Think your Ford, GM or Ram heavy-duty pickup truck is the strongest rig around? It can’t hold a candle to this candle: a Delta IV Heavy rocket, as you’ll see in PUTC’s out-of-this-world comparison with a 2011 Ram 3500 Heavy Duty diesel.
Heavy-duty pickup trucks are indispensable workhorses for personal use and small businesses. They can tow and haul gross combined truck and trailer setups weighing up to 15 tons or more powerfully and efficiently across the country.
But what if you’re the government or a major corporation that needs to deliver 30,000 pounds to a spot hundreds to thousands of miles above the country, in space? For that, you need a heavy booster like the Delta IV Heavy, which is set to become the largest rocket ever launched from the West Coast of the U.S. on Thursday afternoon, carrying a classified spy satellite.
Today’s one-ton Ram Heavy Duty 3500 has a gross combined weight rating of 24,500 pounds, though that number will be bumped to 25,400 pounds when a new Max Tow Package option becomes available, according to Chrysler.
GCWR is the maximum allowable weight for a pickup pulling a trailer, including cargo and passengers, that the truck can handle without risking damage.
Coincidentally, the maximum payload that the Delta IV Heavy can lift to geosynchronous orbit 22,300 miles above Earth is 28,650 pounds, just 3,250 pounds more than the Ram 3500’s GCWR. So, if you ever had a need (and the money!) to put your truck, trailer and payload into space, the Delta IV Heavy would be just the ticket.
The infographic below has all the key details you need to know. Just remember: If your truck ever had a tough time pulling its gross combined weight up a hill, the Delta IV Heavy generates more than 100,000 times the Ram’s power output to lift the near-equivalent weight into space. And it does so with zero emissions!
In the meantime, we’re jumping in the ultra-capable Ram 3500 to drive up to Vandenberg Air Force Base for the launch at 1:08 p.m.
We’ll check back later today with pictures of the truck and rocket launch.