-country towing tests. Chrysler must have been extremely confident in this Long-Hauler to let us take it from Detroit to Los Angeles.
Photo 7/13 | ram 5500 Long Hauler airing Up The Tires With On Board Air | The Ram Long-Hauler is the brainchild of Trevor Garvey. Garvey is an avid RV hauler and drives a Ram 3500 dualie every day. It’s that kind of personal experience that fueled innovations like the truck’s 170-gallon fuel system, the air suspension, and the two handy, compressed-air fittings located at either end of the vehicle.
Photo 8/13 | ram 5500 Long Hauler ram Long Hauler Next To Class At And Crew Cab Ram | To give you some sense of how large a 70-foot-long truck and trailer is, we parked the Long-Hauler between Gabe Salazar’s Quad Cab Ram and this Class 8 tractor-trailer.
Photo 9/13 | ram 5500 Long Hauler truck And Trailer Rear Three Quarter | Going down the road with a gross vehicle weight of 25,380 pounds used to mean we’d have both hands locked in a death grip on the steering wheel, the radio would be off, and we’d be exhausted from the stress and concentration required. None of that even occurred to us going down the road in this precisely balanced towing machine. We confidently cruised through snowstorms, drove long into the night, and even verified the Long-Hauler’s best-in-class top speed of 87 mph without ever breaking a sweat.
Photo 10/13 | ram 5500 Long Hauler aux Gauges And Radio | An EGT, boost, and rear axle temperature gauge were added to this custom-built center stack. We never saw EGT go beyond 1,050 degrees, but the boost gauge told us the engine was making 25 psi as we climbed every hill.
Photo 11/13 | ram 5500 Long Hauler dana S111 Rear Axle | The Dana S111 rear axle features a 121⁄4-inch ring gear and holds so much gear lube we only saw its oil temperature creep above 170 degrees one time during our entire trip.
Photo 12/13 | ram 5500 Long Hauler model In Rear Of Long Hauler | The Long-Hauler’s custom Longhorn interior is like something out of a private jet. The sumptuous leather interior features fold-out work trays, power-actuated footrests, three 110-volt power points, a refrigerator, and there’s even a gun safe under the seat. To top it all off, there’s a rear seat DVD system and the truck acts as its own WiFi hotspot.
Photo 13/13 | ram 5500 Long Hauler ram 5500 Long Hauler Next To The Beach | The Ram 5500 Long-Hauler’s long haul came to an end on the sands of the Pacific Ocean. It was 50 degrees warmer in L.A. than it was 3,047 miles ago when we started our trip in Detroit. We averaged 10.1 mpg for the entire trip, and every mile was a pleasure. We can’t thank the Ram Truck Team enough for giving us this opportunity. Now do the right thing—and put this truck into production!