Some of you likely saw a recent video showing an older Dodge Ram towing a fully-loaded logging truck from a busy intersection. In fact, we know you were watching because our article about it last week went viral to the point of temporarily crashing our website (sorry about that). It also generated quite the controversy from readers, many of whom shared their disbelief in friendly and some not-so-friendly ways in the comments.
Well folks, it's real. And by that, we mean it's exactly as the description for both the ViralHog video and the original source videos from robinsondevona on TikTok said. The loaded logging truck broke down in an intersection and this plucky third-generation Ram towed it out of harm's way. Specifically, the pickup is a beefy 2007 Dodge Ram 3500, running a stock 5.9-liter Cummins diesel and a manual transmission. And yes, it's still running just fine, though its clutch life might be a bit shorter now.
How do we know this? Because we talked with Thomas Fraser, the man who put his Ram pickup on the line to tow this rig to safety.
"I just wanted to help," explained Fraser in an email to Motor1.com. "Honestly, I never expected any of this to happen. I was just a guy, raised right, who wanted to help. I was in the right place at the right time."
As a refresher, the place was Williams Lake in British Columbia, Canada and the time was July 10. Fraser said the disabled rig had all but lost its clutch while in the forest, and as it approached the intersection, it lost power steering as well. The driver stopped to avoid hitting the traffic light, but with the bad clutch it was stuck in gear and couldn't be started.
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"I pulled him once to get it out of gear so he could start it, but we couldn't get it back into gear," said Fraser. "After a couple of tries he was clear in about 10 minutes, towed it about 1.5 kilometers until the road widened out so people could get around him."
In our original article, we talked about the white smoke seen beneath the pickup during the pull. We theorized it could be clutch smoke, and yes, Fraser says the clutch may have been slightly injured in this heroic act.
"The biggest challenge was the heat and the fact that I had slipped my clutch and I didn't want to do any more damage," he explained. "I had originally tried to tow him in 4WD high, which was stupid, but I wasn't thinking straight right away due to the excitement. One in 4WD low I eased into it, not jerking or hitting hard, I want to make sure everything was tight. There's a possibility that I might have to replace the clutch earlier than expected, but oh well."
Since we're sure there will still be naysayers on this actually happening, now's a good time to remind everyone about Ford making a big deal over pulling one million pounds worth of train cars with an electric F-150 prototype. Going back further, remember Toyota's commercial towing a 300,000-pound Space Shuttle with a stock Tundra? Even automakers brag about pulling big loads short distances, and though such things aren't recommended, it's certainly possible to stretch far beyond a listed tow rating.
All that's left to say is well done Mr. Fraser. Thanks for being a stand-up dude and for giving us the full story behind this clip. You can catch him on TikTok, and if you happen to be trucking through Williams Lake, there's at least one person ready to help if you need it. Just be sure to give him a nice tip for the effort because clutch installs aren't cheap.