Not to be outdone by colleagues in the Highway Patrol — many of whom drive V8-powered Chrysler 300C sedans — the NSW Police Marine Command has taken delivery of a massive RAM 1500 truck to tow its jetskis and boats.
While NSW lifesavers manage to tow their skis and boats with more modest — and significantly cheaper — Holden Colorado diesel utes, the Marine Command’s new RAM truck is powered by a 5.7-litre petrol V8 pumping out a hairy-chested 291kW and 556Nm of torque.
Price, environmental impact and safety appear to be low on the priority list when evaluating utes — the RAM uses 12.2L/100km and misses out on the latest active safety aids now standard on several utes, including autonomous emergency braking, blind spot alert and lane-keeping assistance.
The RAM’s main appeal is that it will tow up to 4500kg, which police say is necessary to tow their jetskis and rigid hull inflatable boats. The Marine Command is responsible for crime prevention and detection, as well as search and rescue on the water.
“These trucks go everywhere in NSW with the MAC enforcement team, from Tweed Heads down to the Murray,” says NSW Police Marine Command Superintendent Stephen Hegarty.
“The 4.5-tonne max brake towing is incredibly useful as it allows us to easily tow up to four jet skis at a time — or one of our bigger rigid inflatables — out to Dubbo, for example, for the Commissioner’s Rise Up youth program, compliance around boat safety on the water, or the south coast to assist in the recent bushfire evacuations.
“The requirements we need to operate within mean we have to be on top of our game when it comes to towing capacity and how we enforce the law — we can’t be underweighted on tows, so the RAM 1500 fits the bill perfectly.”
The RAM Truck has been a huge hit in Australia since its launch in 2016, with more than 5000 deliveries to customers.
The trucks are converted from left-hand-drive at a factory in Melbourne, using 400 locally sourced re-manufactured parts.
Superintendent Hegarty says the local input appealed to NSW Police.
“That we’re able to support local manufacturing is certainly a factor in our decision-making process,” he says.
RAM Trucks Australia National Manager Jeff Barber says the company is having discussions with other law enforcement agencies in Australia for purpose-built RAM Trucks.