When I was a kid, I religiously watched a TV show called “B.J. and the Bear.” It was the typical network schlock of the day, and it only ran from 1979 to 1981, but to the likely horror of my parents, it got me hooked on the idea of driving truck for a living. By then, long cross-country road trips with my family had addicted me to the open road, and in this particular TV show, the lead character piled miles on the coolest-looking semi-truck of the day, a Kenworth Aerodyne painted not all that much different from the “Starsky & Hutch” Ford Gran Torino. The way I recall it, this dude named B.J. didn’t have any trouble with the ladies, either.
I never made it to truck driving school. But now that Ram has introduced its new 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6 engine in the 2014 RAM 1500 pickup truck, I can always borrow one and point its nose down some endless stretch of pavement toward a youthfully romanticized notion of freedom and exploration of parts unknown. For the full effect, though, I’ll need to lower the windows, because otherwise, you can’t hear the diesel clattering away from under the Ram’s contoured hood.