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  • 2013 Ram 2500 - The Hardest Working Rig in Show Business

2013 Ram 2500 - The Hardest Working Rig in Show Business

Air’s Apparent

Brian Lohnes
May 27, 2016
Photographers: John Jackson
As diesel enthusiasts we view our trucks in a different light than perhaps anyone else in the hot rodding and high-performance world. Case in point is this ’13 Ram 2500 Mega Cab owned by Jeff Kelderman of Kelderman Air Suspension Systems. You see, the truck is not just a beefed-up, Cummins-powered daily driver, it’s also a primary work truck for Jeff’s business that hauls a massive trailer around the country to events like the SEMA Show and many others. The rig is a perfect example of how Diesel Power devotees are able to mix their work with their fun.
When building a setup like this one, the goals and objectives have to be clearly defined. Knowing that the truck would handle daily driving duties as well as the company’s hauling needs, being comfortable made it to the top of Jeff’s priority list. Once that direction was set, a Ram Mega Cab became a prime choice to use as a foundation. The truck’s cavernous cab allows plenty of room to spread out and soak up the miles, and the 6.7L Cummins engine is a stable powertrain base to build from. As you can probably imagine, Jeff’s ’13 model did not stay stock for long. With truck suspensions being Kelderman’s specialty, the truck’s underpinnings were the first items that were modified. While we’re confident that some of you may have heard (or even told) horror stories about towing heavy loads with poorly sorted or cobbled-together suspensions, Jeff wanted to prove that using the right components and engineering and making good choices can be the difference between building a stable, solid driver and a wandering accident waiting to happen.
Photo 2/13   |   003 2013 Ram Megacab Front Three Quarter
With the intention of improving vehicle control and ride quality, Jeff started the upgrades by swapping the factory rear leaf springs and shocks with his company’s 4-Link Rear Air Suspension system. Focus was then directed to the front, where Kelderman’s 2-Stage Front Air Suspension and dual sets of Bilstein 7100 shocks were added, to give the truck a 3-inch lift. A Kelderman adjustable front track bar and dual steering stabilizer bracket were also added.
All of this comprises a truck that not only looks the the part; it’s plenty capable of pulling a 38-foot, 16,000-pound trailer.
Reliability and strength also weighed heavily on Jeff’s decisions about engine upgrades. The ’13 6.7L Cummins is rated at 370 hp and 800 lb-ft of torque from the factory. And while some people may consider that enough, Jeff knew that a little more was needed. Snow Performance water-methanol injection, an AFE cold-air-intake system, and an Edge Evolution programmer give the engine more kick, as well as provide some protection on long tows up steep grades and in harsh weather conditions. A Titan Fuel Tanks auxiliary rear tank increases the rig’s cruising range as well.
Photo 3/13   |   002 2013 Ram Megacab Rolling
Jeff Kelderman’s ’13 Ram 2500 was built to do exactly what it is doing here: Cruise down the highway while pulling a heavy load, and get it done in a comfortable and safe manner. Having a strong visual impact was also part of Jeff’s plan. Mission accomplished!

While the majority of these upgrades are out of sight and in places where only hardcore truck lovers might look, the truck’s exterior is not something that Jeff wanted to be subtle. The body and the trailer received a dramatic, “Kryptic Typhon” wrap by Boise, Idaho’s CMYK Grafix, so people will remember the Ram 2500 represents Kelderman Air Suspension Systems. The Kelderman 3-piece front bumper houses 4-inch Rigid E-Series lights, a grill that holds twin Rigid SR 6-inch light bars, and a Warn Industries 16.5ti Thermometric winch that’s ready to work, in the event this monster encounters an obstacle it cannot scale or slog through.
The back of Jeff’s rig sports a Kelderman rear bumper with the same Rigid E-Series lights as the front. A Pace Edwards Bedlocker Electric retractable tonneau cover keeps the bed enclosed and its contents safe. The fifth-wheel hitch uses a B&W turnover ball, and AMP Research retractable steps allow riders easier ingress and egress to and from the cab.
The 20x10-inch wheels are a unique design that the crew at Kelderman cooked up and Fuel Off-Road executed, and they’re wrapped in 295/65/R20 Toyo AT2 tires.
Inside the cab is just as it left the assembly line, aside from the addition of Kicker’s 6x9-inch door speakers powered subwoofer, and 4- channel amplifier. There’s also a slick custom panel for light switches in the center console.
Photo 4/13   |   004 2013 Ram Megacab Rear Suspension
Kelderman Air Suspension Systems’ 4-link setup in the rear provides great stability when pulling eight tons down the road. The American Axle Manufacturing rear end is upgraded with 4.10 gears and a PML cover.

Whether it is serving as daily transportation, hauling a 12 point buck out of the forest, or pulling eight tons of Cyclone toy hauler (which also is upgraded with Kelderman’s leaf spring axle trailer air suspension), this ’13 Ram 2500 is in its element. A rig that serves as rolling proof that no one has it better when it comes to mixing work and play than diesel-performance lovers!
Fast Facts:
Year/Make/Model: ’13 Ram 2500
Owner: Jeff Kelderman
Hometown: Oskaloosa, Iowa
Odometer: 45,500 miles
Engine: 6.7L Cummins I-6 with Snow Performance water-methanol injection
Programming: Edge Evolution programmer
Fuel: Stock fuel system with Titan Fuel Tanks auxiliary spare tire mount fuel tank
Air: Stock turbocharger and intercooler, AFE Power cold air intake
Exhaust: Stock
Transmission: Stock
Power: 370 hp
Torque: 800 lb-ft
Tires: 295/65/R20 Toyo AT2
Wheels: 20x10 Fuel Off-Road with one-off Kelderman design
Suspension: Kelderman Air Suspension Systems 4-Link Rear Air Suspension (rear); 2-Stage Front Air Suspension modified for dual Bilstein 7100 Series shocks, adjustable track bar, double steering stabilizers (front); dual Viair Corporation 444 compressors, and a Kelderman air-dryer system with an Air Lift Performance control system
Axles: American Axle Manufacturing 11.5-inch, Yukon Gear & Axle 4.10 gears, PML differential covers, and a Dynatrac free-spin front hub kit
Body: CMYK Grafix Kryptek Typhon wrap, Rigid 52-inch curved light bar, 4-inch E-Series and 6-inch SR lights, Kelderman 3-piece winch front bumper , , grill , rear bumper , Pace Edwards Bedlocker Electric retractable tonneau cover, AMP Research retractable steps, and a Warn Industries 16.5ti Thermometric winch
Interior: Kicker 6x9-inch speakers, powered subwoofer, 4-channel amp, and a custom light-switch panel in center console
Fun Fact: Jeff Kelderman daily drives this Ram 2500 and is an avid bow hunter. He bagged a 12-point buck and hauled it home in the bed of the truck before taking the entire rig to the 2015 SEMA show.
Photo 5/13   |   005 2013 Ram Megacab Front Suspension
The pickup’s front end has such interesting custom touches as dual sets of Bilstein 7100 Series shocks.
Photo 6/13   |   006 2013 Ram Megacab Front Suspension2
Installing dual steering stabilizers and an adjustable track bar allowed the Kelderman crew to really dial this truck in. Like lots of diesel-powered rigs, Jeff’s is a daily driver and a work truck. As such, good ride quality was a big part of the design goal.
Photo 7/13   |   007 2013 Ram Megacab Trailer Suspension
You didn’t think they would leave the trailer stock, did you? The 38-foot Cyclone is also upgraded with a Kelderman air suspension. Like all of the company’s products, the hauler-specific systems are engineered and built in Iowa.
Photo 8/13   |   008 2013 Ram Megacab Wheel
Fuel Off-Road designed and built a set of custom, one-off, 20x10 wheels that really compliment the truck’s appearance.
Photo 9/13   |   009 2013 Ram Megacab Engine
While the stock 6.7L Cummins I-6 engine is a strong piece, Jeff wanted to ensure the engine will stand up to the tens of thousands of working miles it travels each year. The AFE Power cold-air- intake system, Snow Performance water-methanol injection, and Edge Evolution programmer work together to give the big mill a little extra oomph.
Photo 10/13   |   010 2013 Ram Megacab Bumper
A Kelderman 3-piece bumper holds Warn Industries’ 16.5ti Thermometric winch along with a compliment of Rigid E-Series lights. The Kelderman grill completes a seriously menacing front fascia.
Photo 11/13   |   011 2013 Ram Megacab Interior
The spacious and comfortable Mega Cab interior carries driver and passengers in a mostly stock fashion. The stereo is enhanced with Kicker 6x9-inch speakers, amp, and a powered subwoofer for cranking the tunes on those long road trips.
Photo 12/13   |   012 2013 Ram Megacab Dash
Here you can see the controllers for the Edge Evolution programmer as well as the suspension system. All four corners of the suspension can be adjusted independently.
Photo 13/13   |   013 2013 Ram Megacab Truck Trailer
The finishing touch on this truck and trailer tandem is the Kryptek Typhon wrap applied by CMYK Grafix in Boise, Idaho. With the Rigid lights and stealth bomber looks, Jeff’s ’13 Ram 2500 commands a lot of attention when it rolls down the highways of America.

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