What do you get when you cross a semi with a heavy-duty 4×4? You end up with the new 2020 Freightliner Summit Series Hauler 4×4, custom-made by Transwest Truck Trailer & RV. As André finds out the $216,000, 16,500-pound behemoth is the commercial truck that dreams are made of. Designed for ranchers and farmers throughout the Rocky Mountain region, the Summit Series is a high-end combo of commercial truck and long-haul luxury. Here are the Top 5 reasons André is considering mortgaging his house to get one.
#5 – Cummins Diesel Power
A straight six Cummins pumps out 350 hp and 1,150 lbs-ft. torque. The engine connects to a six-speed Allison heavy-duty transmission with a 4.89 gear ratio suited to towing monster loads. Pop open the hood and the engine is easy to access with all the fluids and filters within easy reach.
Fuel economy is estimated to be around 8-9 MPG when pulling a 20,000-pound trailer. That’s about equal to what today’s modern semi-trucks will see on the highway. With the two 50 gallon tanks, that means the Freightliner has a range of 800-900 miles.
#4 – Truck Bed of Champions
Behind the crew cab lies an 11-foot bed big enough to hold house parties or load up most of this Freightliner’s 14,000-pound payload. Locking and lighted cargo boxes on either side can hide bodies inside (André climbs in to prove it). There’s even an air compressor outlet in the driver’s side cargo box in case you need to air up tires or giant floaties at the lake.
Beyond the gooseneck hitch in the bed of the truck, the Summit Series truck also has a bumper hitch off the rear that’s rated to 20,000 pounds.
#3 – Interior Fit for Gods
The seats, both front and rear take this Summit Hauler from work truck to luxury RV. The custom-built captains chairs in the front ride on air suspension and can be raised or lowered in feet, not just inches. In the rear, the spacious bench seat looks normal enough, but wait. Click a button and the seat slides forward and the the seat backs lower to turn into a flatbed roughly the size of a double mattress.
On the dash, the controls are simple, and give the driver complete control over the rig, from air brakes, trailer-brake controller, to a Kenwood/Garmin infotainment setup that’s programmed for commercial truck users.
#2 – Air-Suspension Everywhere
With dual air tanks (one is a redundant backup), this Summit Hauler uses air seemingly everywhere it can to produce one sweet ride. The rear axle rides on an adjustable air suspension. The cab rides on air, and the front seats as well. The effect as André gushes is “like floating on a cloud.” And let’s not forget the truck’s powerful air brakes.
#1 – All That and It’s a 4×4!
As stated earlier, this rig was purpose built for use in the Rocky Mountain region where available 4-wheel drive can get you out of many tricky situations. Technically, this Freightliner is an AWD machine with a rear axle bias that will send power to the front wheels if it senses slippage. The driver can lock the drivetrain into full-time AWD though. Then he can activate the push-button low-range transfer case, lock the rear differential and pretty much pull himself out of anything.
Case in point: Loading a yacht into the water on a slick boat ramp, where the rear wheels are in the water fighting to find traction. That’s the scenario that sealed the deal for André. Click on the video below and see for yourself.