Work Truck magazine Associate Publisher Robert Brown (second from right) presents the 2011 Medium-Duty Truck of the Year Award to the Ram Chassis Cab team, (left) Joe Veltri, vice president,...

Work Truck magazine Associate Publisher Robert Brown (second from right) presents the 2011 Medium-Duty Truck of the Year Award to the Ram Chassis Cab team, (left) Joe Veltri, vice president, Product Planning; Fred Diaz, president and CEO Ram Truck Brand and head of National Sales; and Scott Kunselman, senior vice president, Engineering. Shown in back is the 2011 Ram 4500 Chassis Cab.

Photo: Ram Truck

Nineteen vehicles were included in an online ballot and voted on by professional fleet managers, who were asked to consider which medium-duty truck model best fit their fleet requirements, including application effectiveness, durability, quality, servicing, maintenance, and lifecycle costs. The medium-duty Class 4 and 5 Ram 4500/5500 were named Work Truck magazine's 2011 Medium-Duty Truck of the Year.

"We are very pleased that the Ram 4500/5500 Chassis Cab was named the 2011 Medium-Duty Truck of the Year," said Pete Grady, vice president, Network Development & Fleet for the Chrysler Group LLC. "We take pride in this truly fleet-oriented award, as it was selected by professional fleet customers from across the country."

Built for Towing

Ram Chassis Cab trucks are specifically designed for towing. The new Ram 4500/5500 Chassis Cab GCWR upgrade is part of an optional "Max Tow" package, available on both regular and crew cab models and in 4x2 and 4x4 configurations. The Ram Max Tow package includes a new transfer case gear set as well as chain and sprocket upgrades, recalibrated transmission software, and an enhanced collection of thermal management devices.

Ram 4500 and 5500 Chassis Cab trucks come equipped with the commercial-grade 6.7L Cummins Turbo Diesel engine that produces 305 hp at 2,900 rpm and 610 lb.-ft. of torque at 1,600 rpm.

Max Tow is available on Ram Chassis Cab trucks equipped with the optional commercial-grade Aisin 6-speed automatic transmission and 4.88 rear-axle ratio. A 4.44 axle is standard on 4500 models and not available with the Max Tow package. A class-exclusive 6-speed manual transmission is standard on Ram 4500 and 5500 Chassis Cab models.

The 30,000-lb. GCWR gives the Ram Chassis Cab a 4,000-lb. increase in trailer-towing capabilities, up to a maximum of 22,300 lbs. on a Ram 4500 or 5500 Chassis Cab equipped with a 6-speed automatic transmission on Class 4 Chassis Cab trucks.

"The commercial truck segment is all about total cost of ownership," said Fred Diaz, Ram Truck president, CEO, and head of U.S. sales - Chrysler Group LLC. "When you account for fuel economy, brake wear, tire wear, and the best powertrain warranty in the business, Ram Chassis Cab trucks offer the lowest cost of ownership."[PAGEBREAK]

Providing Upfit Friendliness

Maximum upfit-friendliness is achieved with industry-standard 34-inch frame rail spacing and flat, clean frame rails on a one-piece C-channel rear-frame rail with a best-in-class 50,000-psi steel strength, according to Ram Truck. All chassis components are below the frame surface, allowing easy adaptability and versatility for upfit applications.

Further improving upfitter-friendliness, 2011 Ram 4500 and 5500 Chassis Cabs feature four all-new upfitter switches integrated on the instrument panel. Each switch is linked to an auxiliary power distribution center (PDC) located under the hood, which includes one fused 20-amp battery feed and one fused relay-controlled 20-amp ignition. In addition to these feeds, the PDC supports four new customizable switches. Two switches are ignition-fed, and the remaining two are either battery- or ignition-fed. Switch outputs are found under the hood in a connector for further ease of upfit. A seven-circuit trailer harness and a special upfitter jumper cable - a wiring harness for ancillary power needs - are both standard.

Upfitter wire circuits and electrical schematics are identified in the manufacturer's Body Builder Guide. With built-in tandem PTO capability, all models feature a heavy-duty cooling system in order to meet additional heat loads that are often generated from PTO upfits and/or extreme hauling.

A special capped auxiliary fuel line on the fuel tank facilitates the use of auxiliary equipment running on fuel. The fuel filler is routed through the frame, and an optional 22-gallon mid-ship fuel tank frees up more space behind the rear axle for special upfit applications. Fuel and brake lines are routed together on the frame's driver side to make better use of space along the frame, which also provides clearance for rear exhaust routing.

Ram Chassis Cab also employs a Cummins commercial-grade DEF system that is placed out of the way of upfit zones, saving time and money in the upfit process.

Programmable Features

For 2012, the Ram Chassis Cab has a customer-selectable maximum speed. Ram Chassis Cabs can be ordered from the factory - or programmed by a Ram Truck dealer at no charge - with 55, 60, 65, 70, or 75 mph speed limits. According to the manufacturer, Ram 4500 and 5500 Chassis Cab trucks have a best-in-class standard 87 mph top speed, an important feature for fire, ambulance, and other safety and rescue roles. A five-minute shutdown timer is also available.

The 2012 Ram 4500 and 5500 medium-duty Chassis Cab commercial trucks will be available with an optional 30,000-lb. GCWR, an increase from 26,000 lbs. The 2012 Ram Chassis Cab with Max Tow will reach dealerships in the third quarter of 2011. Max Tow pricing will be announced closer to launch.

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About the author
Lauren Fletcher

Lauren Fletcher

VP of Content

Lauren Fletcher is Vice President of Content. She has covered the truck fleet industry since 2006. Her bright personality helps lead the team's content strategy and focuses on growth, education, and motivation.

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