In just five years Factor 55 has helped revolutionize the self-recovery winching market by intelligently promoting Closed System Winching™ and rigging techniques better than anyone had before. They have done this by manufacturing fantastic products to facilitate safer recoveries, with education, and documenting scientific failure testing.
Everything they make is designed by their small team in Boise, Idaho, and made in the USA. At the 2017 SEMA Show Factor 55 introduced their Rope Guard, a simple yet ingenious item that can be added to existing FlatLink or UltraHook products. It protects the exposed rope at the end of a thimble on the front of a winch. My 2014 Ram runs an UltraHook, so an upgrade may be on the horizon.
The new FlatLink MultiMount was also introduced at SEMA. It allows one to pull/add force to the end of a winch line from more than one direction. I liked the FlatLink MultiMount so much that I ordered one for my 2017 Pack Mule flatbed project as soon as I got home…and I didn’t even have a winch or bumper for that truck yet.
Copyright James Langan/RoadTraveler/Turbo Diesel Register. All Rights Reserved.
Before there could be a Hallmark flatbed model camper, there needed to be a flatbed on my truck. I wanted a readily available and less expensive commercial product, not a custom or semi-custom bed for two or three times as much (out-the-door). After months of research, study, and planning, I decided on the 7′ x 8.5′ Hillsboro Series 2000, and to purchase it and have it installed at Idaho Trailer Sales in Buhl, Idaho.
Video tour overviews of the first Hallmark flatbed camper, this is the 8.5-foot Nevada model. The development of this flatbed camper was a collaboration between Hallmark and myself, part of a larger editorial vehicle project, so I was able to help design the layout and features, and choose the amenities. Priorities included additional water, propane, and a large refrigerator with a separate freezer for extended, unsupported travels in remote country.
23.21 MPG from a 2017 Ram/Cummins. 65-mph highway baseline test, Sept. 5, 2017
222.7 miles, 9.593 gallons
65-mph freeway/highway test
Tires: F 60 R 40 cold
Regular cab, long bed, 7,400-lb. GVW
Newer diesel trucks are not as efficient (due to emissions systems) as previous generations? Maybe. Probably. Though it depends on the exact year, model, and version. The true potential is better than some think, and the conditions, load, and nearly everything else matters.
Tests must be repeatable and confirmable. The ECM was slightly pessimistic here, and the odometer a little fast with the stock tires.