I've raced 5 Dakar Rallies (finishing 2 of them - it's as tough as they say!), 3 Silk Way Rallies (finishing 2) and a bunch of other races but it's time to hang up my racing boots! As I came to this epiphany I of course was in the midst of building a brand new support truck. The truck is located near Montreal Quebec and can be shipped anywhere in the world. My goal is simply to recover my costs. The truck was ordered before the Covid craziness changed prices so I think this could be a great value for someone looking for a specialist vehicle like this. I will share all my true costs (rounded to the nearest hundred) in USD using a 75 cent exchange rate from Canadian $. I have all the invoices to share one on one.
Here's the overview:
2022 Ram 5500 4x4 Tradesman edition ($64,300 USD)
vinyl seats and floors
dual fuel tanks
6 seat belts
manual 4WD shift
Original Cab to Axle length of 84"
Frame was lengthened by a specialist truck shop to add 28" so C.A is now 112". Frame Extension cost $5,200 USD
Truck is mounted on Super Singles made by DBL. These are 20 x 10 inch wheels with 335/80R20 Continental tires. The truck will come with 2 spares, so 6 of these wheels in total ($8500 invoice)
Truck only has 338 km on it - it spent all winter in my shop being worked on and hasn't done anything other than some test drives. I also spent 6 month waiting for a bloody ProCal from AEV so I could reprogram the truck to recognize the bigger wheels and didn't want to drive it until then.
Rhino Rack heavy duty roof rack ($1500 invoice)
AEV front bumper, Warn 16,500 lb winch, LED bar ($5300)
N-Fab side steps ($1,200)
Total = $86,000. Note that this doesn't include any of my time or my mechanic's time to install everything (the front fenders alone were a major job to fit those 41"!) That's a killer price for anyone who wants to build a super single rig as the work on the truck is all done.
Dakar Support Cargo Box
This box was previously on a Fuso chassis. We loved the Fuso for its size but it just didn't have the payload or the HP to handle the full load and to be able to travel at a good enough speed. As we moved the box to the Ram we made a lot of improvements based on our learnings from the previous races. It's an AWESOME cargo box - really well thought out. Here are the uses I see for this box:
Long Rallies (eg Dakar, Silk Way)
1 race car (2WD or 4WD)
3 motorcycles - pro or semi-pro level
4 motorcycles - semi-pro or privateer level
Short rallies (i.e. MDC, Sonora, Mexican 1000):
2 race cars (of same type)
3 UTVs (of same type)
4 motorcycles - pro or semi-pro
6 motorcycles - amateur or privateer
Dirt Bike Support Truck - this would be an amazing machine to support off-road tours for 8-10 riders in places like the US SW or Baja
Stage Rally support Truck
Box Build - dimensions
The cargo box is made of Aluminum and was built to survive rough roads in South America and central Asia. It was built to fit inside a shipping container so it's just a bit smaller than the door opening of a 45' High Cube (note that the Ram truck is 2 inches too wide to fit in a container but could fit if it had "travel wheels" (narrower). I didn't bother with this because Ro-Ro ships are so much cheaper than container ships now.) The dimensions of the box are:
Length 4.4m on the frame = 14.4'
Length 5.3M total = 17.4'
Width 2.2m = 7.2'
Height above the frame rail 1.85m (shower extends below frame rail) = 6.1'
It's rock solid and was overbuilt by a master aluminum welder from Slovakia... It includes:
Full LED lighting inside and out
2 Spare Wheel/Tire racks for the truck tires - on rear
4 max track boards on a quick access rack on rear
300L water tank
full size (and I mean 3XL) shower stall with hot and cold water which doubles as the storage box for the large EZ UP tent and work tables
E-Tracks galore - the roof has 5 rows of e-track to be able to secure spare tires, body panels, etc.
18 cubby shelves which fit 60L waterproof HD storage bins - the bins will come with the Box.
6 cubby shelves which fit the classic 120L Dakar "Malle Moto" boxes
Compressor lines with one spool on service side and air jack points throughout.
110V plugs throughout (hooked up to generator)
large open area on passenger side which can handle 3-4 dirt bikes, 1-2 ADV bikes, or a lot of car racing parts... This area has wire mesh grills throughout to be able to zip tie parts onto the grill for fast access.
This box cost at least $70,000 to build but I know it's a specialized thing. I hope someone new can support their dreams with it.
Here's a list of accessories within the box which I can leave or remove.
ARB Zero 100L fridge/freezer on a slide-out. $2,000
Honda 6500 Generator (about 8 years old - runs perfectly) $3500
Yeti 3000 power pack - brand new - this now powers the fridge, the LED lights and all the battery pack chargers for tools $4,000. The Yeti is charged up by the Ram's alternator when the truck runs and lasts more than 24 hrs when fully loaded with fridge, lights, battery chargers running. If the truck won't be running the Yeti can be charged by 110V.
13 x 26' Impact Canopy HD tent $3,000
Off-road floor Jack (large wheels) $500
Total price for Accessories: $14,000
Total Price for Truck+Box+all Accessories is $135,000. Scenarios:
A. If someone buys everything I'll go for $119,000 but shipping is at the cost of the buyer.
B. If they just want the truck my price is firm at $86,000 - the value is excellent, it's brand new, and I'll have the hassle of removing the box.
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