Chase trucks are the ultimate recovery vehicles, designed to go anywhere while carrying loads of spare parts. Common in desert racing, chase trucks are the heavy-duty multipurpose backbone than allow finicky, single-purpose buggies to reach the checkered flag. The chase trucks have to tow trailers, drive on race courses through silt beds to recover broken race cars, access remote pits, and carry a mobile fabrication shop in the process.
“The idea of a chase truck doesn’t have to be limited to the desert”
Randy Ellis’ ’01 Dodge Ram is a perfect example of a chase truck, with lots of Randy’s own custom touches. It is used to support his Class 10 buggy in races in the southwestern U.S. and Baja. Why open differentials in a vehicle designed to go anywhere? “This is a big heavy truck,” Randy Ellis explains. “If I need lockers to get there, then the Dodge probably has no business being there in the first place.” Randy’s race car is just a little 2WD, so it’s probably not going anywhere his big Dodge can’t go.
The idea of a chase truck doesn’t have to be limited to the desert. This Dodge would make a great tow rig, expedition vehicle, or work truck for construction or mobile repair. In fact, it would be a great trail rig if you like wheeling a big truck on 40s! With a stout drivetrain, big tires, and loads of storage, the possibilities are endless.
2001 Dodge Ram 2500
Engine: 5.9L 24-valve Cummins turbodiesel
Transmission: NV5600 6-speed manual
Transfer case: NV271
Front Axle: Dana 60 with 4.10 gears and open differential
Rear Axle: Dana 80 with 4.10 gears and open differential
Springs &Such: 4-inch Skyjacker coils, Bilstein 5100 shocks, custom long arms (front); 4-inch block, stock leaf springs, Bilstein 5100 shocks (rear)
Tires & Wheels: 39-inch BFGoodrich Baja T/As on 17x9 aluminum Pro Comps
Other Stuff: Randy Ellis Design front bumper, Warn 16.5 winch, Pac Bell service bed found on Craigslist, Randy Ellis Design rear bumper, KC HID lights, Randy Ellis Design chase rack, Steedaair compressor, Premier Power Welder