The Dodge Ram heavy-duty pickup trucks collect upgrades for the 2010 model year that correlate to improved towing and better ride comfort. For the first time, the new Dodge Ram Heavy-Duty 2500 and 3500 trucks are available in a Crew Cab.
"Since Crew Cabs account for 50% of the heavy-duty market, this represents a great opportunity for us. We'll also offer our heavy-duty trucks in a regular cab and our industry-exclusive Mega Cab," said Frank Klegon, Executive Vice President of Product Development for Chrysler LLC. After the 2009 model year, the Quad Cab drops from the option list.
Trailer tow improvements for the heavy-duty Rams include an available integrated trailer brake control with the trailer-tow information displayed in the electronic vehicle information center that is located within the gauge cluster's message center display. "We added as standard fare a seven-pin and a four-pin connector with the 2009 light-duty Ram trucks. Those connector points are integrated in the top surface of the rear bumper, and that same feature will be standard fare on the 2010 heavy-duty trucks," said Scott Kunselman, Vice President of Truck and Jeep Product Development for Chrysler LLC.
A revised, articulating trailer-tow mirror also is part of the equipment mix. "We've enhanced it by making it bigger (now 7 x 11 in) and also increasing the convex section, so now there is both a wide view and a vertical view. The mirror is new for 2010 heavy-duty trucks, and it will be offered on light-duty trucks," said Kunselman.
Modifications were made to heavy-duty Ram axle components, including gauge and size increases to prop shafts, U-joints, and axle tubes. Those suspension alterations equate to towing and hauling improvements. For instance, the front Gross Vehicle Weight Rating went from 4700 to 5500 lb on diesel 4 x 2 trucks and from 5200 to 5500 lb on diesel 4 x 4 trucks. "Exhaustive bench testing and vehicle testing was done to assure that all ratings were met," said Michael Cairns, Chief Engineer of Ram Programs.
Retuned shocks, springs, and sway bars as well as new C-pillar mounts round out the suspension changes. "The 2010 model year is the first application of hydra mounts for Dodge Ram heavy-duty 2500 and 3500 trucks and 3500, 4500, and 5500 Chassis Cabs. This is the rear-most mount of the cab—coinciding with nearly the midpoint of the frame between the axles—and the switch from rubber mounts to hydra mounts allowed us to increase damping through the frame-bending mode frequency," explained Cairns.
Compared to the Quad Cab, the Crew Cab with 6-ft, 4-in box or 8-ft box adds 9 in (230 mm) of frame in the heavy-duty Ram's middle section. "That means the wheelbase grew, and the new hydra mounts help control body frame motions as well as help improve the ride," Cairns said.
The 2010 Dodge Ram 3500, 4500, and 5500 Chassis Cabs offer an all-new Crew Cab that adds 6 in (150 mm) of legroom. As with the 2500 and 3500 heavy-duty Ram trucks, the Ram Chassis Cabs will be available in fall 2009.