Remember last year's Ram Long-Hauler Concept? It of 197.7-inch-wheelbase, mirror-filling width and a 37,500-pound Gross Vehicle Weight Rating? Fred Diaz and company want to build it.
Diaz, President and CEO of Ram, told reporters at its Auburn Hills headquarters this morning that its dealers are hot-to-trot over the idea of having a four-door MegaCab model yoked to an eight-foot bed and a 6.7-liter Cummins diesel. The 5500-chassis-based dually is aptly named, as it holds an astonishing 170 gallons of fuel, perfect for transcontinental journeys. (Fun factoid: At today's average diesel fuel price of $4.125/gal, that means a single fill-up would be over $700!)
According to Diaz, Ram wanted to roll the Long-Hauler Concept out on stage at its national dealer meeting in Las Vegas last week, but couldn't – the company managing the facility told Diaz that the 9,300-pound behemoth was too big to make it on stage. Instead, the executive put an image of the 24-foot-long truck on an overhead screen only to have dealers cheer loudly. In fact, Diaz says response to the notion of a production Long-Hauler has been "absolutely staggering." The rig received a similarly warm welcome at last spring's Mid-America Trucking Show, where it was first revealed. Between public and dealer feedback, Ram – whose heavy-duty truck sales have been on a tear lately – feels that the concept has such validity for commercial customers that might otherwise buy a Class III or IV chassis that it's working on a business case for the Long-Hauler right now.