Winter Testing Season at Ram Truck
In places like Houghton, Michigan and Bemidji, Minnesota, Ram Trucks is gearing up for the Winter Testing Season. As the degrees dip below zero around this time of year and snowfall begins to be measured in feet instead of inches, the engineering teams at Ram Engineering are beginning to ready Ram trucks for a run through the frosty elements as a means of identifying the durability to ensure that they hold up perfectly. This takes place around the same time every year.
The primary reason that the Ram Engineering team waits until it becomes so chilly is due to the fact that the conditions need to be close to the extreme in order to account for any situation that a customer or operator of a Ram truck might find themselves in. Three of the core areas these are evaluated in include the ability to start immediately, warm up in a quick manner and run just as well as normal in such settings.
Standard testing for these vehicles takes place in a number of facilities situated in Michigan and Arizona, which happen to be the two primary proving grounds of Ram. It is there that full examinations occur, which investigates practically every aspect of the models offered by Ram, aside from how they perform during extreme climates.
The Cold Trip, referred to as such by Ram Engineering, travels to Houghton, Michigan for one portion of the winter analysis and Bemidji, Minnesota for the other. Houghton is typically utilized for the blizzard-like weather that tends to persist in the area around this time of year. Bemidji, Minnesota is used by the Ram Engineering team mostly for its exceedingly cold temperatures, as Ram trucks are actually left to sit in this chilled air for lengthy periods of time in order to assess if they hold up well under such cold.
In the first phase of this inquiry, the Ram trucks are taken through large amounts of slush. In order to create these types of roads, it must be around 28 degrees outside. Once this has been reached, de-icer is spread onto the covered roads in order to bring them to a thick mixture. This is done during the day so that the night can bring it to a slightly more solid state that makes it more difficult to drive on. The slosh will begin to become encased in ice and settle around brakes and fuel lines, as well as other components.
In order for this to take place, the Ram Engineering team takes them onto the covered roads during the daytime and then places them into a refrigeration facility during the night hours, which is set to 20 below zero. As the truck is initially built to withstand any hard freeze that develops wherein certain components will become iced, this will help to make sure that they were built correctly. Once the morning comes, engineers hold an inspection to ensure that everything still works as intended, including the engine, the windshield wipers, the rolling mechanism of the windows and the defrosting system.
The next phase is known as the Arctic Blast. This pits the Ram trucks against extremely low temps, high winds and ice to see if the trucks can withstand it. The Ram Engineering team takes a large amount of trucks and drives them in-line for several hours on end. They will change positions, with the leader incorporating what is known as a “drag” move designed to spray snow and ice onto the others behind. Throughout this check, components like the defrost system, lights and windshield wipers will continuously be switched on and off to ensure that they are in working order. The reason this is so important is because many will begin to suffer from clogged air intake that can adversely affect different aspects of the truck. Ram trucks have a system in place that pulls air from an inlet under the hood when this occurs, which allows for any water and other liquid to be cleared from the system.
The Ram Engineering team also uses this time to determine the plowing capabilities of the trucks that are routinely used by plow operators. The reason for this is due to the fact that the 2500 and 3500 Ram trucks are highly popular among plow operators. Both of these come with an optional package that includes every accessory and add-on that an operator would need. During this phase, greater than 10,000 tons are plowed in an effort to assess whether or not they are working as intended for such an operation. Since tires can’t generally gain much traction when plowing, 500 pounds of extra weight are added to the bed of the truck over the rear axle. This is done to see if the standard tire pressure can hold up well when taken over low-traction instances.
All Ram trucks come with a bevy of additional features designed to assist operators during the wintertime. SiriusXM Travel and Traffic are available, with a 911 call system included as well. Ram trucks provide additional access to a remote start key fob that will automatically turn on the defrost system, as well as a heating system for the steering wheel and seats. Different bed options provide extra traction, while the rear window includes a defroster and power sliding. Overall, there are many more features available in these trucks that may come in handy when traveling during the winter.