Dodge Ram 3500 Does the Trick

Sand is an especially dangerous terrain to try to haul a stuck truck. Worse, it usually means the recovery vehicle is on the same soft surface that sunk the previous vehicle. The heavier the object, the faster it sinks. And the soft silt found on hot tropical beaches is great for tearing up a pick-up and burning out differentials. That’s why when compromise isn’t an option – a 6.7 L Cummins Turbo Diesel is absolutely required.

Diesel pick-ups are known for their high torque and low horsepower. It’s one of the elements that make them great for hauling extremely burdensome loads but not so good at things like racing. In order to get a turbo diesel spooled up, a few modifications are usually in order before seeing a top notch performance.

Off the shelf, the 6.7 L Cummins can be found in its B-series. This particular series was made in 2007 as a response to market demand for a no-nonsense turbo diesel that could box well above its weight. With 408 cubic inches of displacement to be had, it’s naturally an inline 6 cylinder – great for pushing all available energy to the drive train. And a compression ratio of 17.3:1, it can quickly build up the power necessary to pull out even the most stubborn of objects.

Cummins Sets the Benchmark for Turbo Diesel Performance

This shows what happens when a 2010 Dodge Ram 2500 with a 6.7 L Cummins turbo diesel takes on a 15,000 lb dead weight – a shipping container loaded with rail ties. It’s an impressive example of what can be done with the proper equipment. Even more important is knowing that bigger, heavier, and more powerful trucks get eaten up by the surf – so it’s important to have the power to pull when needed most. There’s no time for messing around.

When Good Isn’t Good Enough – Upgrade to Optimus

One of the benefits of driving a Dodge Ram 3500 is it’s made to handle more. Whether it’s simply an optional 6.7 L Cummins turbo diesel package or the more ambitious “Optimus” build. The Optimus build, as it’s been dubbed by the Dodge community, involves taking the already great Cummins engine and giving it a second turbo. Turning the engine into a twin turbo can bring up its base horsepower from 350 hp to almost 1200 hp. Not to mention the nearly 2,000 lb-ft of torque it churns out! This thing is fit to drive over steep, treacherous mountains and move the smaller ones out of the way. If you’re looking for an Optimus, though, they can’t commonly be found on the show room floor. High demand vehicles that are capable of hauling over a half million pound yacht are ironically not built to fit in a show room. On the road, its engine spools to life like a giant carnivorous monster looking for an easy meal – as can be seen here. The Optimus is a limited build but it does showcase some of Dodge’s capabilities when it comes to high performance, high-end heavy duty pick-ups.

Taking Stock to High Performance Without the Price Tag

While the Optimus is definitely cool – it’s application in the work environment is pretty suspect. Rarely if ever does any one man need 1200 hp to perform daily tasks. However, a twin turbo charged diesel certainly is an attractive feature to have in a pinch. For those stuck in the middle – craving high performance tuned up Dodge Ram capabilities but a bit of a tighter budget – there’s plenty of good news. Because of the trends in high performance racing tuners, that technology has spilled over into the world of heavy duty pick-ups. How come a smaller German SUV is able to outperform an arguably stronger, larger, heavier American made truck? Simple – it knows how to use all of its engine in the most appropriate way. Most American trucks come off the assembly line handicapped. Their central electronic control unit (ECU) is programmed for fuel efficiency and highway regulations. It’s like truck brainwashing. And in order to remind it that it’s a powerful, hulking 8,000 lb beast waiting to be unleashed at a moment’s notice – some reprogramming needs to occur. And who knows? With this new found power, it could be you pulling another Dodge Ram’s fat from the fire (or mud). Thankfully, the market for ECUs for the Dodge Ram (and F-150 Raptor) is pretty competitive. With low-end ECU upgrades starting in the $400-$600 and high performance packages still coming in under $3,000 – the stock Dodge Ram with a turbo charged 6.7 L Cummins ® can become as agile as the much lighter Ford F-150 Raptor and as powerful as a Cat® off-road mining truck.


This shows what happens when a 2010 Dodge Ram 2500 with a 6.7 L Cummins turbo diesel takes on a 15,000 lb dead weight – a shipping container loaded with rail ties. It’s an