Towing specifications, torque output and the practicality of each are highly scrutinized by heavy duty truck buyers. The market is exceedingly competitive and it’s a game of inches in both categories for manufactures.
With strong offerings from competitors, Ram is looking to set the pace and distance themselves.
The brand recently announced record breaking figures for the 2016 Ram Heavy Duty, set to arrive this year, fourth quarter.
The jaw dropper: 900 lb. ft. of torque (1,700 rpm) generated by a new calibration for the 6.7-liter Cummins High-Output Turbo Diesel I-6.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is building on an already successful platform. While the 2015 Ram 3500 tows up to 30,000 lbs., an impressive number in its own right, additional torque is always demanded by the next generation heavy-duty truck customer.
For 2016, Ram 3500 jumps to 31,210 lbs. towing capacity.
Cummins and Ram Engineering developed the calibration for the 6.7-liter diesel, enhancing turbo boost and optimizing fuel delivery. This jumped the tow rating and raised the 6.7 Ram 3500 from 865 lb.-ft. of torque to the aforementioned 900 lb.-ft. torque.
Incidentally, this becomes the most torque offered in a mass production vehicle.
“Ram continues to break records in the most important consumer-driven titles of the pickup truck market and we’re not slowing down.” ~ Bob Hegbloom, President and CEO — Ram Truck Brand, FCA US.
The 6.7-liter Cummins High-Output Turbo Diesel I-6 for Ram 3500 partners with an Aisin six-speed automatic transmission, also known as AS69RC.
The transmission is outfitted with wide gear rations for maximum shifting efficiency when towing and hauling.
Ram Heavy Duty underwent a vital change on the rear axle ring gear to handle the additional towing capability. 16 bolts as opposed to 12 are now used on all Ram trucks equipped with the 11.8 inch axle for increased durability.
A supplemental air suspension system is also offered in the rear, creating softer leaf springs through air bag leveling technology.
Under duress and pressure from sizable loads, the air suspension automatically fills the rear air bags, balancing Ram Heavy Duty for better stability. The supplemental air suspension also maintains a certain level of ride quality while towing.
Fiat Chrysler backs their towing numbers through SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) J2807 standards. The tests measure how a truck cools itself while pulling, how well it advances up a grade and how it counteracts trailer sway, among other criteria.
Arizona’s Davis Dam is a popular testing area.
Ram Heavy Duty Trucks are subject to exhaustive and rigorous testing, shown here during a winter trip to Houghton, Michigan.
Like Arizona’s Davis Dam, Michigan’s Upper Peninsula fashions an ideal proving ground for Ram Heavy Duty. Such extreme tests yield towing and torque numbers for Ram that earn best in class recognition.
I am impressed by Ram Heavy Duty and the continued benchmark of success she sets for all the automotive industry. Since Detroit is my home, I am sensitive to criticism of our automakers, especially Fiat Chrysler.
After what happened a few years ago, there are many negative things that could be said.
Yet, I do not see Ram Trucks hindered.
2016 is another year to focus on the positive and improve for the people that depend on them the most.
“Our 2016 Ram Trucks own pertinent, functional titles while delivering award-winning interiors and exclusive features that entice customers. Ram has book ended its innovation leadership in the pickup segments and thoughtfully engineered better trucks.” ~ Mike Cairns, Director — Ram Truck Engineering, FCA US.