Ram unveils chassis cab upgrades

John G Smith
2019 Ram 5500 Chassis Cab SLT

The 2019 Ram 3500, 4500, and 5500 Chassis Cabs incorporate an array of new features, complete with a 35,220-lb. towing capacity, a gross combined weight rating of 43,000 lb., and a payload capacity of 12,510 lb.

Standard power comes in the form of a 6.4-liter Hemi V8 engine, featuring up to 410 hp and 429 lb-ft of torque. When paired with an optional Aisin AS66RC six-speed automatic transmission with power take-off — rather than the standard eight-speed TorqueFlite 8HP75 — the 3500’s Fuel Saver Technology will deactivate cylinders when in a stationary PTO mode. In the 4500 and 5500, the engine and Aisin transmission combination deliver 370 hp and 429 lb-ft of torque.

An optional 6.7-liter Cummins delivers 360 hp and 800 lb-ft of torque, which Ram says is the highest available torque in a Class 4 or 5 truck.

Advanced safety systems include adaptive cruise control, forward collision warnings, automatic emergency braking (AEB), and AEB with trailer brakes. The ParkSense Front and Rear Park Assist combines visual and audible cues along with a 270-degree camera system with a trailer reverse guidance view. And another camera monitors an upfit or payload area, helping to hook up with fifth wheels or gooseneck hitches as well. Meanwhile, a tire monitoring system will watch over up to six truck tires and up to 12 trailer tires.

It comes in four trim levels – Tradesman, SLT, Laramie, and a new Limited level.

Inside, a focal point in the new cab is in the form of the Uconnect 4C NAV on a 12-inch touchscreen that can display one or two applications at once. Driver information is fed through 3.5- and seven-inch color screens in the dash cluster, monitoring everything from boost pressure to transmission temperatures.

The switch bank offers push buttons and up to five auxiliary switches including the all-important PTO on/off switch. And there are more than 12 storage combinations holding from 23 to 39 liters in the center console. For electronics, there are five USB ports, four of which are paired with type-C ports, and there’s also optional wireless charging available. A pair of 115-volt three-prong plugs can handle up to 400 watts for electronic devices and power tools alike.

The internal environment is controlled with a new HVAC system that features 30% more airflow, complete with larger front defroster vents, and new in-duct electric heating models on diesel models.

Outside, there are three head lamp variations that double the lumen output of previous lighting packages. The premium Adaptive Front Lighting System pushes beams up to 15 degrees in the expected direction of vehicle travel.

There’s no mast antenna, either. All navigation, wifi, and radio signals come through a new shark fin antenna, helping to reduce wind noise and improve signals.


John G Smith

John G. Smith is the editorial director of Newcom Media's trucking and supply chain publications -- including Today's Trucking, trucknews.com, TruckTech, Transport Routier, Inside Logistics, Solid Waste & Recycling, and Road Today. The award-winning journalist has covered the trucking industry since 1995.

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