On September 7, Allpar broke a story on the preparation of a truck for police use, to be sold as a "special service vehicle" rather than as a pursuit truck. Neither Ford nor GM sold a pickup with a specified police package, and there is a market: commercial enforcement, game wardens, and park rangers all use pickups, along with some specialized police officers.
On November 8, 2011, Ram officially launched the Ram 1500 Special Service package for law enforcement and other emergency agencies, sold only in Crew Cab 4x4 form. A fleet brochure says that, at its core, the Special Service Group is a 220 amp alternator, cloth low-back front bucket seats with ten-way power driver's seat, vinyl folding rear bench seat, column shifter, AC outlet, engine oil cooler, extra key fob, remote entry, certified speedometer, engine hour/idle meter, cruise, and unique headliner with auxiliary dome light.
Emergency and municipal service trucks are sometimes left idling for extended periods of time. The Ram 1500 includes 100,000-mile spark plugs and a larger oil cooler to protect the engine during the unforgiving stop-and-go operations associated with first responders.
The Ram 1500 Special Service Truck includes a 220-amp alternator powering a unique wire harness, capable of providing power, ground and fusing for a variety of lighting, siren, computer, modem, radar or camera systems. The package includes a Power Distribution Center (PDC) with fusing and relays for circuits contained in the wire harness. The PDC is supplied from the battery with two separate 100-amp main fuses for camera, computer, modem and printer systems.
The unique instrument panel houses a certified speedometer with engine hour and idle hour meter and a 110-volt inverter. The truck is available with a full-face steering wheel, four key fobs and ten-way power front seats which quickly accommodate multiple drivers.
A special headliner with auxiliary dome lamp sits over stain-repellent cloth bucket seats in the first row and a vinyl bench in the second row. The center console is removed to add space for extra equipment and the shifter is located on the steering column.
The Ram 1500 Special Service truck is a Crew Cab with 125 cubic feet of interior volume. Additional welds in the front door structures handle the weight of ballistic material used by law enforcement vehicle upfitters. The truck also is available with the popular RamBox storage system. RamBox measures 50.5 inches and offers 7.3 cubic feet of lockable and lighted storage capacity.
The sole engine is the reliable 5.7-liter HEMI® V-8 with Fuel Saver Technology, coupled to the 65RFE automatic transmission, with a 5-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty.
Steel wheels wrapped with Goodyear LT 265/70R17 tires offer improved cooling to the ABS equipped 13.2-inch front vented discs and 13.8 –inch discs in the rear. The innovative coil-spring rear suspension on the Ram 1500 has provides best-in-class ride and handling both on- and off-road.
A 3.92 axle ratio, 390 horsepower and 407 lb.-ft. of torque contribute to a towing capacity of 10,000 lbs., payload of 1,455 lbs. and a GCWR of 15,500 lbs.
Observers believe the next special service vehicle to appear will be a Dodge Durango. A fully equipped Durango was shown at the COPSWEST show.
Also see: 2011 emergency vehicles show at the Walter P. Chrysler Museum
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