This Ram is no meek sheep

Yan­kee mus­cle power...

Big Rigs - - DRIVE LINE FEATURE - Grant Ed­wards Grant.Ed­wards@ news­re­gional­me­dia.com.au

LOOK at the grille. Sub­tle as a punch in the face.

The quin­tes­sen­tial big Amer­i­can pick-up, Ram Trucks’ Laramie makes no apolo­gies for be­ing brash and in­tim­i­dat­ing.

When you dwarf a Ford Ranger or a Toy­ota HiLux you know you’re at the helm of a beast.

Yet the Laramie some­how man­ages to feel smaller than its hefty pro­por­tions, and not like be­ing at the wheel of a B-dou­ble.

Driv­ing the hulk­ing pick-up mar­ket is the grey no­mads and the pony club set. When it comes time to haul big ton­nage, then it’s one of these im­mense Yanks you holler.

Dur­ing re­cent times “gross ve­hi­cle mass” has been at the fore­front of con­cern for grey no­mads.

Crack­downs in New South Wales and Vic­to­ria have found many car­a­vans to be over­weight – with a com­bi­na­tion of in­cor­rect com­pli­ance plates, un­der­pow­ered tow ve­hi­cles and in­ex­pe­ri­enced driv­ers caus­ing is­sues.

With an abil­ity to haul braked trail­ers up to 4500kg on the stan­dard ball, the Laramie makes mince meat of just about any home on wheels.

Or get Pinto to pony club with sub­lime ease.

Dur­ing re­cent years we’ve seen a many con­ver­sion ex­perts un­der­take the left-hand drive mod­i­fi­ca­tions to a range of pick-up trucks, in­clud­ing the Ford F-Truck and Toy­ota Tun­dra, but the Ram op­er­a­tion is slightly dif­fer­ent.

Wield­ing the tools is Mel­bourne-based Walkin­shaw Au­to­mo­tive Group – the same crew re­spon­si­ble for the Holden Spe­cial Ve­hi­cles – which was founded by the Bri­tish en­gi­neer, race car driver and en­trepreneur Tom Walkin­shaw, who died in 2010.

Us­ing state-of-the-art fa­cil­i­ties to make the change from left to right-hand drive seamless, our test ve­hi­cle was tight as a drum.

A mas­sive amount of work goes into mak­ing the Ram Truck a right hooker, in­clud­ing ac­cess­ing a new steer­ing box that is de­signed and pro­duced by the orig­i­nal man­u­fac­turer. Mil­lions has been in­vested and it shows in the fi­nal prod­uct with no gaps, cracks or noises.

De­spite lum­mox pro­por­tions, the Laramie is rea­son­ably easy to nav­i­gate.

High­way trav­els are sim­ple and easy in the dual cab, of­ten you for­get about the hulk­ing size un­til pass­ing an­other ute where you make a HiLux look like a Fiat 500.

The large col­umn shifter takes some mus­cle and rekin­dles “three on the tree” days (the mil­len­ni­als would have no idea what that’s all about).

Just shift­ing into drive is typ­i­cal of the ex­pe­ri­ence be­hind the Laramie wheel.

You need to be brash, a lit­tle ballsy, tough and con­fi­dent.

The big six-cylin­der Cum­mins turbo diesel gets things mov­ing sur­pris­ingly quickly.

PLENTY OF GRUNT: The Ram Trucks Laramie 2500 4x4 Crew Cab.

PHO­TOS: IAIN CURRY

Check out the RamBox in the 2017 Ram Trucks 2500 Laramie.

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