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2012 Dodge Ram 3500/4500/5500 Chassis Cabs Review


2012 Ram 4500 and 5500 medium-duty (Class 4 and 5) Chassis Cab commercial trucks are available with an optional 30,000-lb. gross combined weight rating (GCWR), an increase from 26,000 lbs.
2012 Dodge Ram 3500/4500/5500 Chassis Cabs photo -2012 Dodge Ram 3500/4500/5500 Chassis Cabs photo 
“This is a direct benefit to our core customers in agriculture and the construction industries,” said Fred Diaz, President and CEO, Ram Truck Brand and Chrysler de Mexico — Chrysler Group LLC. “Essentially, this will help our ‘work truck’ work harder and meet our customers’ towing needs.”
2012 Dodge Ram 3500/4500/5500 Chassis Cabs photo2012 Dodge Ram 3500/4500/5500 Chassis Cabs photo
30,000-lb. GCWR and Max Tow
The new Ram 4500/5500 Chassis Cab GCWR upgrade is part of an optional “Max Tow” package, and is available on both regular and crew cab models and in 4x2 and 4x4 configurations.
The Ram Max Tow package includes a new transfer case gear set and chain and sprocket upgrades, recalibrated transmission software and an enhanced collection of thermal management devices.
2012 Dodge Ram 3500/4500/5500 Chassis Cabs photo2012 Dodge Ram 3500/4500/5500 Chassis Cabs photo
Ram 4500 and 5500 Chassis Cab trucks come equipped with the proven, commercial-grade 305 horsepower (228 kW) @ 2,900 rpm and 610 lb.-ft. (827 N•m) @ 1,600 rpm 6.7-liter Cummins Turbo Diesel engine.
Max Tow is available on Ram Chassis Cab trucks equipped with the optional, commercial-grade Aisin six-speed automatic transmission and 4.88 rear-axle ratio. A 4.44 axle is standard on 4500 models and not available with the Max Tow package. A class-exclusive six-speed manual transmission is standard on Ram 4500 and 5500 Chassis Cab models.
2012 Dodge Ram 3500/4500/5500 Chassis Cabs photo2012 Dodge Ram 3500/4500/5500 Chassis Cabs photo
The 30,000-lb. GCWR gives the Ram Chassis Cab a 4,000-lb. increase in trailer-towing capabilities, up to a maximum of 22,300 lbs. on a Ram 4500 or 5500 Chassis Cab equipped with a six-speed automatic transmission and unsurpassed GCWR on Class 4 Chassis Cab trucks.
Ram 3500 Chassis Cab trucks are powered by the 5.7-liter HEMI® V-8 and will add a new six-speed automatic transmission in 2012 that will increase GCWR to 20,000 lbs. – a 3,000-lb. increase – as well as provide an increase in fuel economy. With a standard 383 horsepower, 400 lb.-ft. of torque 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 engine, the Ram 3500 Chassis Cab delivers best-in-class horsepower and torque. The Cummins Turbo Diesel is available an option on Ram 3500 Chassis Cab trucks.
2012 Dodge Ram 2500 / 3500 Heavy Duty photo2012 Dodge Ram 2500 / 3500 Heavy Duty photo
Designed for Towing
Ram Chassis Cab trucks are specifically designed for towing, with features such as the strongest exhaust brake in the industry – 49 percent stronger than the nearest competitor – and the largest brake rotors and pads in their class. Ram has also upgraded the trailer brake controller on Chassis Cab trucks to include electric-over-hydraulic capability, to further enhance its towing ability.
“Customers are always focused on towing more,” added Diaz. “It’s a simple matter of economics. More towing and payload means fewer loads. And fewer loads mean lower fuel bills. For commercial customers, cost of ownership is a primary consideration.”
2012 Dodge Ram 3500/4500/5500 Chassis Cabs photo2012 Dodge Ram 3500/4500/5500 Chassis Cabs photo
Ram Chassis Cab Trucks Deliver Best-in-Class Performance
Ram Chassis Cab trucks offer class-leading performance in many key areas, including a best-in-class combination of brake pad wear, brake fade resistance and exhaust brake performance. They also deliver best-in-class fuel economy. In a recent head-to-head comparison, the Ram 5500 Chassis Cab was 10 percent more fuel efficient than its direct competitor – and that can add up to thousands of dollars a year in owner savings.
2012 Dodge Ram 3500/4500/5500 Chassis Cabs photo2012 Dodge Ram 3500/4500/5500 Chassis Cabs photo
Among Ram’s best-in-class features:
Best-in-class standard Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of 19,500 lbs.
Ram Chassis Cab brakes last twice as long as the competition under severe use
Ram Chassis Cab trucks have 160 percent less brake fade than the competition
Ram Chassis cab trucks stop in less distance in both wet and dry conditions when carrying a heavy payload
The Ram Chassis Cab’s diesel exhaust brake is more effective than the competition’s
Ram Chassis Cab offers a better turning radius – by 10 feet – than competitors
Ram Chassis Cab trucks offer the largest standard fuel tank – 52 gallons for superior operational range
Ram Chassis Cabs offer the lowest cost of ownership in the segment, based on significant owner expenses, including fuel economy, brake wear and tire wear
Ram Chassis Cab trucks come with the best powertrain warranty in the business: five years / 100,000 miles
2012 Dodge Ram 3500/4500/5500 Chassis Cabs photo2012 Dodge Ram 3500/4500/5500 Chassis Cabs photo
Cummins Turbo Diesel
The Cummins Turbo Diesel engine, with its proven inline-six architecture and cast iron block and head, has been providing decades of reliable service in everything from agriculture and construction equipment to over-the-road heavy trucks.
Ram Trucks powered by Cummins diesel engines have been the benchmark of power, durability, reliability and fuel economy since 1989, the first model year that Ram offered the Cummins engine. This partnership is defined by more than two decades of long-lasting, hard-working history.
Cummins has produced over 1.7 million Cummins Turbo Diesel engines for Ram Trucks. Today, over 80 percent of Ram Heavy Duty truck customers purchase their truck with the legendary Cummins Turbo Diesel.
Upfitter Friendly
Maximum upfit-friendliness is achieved with industry-standard 34-inch frame rail spacing and flat, clean frame rails on a proven one-piece C-channel rear-frame rail boasting a best-in-class 50,000-psi steel strength. All chassis components are below the frame surface allowing easy adaptability and versatility for virtually any upfit application.
Further improving upfitter-friendliness, 2011 Ram 3500, 4500 and 5500 Chassis Cabs feature four all-new upfitter switches integrated on the instrument panel. Each of these four upfitter switches are linked to an auxiliary Power Distribution Center (PDC) located under the hood which includes one fused 20 amp battery feed and one fused relay-controlled 20 amp ignition. In addition to these feeds, the PDC supports four new customizable switches. Two switches are ignition-fed and the remaining two are either battery or ignition. Switch outputs are found under the hood in a connector for further ease of upfit. A seven-circuit trailer harness and a special upfitter jumper cable – a wiring harness for ancillary power needs -- are both standard.
Electrical connections are user-friendly thanks to one fused battery feed and one fused ignition feed routed into the cab and to the rear of the chassis. Upfitter wire circuits and electrical schematics are identified in the Body Builder Guide. With built-in tandem PTO capability, all models feature a heavy-duty cooling system in order to meet additional heat loads that are often generated from PTO upfits and/or extreme hauling.
A special capped auxiliary fuel line on the fuel tank makes upfitting even easier, facilitating the use of auxiliary equipment running on fuel. The fuel filler is routed through the frame and an optional 22-gallon mid-ship fuel tank frees up more space behind the rear axle for special upfit applications. Fuel and brake lines are routed together on the frame’s driver side to make better use of space along the frame, which also provides clearance for rear exhaust routing.
Ram Chassis Cab also employs an intelligently engineered, Cummins commercial-grade DEF system that is placed out of the way of upfit zones, saving time and money in the upfit process.
Special Paint Colors Available
Based on customer demand, the Ram Truck brand has added a number of special, low-volume paint colors, including “National Fire Safety Lime Yellow” to its commercial truck palette.
Ram Truck manufacturing operations can fulfill special paint orders with a minimum batch size of 10 trucks, although any one customer may order as few as a single vehicle.
Ram Truck offers the following special low-volume paint color options for 2500 through 5500 models: Black, Bright Red, Dark Brown, Detonator Yellow, Light Cream, Light Green, Omaha Orange, School Bus Yellow, Timberline Green Pearl, Yellow and National Fire Safety Lime Yellow.
The Ram Truck team is also in the process of introducing eight additional colors to the low-volume paint palette in the near future, which will bring the total to 29 available paint colors. The new colors, coming soon on Ram Heavy Duty and Chassis Cab trucks include: Case IH Red, Case Construction Power Tan, New Holland Agriculture Blue, New Holland Construction Yellow, D.T. Green, Green Angel, S.R. Green and Robin Egg Blue.
Programmable Features
For 2012, the Ram Chassis Cab has a customer-selectable maximum speed. Ram Chassis Cabs can be ordered from the factory with or programmed by a Ram Truck dealer at no charge with either 55, 60, 65, 70 or 75 mph speed limits. Ram 4500 and 5500 Chassis Cab trucks have a best-in-class standard 87 mph top speed, an important feature for fire, ambulance and other safety and rescue roles.
A five-minute shutdown timer is also available.
The 2012 Ram Chassis Cab with Max Tow will reach dealerships in the third quarter of 2011. Max Tow pricing will be announced closer to launch.
About the Ram Truck brand
With a work-hard, play-hard attitude, the Ram Truck brand offers the boldest, most powerful and capable pickup truck lineup on the planet.
Introduced in 2008, the Ram 1500 is a game changer in terms of its ability to "outsmart" and "out-tough" the competition with its bold exterior design, crafted and refined interior, engineering excellence, superb innovation and best-in-class features and amenities.
The Ram Truck brand added to its award-winning truck lineup with the introduction of the 2010 Ram 2500 and 3500 Heavy Duty trucks. Ram heavy-duty trucks provide customers with first-time innovations and features along with new standards of strength, utility and drivability, building on the Ram's leadership in the heavy-duty pickup segment.
The Ram Truck brand is further enhancing its commercial vehicle presence with a "new crew" of commercial-grade work trucks: the new 2011 Ram 3500, 4500 and 5500 Chassis Cabs. Led by an all-new crew cab, the new 2011 Ram Chassis Cabs are built on a proven frame and chassis, and engineered for maximum uptime, optimum performance and enhanced commercial capability.

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