Top tow truck of 2016

Matamata Chronicle - - Out & About - MO­TOR­ING

It’s easy to take one look at the Ram 2500 Laramie and go off on a tan­gent about over­sized Amer­i­cana and en­gine brakes. Feel free. We’ve done that a lot.

But the Ram does ac­tu­ally have a se­ri­ous pur­pose.

The 2500 can tow 6989kg with the cor­rect tow­bar hard­ware, which makes it po­ten­tially use­ful to a num­ber of in­dus­tries - con­struc­tion and marine spring to mind - where it can serve as both day-to-day trans­port and se­ri­ous heavy-duty tow ma­chine.

It’s an ex­pen­sive pickup for sure, but it could po­ten­tially re­place two ve­hi­cles in a com­pany fleet. In that re­spect it’s unique in the Kiwi ute world. It’s a tough truck and if you want any­thing with a greater tow­ing ca­pac­ity you’ll have to go and buy an ac­tual, truck.

Ram is an Amer­i­can icon and our ver­sion is the re­sult of a col­lab­o­ra­tive right-hand-drive build be­tween the fac­tory and Amer­i­can Spe­cial Ve­hi­cles (ASV) in Aus­tralia.You might call it a ‘‘con­ver­sion’’, ASV prefers the term ‘‘re­man­u­fac­ture’’. What­ever, it’s an im­pres­sive job.

The ve­hi­cles are shipped from Mex­ico with Kiwi-spe­cific in­fo­tain­ment sys­tems and the like, and key parts have have been re­designed and re­man­u­fac­tured by ASV (steer­ing box, for ex­am­ple) for RHD.

We’ve stuck to the Ram 2500 here as it’s the one we’ve eval­u­ated, but there’s also a 3500, with leaf springs in­stead of coils at the back. It car­ries more in the tray (1700kg) but tows less (6170kg). The Ram can be as se­ri­ous as you need it to be.

$163,000 6.7-litre turbo-diesel straight six with 276kW/1084Nm, 6-speed au­to­matic, all-wheel drive.

Of­fi­cial fig­ure not avail­able, not ex­actly thrifty: 17.4 l/100km for our test.

Price: econ­omy: Pow­er­train: Fuel

SUP­PLIED

You can’t deny the pres­ence. But Ram of­fers unique sell­ing propo­si­tion as a work­ing truck.

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