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New Tradesman, chassis-cab upgrades

by David Zatz on

Ram made two announcements at the work truck show in Indianapolis today, after revealing its CNG Hemi trucks — which were predicted by Allpar in September 2011.

The popular Ram Tradesman, which provides the V8 engine at a low price, is being expanded to include the popular Crew Cab and Quad Cab® sizes. The base 4.7 V8 provides 310 hp and 330 lb-ft with 20 mpg highway, and up to 7,700 lb of towing capability. The 390 hp Hemi V8 is optional. Tradesman pickups include a six-speed automatic and factory sprayed-in bedliner; RamBox will now be standard on 4.7 models. The Tradesman Quad Cab starts at $27,330, while Crew Cab starts at $29,810. Tradesman regular-cab has been dropped to $22,370 with the 4.7 V8.

Upfitters can now get precise instructions for cutting away the back panels on Ram 3500, 4500, and 5500 regular-cab chassis-cab trucks. 80% of the rear panel can be cut away without hurting the structural integrity of the truck, a major gain for those building RVs, ambulances, box trucks, and other walk-through vehicles from Ram chassis.

The Ram 4500 and 5500 chassis cabs also now have a GCWR upgrade as part of their Max Tow package, in both regular and crew cab models, with and without 4×4. The Max Tow package includes a new transfer case gear-set, chain and sprocket upgrades, new transmission software, and an upgraded set of thermal management tools. These trucks come with the 305 horsepower, 610 lb-ft Cummins diesel.

Max Tow is only available with the optional Aisin six-speed automatic and 4.88 rear axle ratio. Buyers can opt for a manual transmission, but not with the Max Tow package. The towing limit is 22,300 lb with this package.

Ram 3500 Chassis Cabs will gain a “new six-speed automatic transmission” in 2012, increasing GCWR to 20,000 lb and raising gas mileage. The Ram 3500 comes with a standard 383-hp Hemi, and optional Cummins diesel. All the chassis cabs come with an exhaust brake which is 49% stronger than the nearest competitor, and the largest brake rotors and pads in their class. The trailer brake controller also now has electric-over-hydraulic capability.

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