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Caught On Camera: Ram Spied Testing a 5500 Heavy Duty with a Pickup Bed

Posted in News on May 5, 2016
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Looking at these pictures, the ill-informed wonder why we’re devoting spyshot coverage to a vehicle that already exists, a Ram Heavy Duty dualie. But look closer and notice that the model designation reads “5500,” reflecting a Class 5 truck. Currently, Ram only sells its Class 5 as a chassis cab, while this example is fit with a dualie cargo box. Furthermore, the box is from a previous-generation Dodge Ram, not the current-generation Ram 3500.

Ram’s reasoning behind testing such a vehicle is a little bit mysterious, but we have a few ideas. The company’s 2012 Longhauler concept was a 5500-based pickup with a conventional 8-foot bed and an auxiliary fuel tank grafted in the space between the cargo box and the crew cab. Although this truck’s shorter wheelbase and more conventional proportions don’t suggest a production version of the Longhauler, they add grist to the rumor mill that Ram might bring a consumer-oriented version of the 5500 to the brand’s lineup.

Such a vehicle would be ideally suited to do battle with the upcoming Ford F-450 Super Duty, a model that, in its previous generation, claimed top towing rights away from the Ram brand for a time. You can bet Ford intends on regaining its crown with the next F-450. That would set the stage for a Ram 4500 or 5500 pickup, giving truck customers two 10-lug options for their tow machines.

The Ram medium-duty pickup has a few obstacles in its way, including mounting the bed to the frame. The 4500 and 5500 have completely different chassis compared to the 3500, so the latter’s pickup box doesn’t fit onto the former’s body. Wiring and bumper mounting are two more challenges, as evidenced by this vehicle’s cobbled-together appearance. Still, we know more than a few weekend racers, off-road enthusiasts, equestrians, and overland travelers who’d love to have a big Ram as their tow vehicle, so maybe the company is onto something here.

Source: Glenn Paulina/KGP Photography

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