The 2019 Ram Heavy Duty is a commendable-looking entry into the heavy-duty consumer truck segment, with a huge towing capacity and all-new frame and interior.
But if your tastes or your needs skew more toward the commercial side of things, don’t worry. Ram isn’t leaving you in the lurch.
At the 2019 Chicago Auto Show, Ram introduced its all-new Chassis Cab version of the 2019 Heavy Duty. In addition to the 3500, the chassis cab will also be available in grades 4500 (class 4) and 5500 (class 5), as well as a single class 2 option with a gross vehicle weight rating of 10,000 pounds.
Each class will come standard with the 6.4L Ram V8 Hemi V6, which will be available with a maximum output of 410 hp and 429 lb-ft. On the Ram 3500, this engine will be paired with an eight-speed TorqueFlite automatic, marking for the first time a transmission with as many reports offered in the segment. The engine will receive a robust six-speed Aisin automatic transmission in the Ram 4500 and 5500 cabs.
In addition, the chassis cab will be available with a 6.7-liter Cummins I-6 turbodiesel, giving 360 hp and 800 lb-ft, the highest torque of any class 4 cabin truck. or 5. All Ram Chassis Cab diesels will be delivered as standard with a six-speed Aisin transmission, similar but identical to that found in the Gas Cab Chassis. Regardless of the engine option, Aisin transmissions are available with a PTO option, allowing the use of plows, tippers and other high-performance mounting equipment.
In fact, Ram claims a payload capacity of 12,510 pounds, with a maximum towing capacity of 35,220 pounds, well equipped. The maximum GVWR of a Ram chassis is 43,000 pounds. These figures are commendable, even though the cabin of the Chevy Silverado 3500HD without chassis is able to offer greater towing capacity, even with a berth.
One area in which the Ram Chassis Cab excels is that of user-friendliness. A C-channel rear frame section completes a fully boxed front, the entire frame being made of 97% high strength steel. The rear rails are also designed with no component interference above the slide rails and pre-drilled mounting holes, ensuring the installation of crates, flat platforms and other professional equipment with minimum of gravity. The rear frame sections are available in four standard chassis lengths, with a standard spacing of 34 inches between the rails. Thanks to high-strength steel (and an aluminum bonnet), the truck loses up to 120 pounds over its predecessor.
For the first time, the cab chassis will be available in a super luxurious and limited level of finish. Appearing alongside the usual Tradesman, SLT and Laramie liners, the Limited will be designed for the foreman, the boss or the brutal amateur who builds a daily off-road driver. Like its Heavy Duty brother, the Ram Chassis Cab will be available with a variety of interior options and comfort, including the 12-inch Uconnect touchscreen with 4C navigation. A 17-speaker Harmon Kardon audio system is also available. Five customized auxiliary switches are available, and the 3500 exclusive eight-speed automatic gearbox is moved through Ram’s controversial rotary knob.
As far as style is concerned, the 2019 Ram Heavy Duty chassis cab follows Heavy Duty in the future. A bold, non-reticle grille indicates the changes, proving that the company doubles (or triples) the force required to remove that style feature. The front styling is impressive, with an entangled design that not only reflects the interior, but also differentiates the 2019 chassis-cab from its predecessor. Ram also explains that the new front end provides increased airflow to the engine.
As on the Heavy Duty, the cab chassis is available with a long and impressive list of active safety features. All trim levels are available with active cruise control, forward collision warning, automated emergency braking, and more. You can bet that other manufacturers will follow the example of Ram, especially Ford, whose 2020 Super Duty will be offered with a wide variety of active driving aids.
With all that there is to love on the Ram Heavy Duty as well as many advantages for versatile trucks, the Ram Chassis Cab should continue to be very popular with business customers and fleets. And the addition of Active Safety Systems and Limited Quality Available could even make it attractive to lifestyle-conscious shoppers. Anyway, it will not fail to sell reasonably and we can not wait to live our fantasies of towing the wheel.