The Dodge Ram chassis cab is one of the most rugged trucks in its segment. The vehicle comes in a wide range of models and its highly versatile character makes it able to do the toughest duties without breaking a sweat.
The truck is available in three weight classes 3500, 4500 and 5500 with either single or crew cab configurations. The truck competes against models like the Ford Heavy Duty and Chevrolet Silverado. The Dodge Ram Chassis Cab received a set of upgrades in 2011 which enhanced the truck’s performances and also added a few fresh design lines to the exterior.
As most trucks in the segment the first thing that intrigues you at the Dodge Ram Chassis Cab is its huge dimensions. Everything at this vehicle has gargantuan proportions starting with the huge chromed grille and finishing with the similarly big door mirrors.
The overall design seems unchanged compared with the previous generations, but in 2011 the vehicle received a few minor upgrades in terms of style to keep truck on the same line with today’s trend of commercial vehicles.
Firstly every exterior modification was made with the aerodynamic efficiency in mind. The radiator grill was also slightly enlarged to be able to cope with the cooling necessitates of the big 6.7-liter Cummins Turbo Diesel engine. Besides the reshaped grill the 2011 Ram Chassis cab has also received a more aggressive hood which incorporates louvers on each side.
The interior is also surprisingly cozy for a commercial vehicle with a robust dashboard and a manly steering wheel which cope great with the rugged character of the Ram.
The truck is by far the best kitted model in the segment and comes with a bunch of features which include standard power windows, locks and mirrors, Uconnect Multimedia with a 30-gigabyte hard drive, premium seats with heat and ventilation, heated steering wheel, automatic temperature control, navigation and adjustable pedals.
The materials are pretty good and feel slightly better than those from the Chevrolet Silverado. The cabin also includes soft-feel door bolsters, armrests and one-piece molded door panels.
After the small makeover received in 2011, the truck’s adjustable seats where redesigned and now come with improved power lumbar and lateral support. Needless to say that the driving position is also great and beside the comfortable seats the steering wheel can be also adjusted for reach and rake allowing you to find the perfect position. As you’ve probably expected, you won’t have any complains about the all round visibility as the generous glass area and the plate sized door mirrors are more than enough to keep you pleased.
We don’t have any complains about the overall ergonomy either as the controls are big enough to be used with confidence and they are also placed pretty intuitively. As most of today’s truck the intrument cluster features huge gauges with six-ring instrumentation which presents the vehicle’s functions in a nicely organized layout.
Needless to say that the truck is fitted with a bunch of storage places (forty, if you are the counting type) that can accommodate a complete crew of workers and still have room for some more. The center console features an upper bin that is large enough to hold a laptop computer and a lower bin that accommodates hanging files. Additional storage locations are built into the instrument panel, front and rear door panels and seat backs. In all, more than 40 storage locations within the cab help keep owners organized.
Engines and transmissions
At the heart of the Dodge Ram Chassis Cab sits the 6.7-liter Cummins Turbo Diesel engine which is standard for the 4500 and 5500 models and optional on the 3500. The engine develops 305 hp at 3,000 rpm with 827 Nm only 1,600 rpm. The engine uses a Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) system to reduce nixes with up to 83 percent.
The Dodge Ram Chassis Cab 3500 comes with a standard 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 gasoline engine which has a maximum output of 383@5,600 rpm and 542 Nm @ 4,000 rpm of torque. The V8 features Variable-valve Timing (VVT), increased compression ratio, active intake manifold with long runners for low-end torque and short runners for high-rpm power, improved cylinder head port flow efficiency and reduced-restriction exhaust and induction systems for improved fuel efficiency. The Ram Chassis Cabs also is also available with the largest standard fuel tank in the segment which can be filled with up to 52 gallons of fuel.
The Ram Chassis Cab is the only vehicle in its segment to offer a manual six speed transmission, standard on all diesel models.
Ride and suspensions
The Dodge Ram Chassis cab comes with a coil-spring suspension system in front and a multi-leaf spring design at the rear. The suspensions are combined with front and rear shocks and springs which are tuned for heavy duty applications. The vehicle also comes with a 50,000 psi high-strength steel frame with advanced torsional rigidity and stiffness.
Those strong engines need an adequate stopping power, hence the Ram 4500 and 5500 Chassis Cabs were equipped the biggest brake rotors (390 mm) and calipers (66 mm) in their class. Moreover, the vehicle is also fitted with a standard exhaust brake, which reduces brake fade.
|Anti-lock Brake System (ABS)|
|Advanced multi-stage air bags|
|Constant-force Retractors (CFR)|
|Electronic brake-force distribution|
|Energy-absorbing steering column|
|Enhanced Accident Response System (EARS)|
|Height-adjustable seat belts|
|Interior head-impact protection|
|Low-risk deployment air bag|
With a MSPR starting at $29,170 the Dodge Ram chassis cab is a bit more expensive than the Ford Super Duty Chassis cab, but is fitted with more features and safety systems which give it more comfort. The truck’s towing capacities are also very strong and despite the fact that isn’t fitted with the most powerful engines in the segment it never feels out of breath and is anytime ready to go head to head with heavy loads without baking down. It is true that on the narrow city streets and in the congested traffic the big Ram will feel a bit claustrophobic, but on the less populated roads with big farms around and difficult terrains, or on the construction sites this big rig is a welcome partner.
Video: Dodge Ram Chassis Cab