Like most trucks, the Ripley's performance is defined by its slow pickup, but it has a tight turning radius, due to its very short wheelbase. This truck can pack a powerful punch on cars, and can tip them over easily at relatively low speeds. Additionally, the Ripley's mid-to-rear-mounted engine configuration allows the vehicle to survive large numbers of head-on collisions; the openness of the cab, however, exposes the player to gunfire. Also, the large tires can easily be shot and blown out, making getaways from high-end police extremely difficult.
Seen only at Francis International Airport, the Ripley may appear as a pedestrian vehicle on the road, or is parked on the tarmac or car parks of the airport. Like certain vehicles operating in the vicinity of the airport, the Ripley bears FlyUS livery.
- The Ripley's name is an homage to lead character Ellen Ripley of the Alien films (played by Sigourney Weaver) — the US Colonial Marines M577 Armored Personnel Carrier from Aliens was built using a decommissioned airliner tug as a base.
- Some Grand Theft Auto IV machinima creators recommend the Ripley for first-person driving views, as the interior of the cab lacks visual obstructions from a first-person perspective.
- In GTA IV, the three default radio stations in the Ripley are Integrity 2.0, WKTT Radio and PLR.