Press Kit: 2013 Ram Chassis Cab

2013 Ram Chassis Cab Holds Highest Marks for Commercial Customer Priorities with Best-in-class Capability, Best-in-class Total Cost of Ownership and Most Upfitter-friendly Medium Duty Truck on the Market

  • 2013 Ram Chassis Cab goes far beyond competitive capability with best-in-class features:
    • Best-in-class Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR)
    • Best-in-class towing
    • Best-in-class front Gross Axle Weight Rating (GAWR) on 4500 and 5500
  • New 2013 Ram Chassis Cab includes significant upgrades to powertrain, frame, suspension, body, electrical architecture and interior
  • Innovative features combined with excellence in engineering make upfitting easy and less expensive
  • Only manufacturer to feature standard electronic stability control (ESC) on all models
  • New frames feature high-strength best-in-class 50 KSI steel, eight cross member construction, C-channel rear rails to ensure continued unsurpassed noise, vibration and harshness (NVH), ride and handling characteristics
  • New front and rear suspension designs offer improved handling, durability and quality
  • Best-in-class powertrain warranty – 5 years/100,000 miles
  • Best-in-class, new vehicle system interface module (VSIM)
  • Largest standard fuel tank of 52 gallons
  • Largest brakes in the segment
  • Integration of Powernet technology enables expansion of feature content by adding bandwidth to the truck’s electrical architecture
  • Best-in-class dual 220-amp alternator system available with Cummins diesel engines
  • Segment-first back up camera shipped in truck for upfitter preferred installation
  • Ram Chassis Cab offers industry standard 60-inch, 84-inch, 108-inch and 120-inch frame lengths
Auburn Hills, Mich. September 27, 2012 - The Ram 3500, 4500 and 5500 Chassis Cab lineup is engineered for maximum capability and low cost of ownership. The Ram Truck brand introduces new 2013 Ram 3500, 4500 and 5500 models with all-new interiors, best-in-class total cost of ownership and best-in-class capability ratings:
  • Best-in-class Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR)
  • Best-in-class towing
  • Best-in-class front Gross Axle Weight Rating (GAWR) on 4500 and 5500
The new Chassis Cabs go further to offer a best-in-class powertrain warranty of 5 years/100,000 miles. New features include a number of industry exclusives:
  • Vehicle system interface module (VSIM) is capable of communicating between aftermarket modules and various Chassis Cab control modules
  • Electronic stability control (ESC) on all models
  • Largest fuel tank
  • Best-in-class brakes
  • Best-in-class dual 220-amp alternator system
  • Exclusive back-up camera for upfitter positioning
“Our Ram Chassis Cab trucks are the most important tool in the box for our customers,” said Fred Diaz, President and CEO, Ram Truck Brand and Chrysler de Mexico — Chrysler Group LLC. “The capability, function, durability and overall operating cost must align with expectations of the customer who works as hard at their profession as we do building a great truck. We’ve engineered our new Ram Chassis Cab trucks to deliver reliability even during the most demanding duty cycles and back them with a best-in-class 5-year/100,000-mile warranty.”

Ram Chassis Cab engineers design trucks for upfits and develop unique features to ease installation of multiple systems and bodies without interference or difficult relocation of components. Features include:
  • Industry standard frame lengths 60-inch, 84-inch, 108-inch and 120-inch
  • No components or lines above the rear frame rails
  • Through-the-frame plumbing and electrical
  • Removable/ movable exhaust and frame components
Frame
Engineered with the upfits in mind, the 2013 Ram Chassis Cab trucks feature new frames built with high-strength 50 KSI steel, including eight separate cross-member constructions. Designing the frames for upfits creates a competitive advantage, improves durability and reduces warranty costs from unapproved modifications. Ram Chassis Cab trucks have no components or lines above the rear frame rails. This feature reduces the need for modification and relocation that is sometimes required in competitive trucks. One piece, C-channel rear frame rails, and through-the-frame plumbing and electrical, provide a flat plane for ease of mounting application bodies and accessories. Mounting points are added for bolt-on capability so welding is not required, and riveted rear cross members are easily relocated for different packaging needs. All exhaust hangers are bolted on for easy relocation, if an upfit is required, and factory snow plow attachment provisions are integrated into the front frame rails.

Suspension
To handle the best-in-class towing and unsurpassed payload capability of the new Ram Chassis Cab, new springs have been integrated to handle heavier front load while maintaining front ride height. The improvements also improve overall roll stiffness. Greater roll stiffness, also known as body roll, is an important characteristic in taller vehicles and especially trucks with heavy payloads. Roll stiffness is measured by the amount the truck’s body sways side-to-side independently of the wheels. An advanced five-link front suspension ensures excellent ride and handling for a higher Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) and for use with heavy front loads, including snow plows. The newly designed rear suspension is the result of direct input from customers asking for a level truck under heavy rear load, as in tow truck flatbed applications. Ram engineering took the challenge and designed a new Hotchkiss leaf spring suspension, which not only provides a minimum of zero degrees rake angle at max load, it also maintains objectives for ride and handling.

Steering
Along with alterations in the suspension, Ram engineers improved the Chassis Cab steering. The drag link is repositioned over the track bar to reduce roll oversteer and to improve tracking at highway speeds. Also, the drag link is now attached directly to knuckle, offering improved efficiency for driver input. The caster and track are increased for more wheel-aligning torque, which improves return-to-center at the steering wheel. A new ball joint alignment feature added inside the tie rod improves alignment and service for lower total cost of ownership. Additionally, new ball joint seals on the tie rod and drag link improve corrosion resistance for better durability. Lastly, the 2013 Ram Chassis Cab receives a new steering damper with new valving and protective cover for added durability. These improvements result in enhanced and precise on-center feel despite the vehicles higher towing and payload capacities.

Body
The 2013 Ram Chassis Cab comes equipped with updated engine, transmission and body mounts, including pioneering hydromounts at C-pillar positions for class-leading noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) characteristics.
An exclusive, new back-up camera is available and delivered with factory wiring and multi-purpose mount for easy installation by the upfitter. The camera provides a view of the rear with upgraded resolution with higher definition and dynamic imaging in the available 8.4-inch display.

Ram 3500, 4500 and 5500 Chassis Cab commercial trucks are available with an engineering-approved, upfitter-friendly solution for customers who require back panel removal on regular cab trucks. All regular cab versions of the Chassis Cab model can be modified by a qualified upfitter to properly remove 80 percent of the rear panel using the cutaway instructions. Because the instructions were created and approved by Ram commercial truck engineers, the cutaway design retains the structural integrity of the truck.

The new cutaway guidelines are an important guide for upfitters who build vehicles such as ambulances, recreational vehicles, box trucks or other walk-through applications. “From the factory” instructions offer aftermarket companies an appropriate solution when designing features and the body modification around Ram Chassis Cab trucks.

Electrical
As the Ram Chassis Cab continues to offer more featured content, it created the need for a technology that allows more information to be electronically communicated within the truck. The new Powernet system allows both high and low-speed data networks to be equipped with as many as 40 individual modules, all designed to improve vehicle performance and enhance the comfort and safety of driver and passengers. Within the Powernet high-speed network, each module (e.g., electronic stability control) processes its individual data and transmits the appropriate commands within the vehicle to activate any additional systems (e.g. anti-lock brake system and cruise control).

A majority of the commercial truck customers need to tie into the electrical system and certain fleet customers require access to vehicle information, for example ambulance packages and utility companies. A new best-in-class, VSIM is capable of communicating between aftermarket modules and various Chassis Cab control modules. The VSIM up-fitter interface module features a total of 72 inputs and outputs, including lighting controls, door position and power take off (PTO) use. The class exclusive module acts as a secure gateway to the vehicles’ electrical systems and data bus architecture to enable safe, secure plug ‘n play connectivity for upfitter use.

The new Chassis Cab is equipped with intelligent battery sensor technology, which continually measures the flow of current in and out of the battery. The system is an enabler for intelligent load shedding, systematically shutting off select electrical systems onboard the vehicle when the battery is running low to help prevent further depleting the battery. New for 2013, an optional dual 220-amp alternator system on the diesel-equipped Ram Chassis Cab provides best-in-class capability with power for the higher electrical loads required in select upfits such as emergency lighting and electric clutch pumps.

Total cost of ownership and best-in-class powertrain warranty - 5 years/ 100,000 miles
Operating costs are of great consideration for owners who use their trucks for work. The 2013 Ram Chassis Cab holds class-leading features in:
  • Extended maintenance cycle (15,000-mile oil change, fuel filter life)
  • Brake life with advanced engine exhaust brake
  • Upfit integration
The 2013 Ram Chassis Cab is backed with a best-in-class 5-year/100,000-mile Powertrain Limited Warranty. The powertrain limited warranty covers the cost of all parts and labor needed to repair a covered powertrain component – engine, transmission and drive system. Coverage includes free towing to the nearest Ram Truck dealer, if necessary. The warranty also is transferable allowing customers who sell their truck during the warranty period to pass the coverage on to the new owner. The standard 3-year/36,000-mile Basic Limited Warranty provides bumper-to-bumper coverage for the Ram Chassis Cab, from the body to the electrical system.

Manufacturing
2013 Ram Chassis Cab models are built at the Saltillo Truck Assembly Plant in Coahuila, Mexico.