King of the Hill
September 28, 2014
If you didn’t already know that Ram takes heavy-duty towing and hauling seriously, then with the start of the 2015 model year Ram 2500 and 3500 Heavy Duty production, you soon will.
Ram, the truck world’s “King of the Hill,” adds a trifecta of claims for 2015: Best-in-class Power, Towing Capacity and Payload Capacity to its most-capable claims.
Ram 3500 models will offer increased torque ratings of 865 lb.-ft. and an increased payload of 7,390 pounds, while maintaining a class leading maximum tow rating of 30,000 pounds. Additionally, Ram is the only automaker to back its heavy-duty towing claims using SAE J2807 testing criteria.
“Ram maintains leadership throughout its pickup line by offering best-in-class fuel efficiency with our Ram 1500 EcoDiesel at 28 MPG, best-in-class towing at 30,000 pounds, best-in-class power at 865 lb.-ft. and best-in-class payload at 7,390 pounds with our Ram 3500,” said Bob Hegbloom, Head of Ram Truck Brand, FCA US LLC. “Ram owns best-in-class attributes in the areas that are most important to truck customers.”
Working closely with Cummins, a more aggressive fuel delivery and turbo boost calibration to the 6.7-liter I-6 produces an additional 15 lb.-ft. of torque. This improvement places the coveted engine ahead of the competition with 865 lb.-ft. of torque, while maintaining performance and EPA compliance. The Ram 3500 continues towing leadership at 30,000 pounds and adds a new notch in its belt with a chart-topping payload of 7,390 pounds. The payload claim was made possible by challenging the Ram 3500 6.4-liter HEMI V-8 pickup with an increase in GVWR of 100 pounds, now 13,800 pounds GVWR.
“Ram has driven innovation in the heavy duty segments and intelligently engineered a better truck than our competitors, including a 30,000 pound towing monster,” said Mike Cairns, Director— Ram Truck Engineering, FCA US. “Our 2015 Ram Heavy Duty Trucks own all three relevant titles in the segment: towing, payload and power, while delivering an impressive level of comfort and features unavailable elsewhere in the market.”
With the Company’s 6.4-liter HEMI V-8, the Ram Heavy Duty delivers to best-in-class horsepower and best-in-class torque among pickups with gasoline engines. Compelling numbers tell the story of the 16-valve engine with 410 horsepower (306 kW) at 5,600 rpm and a peak torque rating of 429 lb.-ft.(582 N•m), at 4,000 rpm. Other engine options include the 5.7-liter HEMI V-8, standard equipment for the Ram 2500 and 3500 (SRW). The engine produces 383 horsepower at 5,600 rpm and generates peak torque of 400 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,000 rpm. The 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 is mated to a 66RFE six-speed automatic transmission. The renowned 6.7-liter Cummins Turbo Diesel I-6 is available in three versions.
The first version is paired with Ram’s segment exclusive six-speed manual transmission. This combination delivers 350 horsepower at 2,800 rpm and 660 lb.-ft. of torque at 1,400 rpm. The second option matches the Cummins to the 68RFE six-speed automatic transmission. The diesel engine cranks out 370 horsepower at 2,800 rpm with 800 lb.-ft. of torque at 1,600 rpm. Dominating torque charts, the 6.7-liter Cummins High-Output Turbo Diesel I-6 for Ram 3500 is paired with the Aisin six-speed automatic transmission (AS69RC), leaving no doubt to Ram Heavy Duty’s capability. In addition to 385 horsepower at 2,800 rpm, the most powerful Cummins generates best-in-class torque of 865 lb.-ft. at 1,700 rpm.
Ram Heavy Duty trucks feature frames built with high-strength 50,000 psi steel, including eight separate cross-members, hydroformed main rails and fully boxed rear rails for optimal strength and mass efficiency. Chassis controls on the Ram Heavy Duty ensure reduced noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) measurements and improve ride and handling characteristics. Standard electronic stability control (ESC) on single and dual-rear-wheel equipped trucks, and body-to-frame hydro-mounts provide improved ride quality. Center frame rail sections are roll-formed, an efficient means for maintaining consistent strength in less complex longitudinal sections. In the rear portion of the frame, the structure includes fully boxed rear rails and a factory-installed rear axle cross-member with provisions for fifth wheel and gooseneck hitches.
Heavy Duty trucks generally have suspension equipped for constant, heavy payloads. This leads to a harsher ride when unloaded. Ram innovation leads again. The Ram 2500 takes lessons learned from the Ram 1500 with a segment exclusive five-link coil rear suspension system. Loaded or unloaded, the 5-link coil system provides best-in-class ride and handling. The five-link coil design incorporates support at all major points of force. Leaf spring suspensions struggle to combat axle wrap by using staggered shock absorbers (one mounted on the front of the axle tube and one mounted on the rear of the axle tube). The superior design of the five-link coil system functionally resists unwanted axle rotation. Leaf spring configurations also lack lateral support, forcing the leaf ends and shackles to hold against lateral loads — a task they’re not particularly good at and one reason competitive leaf-sprung rear suspensions shutter on rough surfaces. Additionally, the Ram 2500 offers a rear air suspension system for automatic load leveling and greater versatility.
The Ram 3500 continues to feature the rear Hotchkiss leaf spring system, but offers a supplemental air suspension system (late availability). By adding supplemental air bags to the rear suspension, Ram engineers were able to soften the leaf springs, allowing for more unladed suspension movement— even with a best-in-class 30,000-lb. trailer.
In the front, the Ram Heavy Duty line features an advanced three-link front suspension to ensure roll stiffness. Greater roll stiffness, also known as body roll, is an important characteristic in taller vehicles and especially trucks with heavy payloads. Roll stiffness is measured by the amount the truck’s body tips side-to-side, independently of the wheels, during cornering.
Assembled at FCA US Saltillo Truck Assembly Plant in Coahuila, Mexico, the Ram Heavy Duty comes equipped with robust engine, transmission and body mounts, including pioneering hydro-mounts at C-pillar positions for class-leading noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) characteristics despite the truck’s aptitude for higher payloads and towing.
The Ram Heavy Duty trucks feature a factory-installed seven-pin trailer tow connector in the truck bed, included with the optional fifth wheel or gooseneck tow prep package. Ram is unmatched in terms of offering the most complete “hitch ‘n go” towing prep package found anywhere in the heavy-duty category. Additionally, Ram features a standard Class 5 receiver hitch with four- and seven-pin connectors on the bumper. A tailgate handle-mounted, rear high-definition camera backup system is available with dynamic imaging in the 8.4-inch display. Also, the cargo-view camera located in the center high-mounted stop light (CHMSL) provides a view of the bed for easier connection to fifth wheel or gooseneck trailers as well as monitoring bed loads.
Ram Heavy Duty customers can enjoy the convenience of an exclusive cargo camera, power folding mirrors and a combination, power rear-sliding window with defrost. Also, central locking includes the RamBox cargo management system and tailgate power locks, creating a convenient solution for locking all exterior doors and storage with one push of a button. Auto rain-sensing wipers and SmartBeam headlamps also are available, adding to a truckload of content offered in Ram Heavy Duty.
Total Cost Of Ownership And Unsurpassed Powertrain Warranty – Five Years/ 100,000 Miles
Operating costs are of great consideration for owners who use their trucks for work. The Ram Heavy Duty holds class-leading features in:
- Extended maintenance cycle (oil change of 15,000, fuel filter life on diesel)
- Brake life with advanced engine exhaust brake and largest brakes in the segment
The 2015 Ram Heavy Duty is backed with an unsurpassed five-year/100,000-mile Powertrain Limited Warranty. The powertrain-limited warranty covers the cost of all parts and labor needed to repair a covered powertrain component – engine, transmission and drive system. Coverage also includes free towing to the nearest Ram Truck dealer, if necessary. The warranty also is transferable allowing customers who sell their truck during the warranty period to pass the coverage on to the new owner. The standard five-year/36,000-mile Basic Limited Warranty provides bumper-to-bumper coverage for the Ram Heavy Duty, from the body to the electrical system.