The Cummins diesel features a class-exclusive exhaust brake that comes with either transmission. It uses the engine’s variable geometry turbocharger (VGT) and a sliding compressor sleeve to engine brake the truck instead of relying on the transmission and wheel brakes during hill descents. It works by restricting exhaust gas flow to create back pressure in the cylinders, slowing piston action down. According to Mr. Repp, Cummins says the 6.7-liter exhaust brake is more effective than its bigger commercial cousin, the Jake Brake.
There are two available fuel tanks. A standard 52-gallon rear in-frame mounted tank and an optional 22-gallon side reservoir bolted mid-ship. The 52-gallon tank has a tap, so you can use its fuel to power a diesel generator.
All of the features described above are just the starting point for commercial buyers. The sky’s the limit when it comes to upfitting and customizing these trucks to fulfill their service tasks.
One finished truck Mr. Repp showed us was purchased by a power company to perform line work in the field, such as moving transformers and powering air saws. It was furnished with an elaborate utility body that included a crane, foldout workshop-style platforms, secure toolboxes, and an onboard diesel-powered air compressor.
"A customer is going to buy this truck and say, 'hmmm, what am I going to do?' They know the truck can be very customized. It all gets down to the universal appeal of what a commercial truck is. To us, we sell them the platform and then they customize and use it to their specs. And our customers aren't going to treat these trucks with kid gloves. They're going to beat the heck out of them," says Mr. Repp.
The Dodge Ram 3500 Chassis Cab is available from any Dodge dealer, but 4500/5500 Chassis Cabs can only be purchased from a certified Dodge BusinessLink dealer. There are about 400 nationwide and they are specially trained and certified to sell and service these trucks. Among the requirements, a hoist in the service bay capable of lifting up to 30,000-pounds during repairs.
Now that’s heavy duty.