Press Kit: 2013 Ram Heavy Duty

2013 Ram Heavy Duty Tops the Towing Charts and Offers Best-in-class Total Cost of Ownership

  • 2013 Ram Heavy Duty rises to another level of capability with best-in-class towing, best-in-class Gross Combination Weight Rating (GCWR) and best-in-class total cost of ownership
  • New 2013 Ram Heavy Duty includes significant upgrades to powertrain, frame, suspension, body, electrical architecture and interior
  • New features include factory integrated 5th wheel and gooseneck mount, Class 5 receiver hitch, body-to-frame hydromounts and exclusive electronic stability control (ESC) for dual rear-wheel Ram 3500
  • New frames feature high-strength 50 KSI steel, eight cross member construction, hydroformed main rails and fully boxed rear rails
  • New radius arm front suspension offers improved roll stiffness and handling for best-in-class payload, frontal load (snow plow) and towing capabilities
  • Unsurpassed powertrain warranty – 5 years/100,000 miles
  • Conventional trailer hitch system upgraded to Class 5 with 17,000-lb. load capability, 1,800 pounds of tongue weight for use with 2-inch and 2.5-inch receivers
  • Integration of Powernet technology enables expansion of feature content by adding bandwidth to the truck’s electrical architecture
  • New best-in-class, vehicle system interface module (VSIM) for communicating between aftermarket modules and various vehicle control modules
  • New Keyless Enter ’n Go, remote central-locking RamBox cargo management system and remote locking tailgate combined with door locks
Auburn Hills, Mich. September 26, 2012 - In the quest to build the most capable heavy-duty pickups available, Ram Truck introduces the new 2013 Ram Heavy Duty with best-in-class towing and best-in-class Gross Combination Weight Rating (GCWR). The new Ram Heavy Duty adds a number of new features, including a factory integrated 5th wheel and gooseneck hitch mount, 2.5-inch receiver hitch, electronic stability control (ESC) for dual-rear-wheels and body-to-frame hydromounts that provide improved ride quality. The new 2013 Ram Heavy Duty further solidifies the long list of leadership claims including best-in-class total cost of ownership.

Frame
For 2013, Ram Heavy Duty trucks feature new frames built with high-strength 50 KSI steel, including eight separate cross-members, hydroformed main rails and fully boxed rear rails for optimal strength and mass efficiency. Chassis controls on the new Ram Heavy Duty ensure outstanding noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) measurements, ride and handling characteristics.

Wider front frame rails (approximately one inch per side; two inches overall) enable front suspension springs to be positioned slightly outboard – an enabler for generating more positive roll stiffness. A new front suspension cross member is now a two-piece welded component, essentially vacuum formed between the front axle and oil pan. The dramatically larger, plated structure’s interface to the frame brings a lengthened weld surface that’s twice as large when compared to the previous model. This creates a significantly stiffer, more robust front section. The design ensures optimum mass efficiency with no need for reinforcements to deliver strength despite shape complexity. Center frame rail sections are roll-formed, an efficient means for maintaining consistent strength in less complex longitudinal sections. In the rear portion of the new frame, the structure includes fully boxed rear rails and a factory-installed rear axle cross member with provisions for 5th wheel and gooseneck hitches.

A new conventional trailer hitch system is upgraded to Class 5 with a 17,000-lb. load capability and 1,800 pounds of tongue weight for use with 2-inch or 2.5-inch receivers.

Suspension
To handle the best-in-class towing and payload capability of the new Ram Heavy Duty, a new front and rear suspension system with advanced geometry builds upon the chassis improvements and greatly improves 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 tips side-to-side, independently of the wheels, during cornering. An advanced three-link front suspension on Ram 3500 ensures roll stiffness, necessary for the vehicle’s higher Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) and for use with heavy front loads, including snow plows. Additionally, a newly designed Hotchkiss leaf spring rear suspension on the Ram 3500 offers improved ride and handling while delivering higher towing and payload capability.

Steering
The new front suspension system created the opportunity to improve the new Ram Heavy Duty steering with greater durability and control. The new premium recirculating ball steering gear, redesigned steering knuckles, ball joints and more robust steering linkages deliver enhanced and precise on-center feel despite the vehicles higher towing and payload capacities.

Brakes
Four-wheel disc brakes are standard on all 2013 Ram Truck models. Front rotors measure 14.17 inches (373 mm) in diameter and are clamped with dual-piston calipers, while rear rotors are 14.09 inches (356 mm) also using dual-piston calipers. The Ram Heavy Duty features four-channel electronic stability control (ESC) for dual rear-wheel (DRW) Ram 3500 – the first ESC application on DRW applications in its class, making ESC standard on all Heavy Duty 2500 and 3500 offerings.

Body
A number of body improvements have been made to enhance overall NVH and to align with the best-in-class capabilities of the 2013 Ram Heavy Duty. The new truck comes equipped with an updated engine, transmission and body mounts, including pioneering hydro-mounts at C-pillar positions for class-leading NVH characteristics despite the truck’s aptitude for higher payloads and towing.

A new capless fuel filler on diesel applications is a space-saving initiative that enables side-by-side fuel and diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) port configuration. The result is more convenient fuel and DEF re-fill at pump stations.

The Ram 3500 features a factory-installed 7-pin trailer tow connector in the truck bed, included with the optional 5th wheel or gooseneck tow prep package. New structural support is designed into the body to support the payload increase and improve durability performance. Additionally, new reinforced tie-down points with enhanced strength are designed for heavier loads.

A tailgate handle-mounted rear camera back-up system has been upgraded for the 2013 Heavy Duty with higher definition and dynamic imaging in the 8.4-inch display. Also, a new camera located in the center high-mounted stop light (CHMSL) provides a view of the bed for easier connection to 5th wheel or gooseneck trailers as well as monitoring bed loads.

A new wheel-to-wheel tubular side-step design offers aerodynamic improvements over the current version by allowing air to pass around the truck more smoothly. The improvement adds 0.5 percent to fuel efficiency and allows customers easy access to the forward portion of the truck bed.

Electrical
As the Ram Heavy Duty 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 electrical architecture 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 to even be considered, especially ambulance packages and some utility companies. A new best-in-class, vehicle system interface module (VSIM) is capable of communicating between aftermarket modules and various factory control modules. The VSIM upfitter interface module features a total of 72 inputs and outputs, including lighting controls, door position, and throttle and transmission position. The class exclusive module acts as a secure gateway to the vehicles’ electrical systems and data bus architecture to enable safe, secure plug and play connectivity for upfitter friendliness.

The new 2013 Ram Heavy Duty 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 3500 provides additional power for higher electrical loads from commercial vehicle upfits and accessories.

Additional new features
For 2013, Ram Heavy Duty customers can enjoy the convenience of power folding mirrors and a combination, power rear-sliding window with defrost. Also new for 2013, central locking includes the RamBox cargo management system and tailgate power locks, creating a convenient solution for locking all exterior doors and storage with one push of a button. Auto rain-sensing wipers and SmartBeam headlamps also find their way into the feature availability list, adding to a truckload of content offered in the new 2013 Ram Heavy Duty.

Total cost of ownership and unsurpassed powertrain warranty - 5 years/ 100,000 miles
Operating costs are of great consideration for owners who use their trucks for work. The 2013 Ram Heavy Duty holds class-leading features in:
  • Fuel economy with introduction of a new DEF system
  • Extended maintenance cycle (oil change, fuel filter life)
  • Brake life with advanced engine exhaust brake and largest brakes in the segment
The 2013 Ram Heavy Duty is backed with an unsurpassed 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 also 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 Heavy Duty, from the body to the electrical system.

Manufacturing
The 2013 Ram Heavy Duty is built at the Saltillo Truck Assembly Plant in Coahuila, Mexico.