Thursday, 07 July 2016 06:55

Want to make that a large one?

Written by 
They don't come much bigger than the latest RAM truck. They don't come much bigger than the latest RAM truck.

Utes are big business in New Zealand, making up around 25% of the market, and seen from Ponsonby to Papatowai and all points in between.

Talking of big, they don't come much bigger than the latest RAM truck unveiled at Fieldays.

Made by the Fiat Chrysler Auto Group, and selling at a rate of 40,000 trucks a month in the US, vehicles for NZ are marketed by Ateco Group NZ.

The company, with Walkinshaw Automotive, Melbourne, has formed American Special Vehicles, which will convert the vehicles to right hand drive and offer a full factory-endorsed three year/100,000 km warranty.

The RAM is big physically -- 6m long and weighing 3.6 tonnes -- and sports big numbers under the 'skin', starting in the engine bay. A 6-cylinder Cummins turbo diesel pushes out 276kW and 1084Nm from its 6.7L, using DEF to control emissions.

The chassis's hydro-formed ladder has eight separate cross members and fully boxed rear rails for strength and stability.

Towing capacity is up to 6990kg dependent on the model, and payload 1713kg in the RAM 3500.

Keeping things moving is a 6 speed auto box with adaptive shifting using three clutch packs, dual pumps and filters and its own transmission cooling system. With a Borg Warner transfer case feeding to four wheel drive -- allowing shifting 'on the fly' and three ranges -- the rough and tumble should be easy to tame, especially in the lowest sped range.

The Ram 2500's front suspension has 3-link coils matched to a 5-link coil set-up, with multi-rate coils and fixed displacement twin tube shock absorbers.

The higher capacity RAM 3500 uses a Hotchkiss rear leaf spring format for increased towing and carrying, and a bigger stabiliser bar is credited for greater stiffness and stability, on and off the road.

In the enormous cabin it's obvious that lots of bovines have given up their hides for the sumptuous leather trimmed seats good for all shapes and sizes, aided by 10-way power adjustment, with comfort further enhanced by integral heating and ventilation.

There's also a heated, leather bound steering wheel, dual-zone climate control, tinted power windows and a 20cm touch screen display with all the usual prerequisites of audio, communications and media control.

Safety is not forgotten either: front and rear seat curtain airbags, stability control, a clever tyre pressure monitoring package, rear park assist and a rear view camera. A useful rear load area is cleverly incorporated in the high level brake light assembly.

www.ramtrucks.co.nz 

More like this

Don't throw stones

OPINION: The debate over whether it's okay to drive a petrol guzzling ute polluting our environment with carbon dioxide is getting personal.

Warlock offers a touch of magic

Having previously reviewed the RAM 1500 in 2020, we recently took the chance to get behind the wheel of the latest addition to the series - the RAM 1500 Warlock.

National

Ice broken on an old problem

Three enterprising Mackenzie College (Fairlie) students may well have come up with the perfect solution to an age-old problem of…

Cruel April Fool's joke!

In an ironic twist, the Government has pushed back the date of its so-called 'ute tax' or feebate scheme to…

Crossing the border with ease

South Auckland dairy farmer Brian Gallagher says the system that allows him and his staff to cross the border from…

Will Aussies buy Fonterra?

A planned public listing of Fonterra’s Australian business will attract investors, including dairy farmers, claims Freshagenda analyst Steve Spencer.

Machinery & Products

Keeping everyone safe

As tractors get larger and front linkage kits become more common, many have started fitting underrun or collision protection systems.

Keeping stock and drivers safe

Livestock haulers are a crucial link in the New Zealand agriculture supply chain, transporting stock onto or between farms, to…

Making lamb marking easy

Designed by a sheep and beef farmer, Vetmarkers are made in New Zealand and sold around the world.

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

The Hound

Lock him up!

OPINION: This old mutt notes that Geoff Reid, an 'environmental activist' - whose activism appears to be limited to surreptitiously…

Milking it?

OPINION: Your canine crusader understands members of the 'strategic groups' invoked in the Government-backed 'Fit for a Better World' programme…

» Connect with Rural News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter