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Ram switching to SAE tow ratings (with video)

by David Zatz on

Ram will become the first pickup truck maker to adopt the Society of Automotive Engineers’ (SAE) J2807 tow-rating system in all of its pickup trucks — Ram 1500, 2500, and 3500.

Ram’s current conservative rating practices mean that its towing capacities will remain unchanged, or will actually increase, under J2807, which was meant to be an industry standard. Ford and GM both committed to move to J2807 some time ago; Ford reneged on prior commitments, and GM quickly followed suit.

Ram still has the two most fuel-efficient large pickups on the market. Using stringent SAE methods, the company certified the 28-mpg (highway) diesel Ram 1500 as having 9,200 lb of towing capacity, while the gasoline-V6 Ram 1500 (25 mpg highway) is rated at 7,600 lb. The maximum Ram 1500 towing is with the Hemi V8 and eight-speed automatic: 10,650 lb.


Ram 2500 retains its best in class SAE towing of 17,970 lb, with a 3,970 maximum payload. Ram 3500 Heavy Duty has a best-in-class SAE 30,000 lb of towing capacity, backed by the Cummins diesel, producing 385 horsepower and 850 lb.-ft. of torque. With the 6.4 liter Hemi, Ram 2500 can tow up to 16,300 lb, and Ram 3500 can tow up to 16,420 lb.

Ram CEO Reid Bigland said, “Because our customers asked for it, every single 2015 model year pickup truck Ram sells will come with a trailer-tow rating achieved using SAE’s J2807 testing protocols. No other automaker can make that claim.”

Finalized SAE towing specifications now include trucks up to 14,000 GVWR. Mike Cairns, director of Ram Truck Engineering, said, “For too long, an uneven playing field existed and towing capacities went unchecked. We’re happy to be the only pickup truck manufacturer to align with the SAE J2807 towing standard across our pickup truck line up.”

The SAE J2807 standard includes dynamic and performance criteria, with requirements for 0-60 mph times, tackling the Davis Dam Grade while maintaining at least 40 mph for single-rear-wheel trucks and 35 mph for dual-rear-wheel trucks, a constant radius understeer test while increasing speed, and a sway maneuver using aggressive steering input. All Ram trucks have a five year/100,000 mile powertrain warranty.

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