When we last traveled to the San Fernando Valley to meet up with Steve Heller of Howard Sommers Towing and Century Towing's Jeff Littman, we tested the 2008 Ram 5500 under real-world towing conditions ("Towing the Line," September 2008). Three years later, the 2011 edition landed at Business Fleet's doorstep, eager to prove its worth among its medium-duty competitors.
Check out our video walk around and test drive and more photos!
Heller and Littman were happy to oblige, and Littman was able to secure a pristine Maserati coupe from The Auto Gallery Service Center to add a layer of class to our gritty road test.
Max Tow for 2012
Coming this fall, the 2012 Ram 4500/5500 Chassis Cab offers a GCWR upgrade as 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.
The 30,000-lb. GCWR gives the Ram Chassis Cab a 4,000-lb. increase in trailer-towing capabilities. That's good enough for 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.[PAGEBREAK]
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 6-speed manual transmission is standard on Ram 4500 and 5500 Chassis Cab models.
The 2012 Ram Chassis Cab also features customer-selectable maximum speeds of 55, 60, 65, 70, or 75 mph. According to the manufacturer, Ram 4500 and 5500 Chassis Cab trucks have a best-in-class standard 87 mph top speed. A five-minute shutdown timer is also available.