Dodge / Ram
The Ram Long-Hauler concept was designed for those who have a trailer to tow and a long distance to travel, but don’t want to move up to a Class 6 truck. Based on the Class 5 Ram 5500 Chassis Cab, the Ram Long-Hauler has a six-cylinder 6.7-liter high output Cummins turbodiesel engine rated at 800 lb.-ft. of torque mated to a reliable six-speed Aisin AS68RC automatic transmission. Four wheel drive is handled via a transfer case coupled to a 4.88 Dana 110 axle with dual rear wheels.
The Class 5 Ram Crew Cab has been converted to a Mega Cab configuration, with an 8-foot box. A mid-ship fuel tank was combined with a second frame-mounted tank and a third bed-mounted tool box/auxiliary tank, giving the Long-Hauler a total fuel capacity of 170 gallons. At the national average price of diesel (time of launch), a fill-up would cost over $706 for a fill-up — but one fuel stop is all the truck may need for a coast-to-coast trip.
Still, 170 gallons seems excessive, considering it weighs 1,215 pounds or so — that must hurt gas mileage a bit. And buyers will still need to stop for bathroom breaks at some point.
Reader JTE wrote: “The Mega Cab was proposed to upper management by a group of engineers, designers, and technicians. I found Dieter Zetsche and Wolfgang Bernhard receptive to innovation and a certain amount of risk taking. “We knew the only way to sell it was to keep as much common with existing components. The 160" wheelbase was the longest that could make a sharp turn on the Saltillo assembly line. Change made to the line for the medium duty trucks have open up the potential for the Long Hauler. “Once the Mega Cab became an official program, some seating and stowage ideas were lost to the lowest bidder, such as folding the back and base of the seat up and pushing them to the back for an open floor, lower to the ground, for taller items (big TVs). It would also fold to give a larger cargo area (sleeper), higher off the ground.”
The Long Hauler has a 197.4–inch wheelbase and 37,500 Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR), taking it beyond the capability of traditional Class 3 or Class 4 trucks. Overall length of the Ram Long-Hauler is 288 inches, so parallel parking is an issue unless two spaces happen to be available. The Long Hauler is 79.1 inches tall and tips the scales at an estimated 9,300 lbs.
It may seem like an extravagance in times of rising fuel prices, but by avoiding the purchase of a heavier, less economical truck, it can actually be a fuel saver for its target audience.
To improve the ride and handling, the Long Hauler has full Kelderman Air Suspension front and rear and 19.5-inch Alcoa aluminum wheels. The folks at Ram claim the ride is like a 3/4 ton truck. The suspension is self-leveling and has a kneel feature.
Trailer hook-ups are aided by a fifth-wheel hitch and a setup that allows hook-ups without opening the tailgate. There's also a camera to help line up with a trailer.
The Ram Long Hauler concept is finished in brilliant black paint accented by white gold metallic lower two-tone including body side moldings and wide wheel flares at the front and rear. Up front, there's a full-width bull bar.
Inside, noise levels have been reduced by upgraded NVH package. Four leather seats include a higher-comfort driver's seat. Rear passengers get power-adjustable footrests and a rear center console with a refrigerator, cup holders and tray tables. Front and rear 115V and 12V outlets are available and with the interior Wi-Fi enabled, passengers can use laptop computers during long drives. Rear seat passengers can opt for a movie on the DVD system with overhead screen; there’s also a laptop storage area and a safe for valuables.
The rear seats and console also fold flat for additional storage or as a berth for resting.
Ram sees the potential market for a Class 5 pickup, including race car teams, car haulers, RV owners, ranchers and rodeo competitors, boaters and commercial expediting operations.
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