2009 Dodge Ram 3500HD review and pictures

Posted on Friday, 13 February 2009 , 07:02:12 byVeronica

Filed under DodgeTrucks-Pickups

Dodge Ram 3500HD

Today at the Chicago Auto Show, Dodge further enhanced its commercial vehicle presence with the introduction of a "new crew" of commercial-grade work trucks: the new 2010 Dodge Ram 3500, 4500 and 5500 Chassis Cabs. Led by an all-new crew cab, the new 2010 Dodge Ram 3500, 4500 and 5500 Chassis Cabs are built on a proven frame and chassis and engineered for maximum uptime, optimum performance and enhanced commercial capability.

The Dodge Ram 3500, 4500 and 5500 Chassis Cabs compete within the Class 3-5 segments with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of 10,001 to 19,500 lbs. and are targeted at small-business tradesmen, fleet customers and traditional chassis cab users.

"New Crew" of Chassis Cabs
Offering more room, comfort and storage capability, the new 2010 Dodge Ram 3500, 4500 and 5500 Chassis Cabs feature an all-new crew cab. Crew cabs currently account for approximately 20 percent of the Class 3-5 market.

Inheriting a game-changing design from its light-duty counterpart, the all-new Dodge Ram Crew Cab offers more interior space and convenience. The new Crew Cab adds six inches of legroom compared to the Quad cab it replaces. Easy entry and exit is assured with full-access rear doors that open 85 degrees.

The Ultimate Chassis Cab
The 2010 Dodge Ram 3500, 4500 and 5500 Chassis Cabs feature numerous class-leading attributes including best-in-class fuel economy (Ram 4500/5500), largest standard fuel tank (52 gallons), largest front brake rotors (390 mm) and calipers (66 mm) on the 4500/5500, and a standard diesel exhaust brake.

"Loaded with premium power, enhanced capability and a truck-load of class-leading attributes, our new crew of 2010 Ram Chassis Cabs continue to build momentum for Dodge in the commercial vehicle market," said Scott Kunselman, Vice President â€" Jeep®/Truck Product Team, Chrysler LLC. "Delivering maximum uptime, our new 2010 Dodge Ram 3500, 4500 and 5500 Chassis Cabs set the new commercial standard."

Offered in regular cab, crew cab, single-rear-wheel (3500 only) and dual-rear-wheel models, four cab-axle lengths (60, 84, 108 and 120 inches) are available for 4500/5500 models and two cab-axle lengths (60 and 84 inches) are offered for the 3500 model. Three trim levels are offered: ST, SLT and Laramie.

The 2010 Ram 3500 models feature two axles with three axle ratios (3.42, 3.73 and 4.10) and 17-inch wheels while Ram 4500/5500 models have one axle with three axle ratios (4.10, 4.44 and 4.88) and 19.5-inch wheels. All Dodge Ram Chassis Cab models are "Job-rated," meaning they are designed, engineered, tested and built to meet rigid standards of commercial truck buyers.

Improved standard features include a six-speed manual transmission, increased GVWR (from 12,500 up to 13,000 lbs. on 3500 diesel model), Electronic Vehicle Information Center (EVIC) integrated into the instrument cluster, four upfitter switches, increased alternator size on diesel (180 amps), automatic headlamps, an upgraded HEMI engine, and second-row headrests and rear heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) ducts.

Optional features include electronic gear select for improved towing performance, best-in-class GCWR of 26,000 lbs on Ram 3500, heated and ventilated seats, heated second-row seats, heated steering wheel, one-touch up/down front windows, signal mirrors with puddle lamps, power inverter, upper and lower glove-box doors, driver and passenger power lumbar, automatic dual-temperature controls, integrated trailer brake controller, navigation system with traffic-alert feature, soft upper instrument panel, and memory system for seats, radio, mirrors and pedals (3500). In addition, Dodge Ram 4500 and 5500 Chassis Cab customers may order polished 19.5-inch aluminum wheels.

Upfit-Friendly Design
Dodge`s "new crew" of trucks are built on a road-tested, proven commercial-grade frame and suspension system with best-in-class frame steel strength (50,000-psi). Maintaining its common architecture for commercial applications, the one-piece C-channel rear-frame rail`s riveted crossmembers provide more durability than traditional welds or bolts. In addition, rivets allow for easy removal and/or replacement of components during upfits and modifications.

Maximum upfit-friendliness is achieved with industry-standard 34-inch frame rail spacing and flat, clean frame rails on a proven one-piece C-channel rear-frame rail boasting 50,000-psi steel strength (best-in-class for 3500 model). All chassis components are below the frame surface allowing easy adaptability and versatility for virtually any upfit application.

With industry-standard cab-axle and upfitter specifications, the one-piece C-channel frame, sheer plate or u-bolt access along the length of the frame, and shear plate mounting locations identified along the frame contribute to the Ram 3500, 4500 and 5500 Chassis Cabs` upfitter friendliness.

Further improving upfitter-friendliness, new 2010 Dodge Ram 3500, 4500 and 5500 Chassis Cabs now feature four all-new upfitter switches integrated on the instrument panel.

Each of these four upfitter switches are 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. 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 â€" a wiring harness for ancillary power needs -- are both standard.

Also, incorporated into the design is an upfitter-friendly rear ground stud which is rated to handle a high-current maximum of 50 amps. Electrical connections are user-friendly thanks to one fused battery feed and one fused ignition feed routed into the cab and to the rear of the chassis. Upfitter wire circuits and electrical schematics are identified in the Body Builder Guide. With built-in 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 makes upfitting even easier, facilitating 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.

Both standard and optional fuel tanks feature a through-the-frame fuel filler (external on the mid-ship tank) allowing virtually any upfit without the need for additional modification. In addition, the vehicle`s new urea system is smartly placed in unused space, out of the way and under the cab for added upfitter convenience.

Legendary Powertrains: Cummins Turbo Diesel or HEMI® V-8
The legendary, proven 6.7-liter Cummins High-Output Turbo Diesel is the benchmark for reliability and performance. The engine, optional on Ram 3500 models and standard on 4500 and 5500 models, generates 305 horsepower (227 kW) at 2,900 rpm and 610 lb.-ft. (827 N•m)of torque at 1,600 rpm. Inherently reliable with fewer moving parts than competitive V-8 diesel engines, the Cummins engine delivers best-in-class fuel economy (4500 and 5500 models) and ensures commercial capability, durability and low cost of ownership. With the Cummins 6.7-liter diesel, an optional 3.42 axle ratio is available on the 2010 Dodge Ram 3500 Chassis Cab for improved fuel economy. Customers with serious trailer tow needs will enjoy the Ram 3500`s new optional 26,000 lb GCWR â€" on the 6.7L diesel manual trucks with a 4.10 axle ratio.

The 6.7-liter Cummins features a factory-installed segment-exclusive exhaust brake. The Cummins design works with the Variable Geometry Turbocharger (VGT) and offers multiple benefits including reduced brake wear and longer brake life which may lengthen service intervals, and enhanced safety benefits including increased braking effectiveness and greater control of the vehicle.

Engineered to meet commercial demands while providing superior trailer towing, acceleration and throttle response, the 6.7-liter engine is cleaner with a reduction in particulates and nitrogen oxide (NOx) that comply with both the 50-state heavy-duty emission standards and 2010 diesel emissions compliance thanks to an all-new diesel exhaust fluid injection system with urea injection Selective Catalyst Reduction (SCR) technology.

With more than 1.5 million Dodge Rams powered by Cummins, diesel-equipped chassis cabs are in full compliance with stringent new emission at idle laws, with the distinction that Dodge is the only manufacturer to offer a 50-state emissions package and exterior label allowing drivers to idle without time restrictions in California and other Air Resource Board (ARB) states. This is a no-cost option.

In addition, new 2010 Dodge Ram transmissions include Electronic Range (gear) Select, which enables the driver to manually limit the highest available transmission gear, allowing manual upshifts and downshifts based on road speed and engine speed. A tow/haul mode switch enhances tow capability while towing.

The new 2010 Dodge Ram 3500 Chassis Cab comes standard with a new-generation 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 with VVT (Variable Valve Timing) that will appeal to customers who require a gas engine. Providing more power and torque with better fuel economy, the engine incorporates a 9 percent higher compression ratio (10.5:1), Variable Valve Timing and an active intake manifold. These technologies, combined with engine and powertrain integration improvements, result in a 4 percent improvement in fuel economy, improved idle quality and overall refinement. HEMI-powered 2010 Dodge Ram 3500 Chassis Cabs are rated at 383 horsepower (286 kW) at 5,600 rpm and 400 lb.-ft. (542 N•m)of torque at 4,000 rpm.

Completing the package, Ram 3500, 4500 and 5500 Chassis Cabs offer a proven six-speed Aisin automatic transmission (complete with 3-year/180,000-mile warranty) with Power Take Off (PTO) capability or a six-speed manual transmission with PTO capability. The proven commercial-grade six-speed automatic is a completely electronically controlled transmission that features excellent shift quality (using advanced electro-hydraulic clutch-to-clutch control) and close gear ratios with static and mobile PTO capability. With outstanding shift performance and more control, the six-speed manual transmission achieves a high-ratio sixth gear for longer highway cruising. An available electronic-shift transfer case is also offered on SLT and Laramie models.

The Aisin six-speed automatic transmission includes two significant enhancements to the PTO function. The torque converter now locks up in PTO mode for better fuel economy and speed control while using aerial lifts and air compressors. Customers also now have the ability to program a precise engine RPM that is activated immediately when the PTO is engaged. This eliminates the need to toggle up to the desired engine RPM.

For the 2010 Dodge Ram 3500 Chassis Cab, larger front axle U-joints were developed and front GAWR was increased on diesel trucks from 5,200 to 5,500 lbs. This results in increased front weight-carrying capability â€" allowing the use of larger snowplows.

A Proven Suspension
Engineered to deliver precise feel and response for better handling, the new 2010 Dodge Ram Chassis Cab`s steering and suspension system boast superb strength with a focus on improved load capacity, increased durability and refined handling. Two-wheel-drive and four-wheel-drive models feature a recirculating ball system that provides precise response and an on-center steering feel through lower internal friction.

Featuring solid front and rear axles, and a five-link, coil-spring front suspension with solid axle, a front and rear link-type sway bar and heavy-duty tubular shock absorbers are standard. The rear suspension on two- and four-wheel-drive models is equipped with leaf springs and includes standard two-stage springs as part of the design for greater load-carrying capability and better ride with light loads.

New Bold, "Big-rig" Exterior Design
No other manufacturer matches Dodge`s instantly recognizable bold, expressive "big-rig" design.

The 2010 Dodge Ram Chassis Cab`s all-new exterior styling includes new sheet metal, hood, grille, fascia, bumper, mirrors and headlamps. Conveying robust commercial power and vigor, along with a "big-truck" look and feel, the dominant focal point is the truck`s striking chromed grille that aggressively leans forward to communicate an "in-your-face" bold attitude.

With construction-style front doors, center pillars are smaller than previous Dodge Rams and finished in black to create more of an open appearance. The hood height is raised to accommodate a larger cooling system and is redesigned with a larger power bulge. Door sills are pulled down to cover frame rails. A chromed front bumper wraps around body sides while chromed body-color accents on mirrors and door handles complete the appearance.

Large external mirrors are new for 2010, giving drivers a more useable area while improving aerodynamics and minimizing wind noise. Depending on trim level, mirrors are finished in black, or black and chrome and equipped with turn-signal indicators, memory function, puddle lamps and adjustable convex mirrors. The larger, 7-in. x 11-in. mirror for trailer towing is standard. These mirrors flip up and out into a vertical configuration for trailer tow use.

New, Upgraded Interior Design: Ultimate Comfort, Convenience and Appearance
Interior design elements include a balance of work-truck functionality and, as desired, refined, upscale comfort.

Interior comfort and convenience features include all-new heated and ventilated seats, heated steering wheel, memory functions, automatic temperature control, express up/down windows, and upper and lower glove boxes. Redesigned seats are significantly more comfortable with more surface area and improved lumbar and lateral support. Interiors feature soft-feel door bolsters and armrests and one-piece molded door panels. The center stack is designed for optimum placement of controls in the most intuitive and comfortable locations.

Inside, the new 2010 Dodge Ram Chassis Cab offers abundant amenities for customers who work hard yet need comfort and convenience. Many of the comfort and convenience features were pioneered with the 2009 Dodge Ram 1500.

Interior appointments include soft-feel door bolsters and armrests and one-piece molded door panels. Seats are redesigned with improved power lumbar and lateral support. Six-ring instrumentation keeps track of vehicle functions, while other controls are arrayed in the center stack for easy reach to buttons and knobs.

Also available are two-tone upholstery with full-width contrasting stitching on the instrument panel; premium seating with heat and ventilation; heated rear seats, heated steering wheel; automatic temperature control; two-tone upholstery; memory seats, radio and mirrors, adjustable pedals; and numerous infotainment options including uconnect tunes with a 30-gigabyte hard drive and a navigation system with real-time traffic reports.

Storage is top-of-mind for those whose truck doubles as an office. A new-for-2010 available center console features an upper bin that is large enough to hold a laptop computer (with an accessible power outlet), and a lower bin that accommodates hanging files. In addition, the console offers several other storage compartments.

Other storage locations are built into the instrument panel, front and rear door panels, and seat backs. Upper and lower glove boxes provide a total of more than 800 cubic inches of storage.

More Than 25 Safety and Security Features
In the safety category, 2010 Dodge Ram Chassis Cabs feature an exceptional brake system with class-leading brake rotors. The size of the massive, wide-vented front brakes (390 mm) and front brake rotors (390 mm on 4500/5500 only) and calipers (66 mm) are larger than comparable Ford and GM chassis cab models and last three times as long. Braking is further controlled through Electronic Variable Brake Proportioning, a design that automatically balances front-to-rear braking properties. In addition, standard four-wheel disc brakes with anti-lock braking system (ABS) and updated calibration refine brake performance.

Following is a list of more than 25 safety and security features available on new 2010 Dodge Ram 3500, 4500 and 5500 Chassis Cab:

Anti-lock Brake System (ABS): Senses and prevents wheel lockup, offering improved steering control under extreme braking and/or slippery conditions. Advanced ABS modulates the four brakes individually for optimum control and stopping performance
Auto-reverse Window: Automatically engages and reverses the window to the down position when an obstacle that restricts glass movement is detected
BeltAlert: Enhanced seat-belt reminder system. If a vehicle is driven without the driver being properly belted, the system will periodically activate a chime and illuminate an icon in the instrument cluster to remind the driver to buckle up
Brake Assist: In a panic brake condition, the system applies maximum braking power, providing the shortest possible stopping distance (3500 only)
Brake/Park Interlock: Prevents an automatic transmission or transaxle from being shifted out of Park unless the brake pedal is applied
Child-protection Rear-door Locks: Allows customers to disable the rear-door, inside-release handle. A small lever on the door-shut face operates this feature
Crumple Zones: Designed to compress during an accident in order to absorb energy from an impact, decreasing transfer of that energy to occupants
Digressive Load-limiting Retractors: A two-stage load-limiting feature to limit the maximum force on the belt webbing in order to help absorb the energy of the occupant`s upper torso during an impact
Energy-absorbing Steering Column: Steering column utilizes two hydroformed coaxial tubes that move relative to each other in order to allow the column to move forward for enhanced energy-absorption during an impact
Enhanced Accident Response System (EARS): In the event of an impact, this system makes it easier for emergency personnel to see and reach occupants by turning on the interior lighting and unlocking doors after air bag deployment
Four-wheel Anti-lock-brake System (ABS): Senses and prevents wheel lockup, offering improved steering control under extreme braking and/or slippery conditions
Height-adjustable Front Seat Belts: Allows the driver and front passenger to raise and lower the shoulder belt. Encourages seat belt usage by offering a comfortable fit
Integrated Remote Keyless Entry Transmitter and Ignition Key: The remote keyless entry locks and unlocks doors and turns on interior lamps. If the vehicle is equipped with a vehicle-theft security alarm, the remote also arms and disarms that system
Interior Head-impact Protection: Interior pillars above the belt-line and instrument panel, including areas around windshield and rear window headers, roof and side-rail structures and shoulder-belt turning loops are specifically designed to limit head-impact force
Knee Bolsters: The steering column lower instrument panel and the glove-box door are reinforced to further protect occupants during frontal impacts. They both restrain and position the occupant properly and enable air bags to work effectively
Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren (LATCH): This system helps ease the installation of compatible aftermarket child seats
Multi-stage Air Bag System: Offering enhanced protection, this system is designed to deploy based on the severity of an impact
Power-adjustable pedals: Allows brake and accelerator pedals to move toward or away from the driver in order to achieve a comfortable seating position for improved vehicle control
Remote Keyless Entry: Locks and unlocks doors, and turns on interior lamps. If the vehicle is equipped with a vehicle-theft security alarm, the remote also arms and disarms that system
Remote Start: Conveniently starts the engine from outside the vehicle by using the Remote Keyless Entry fob while maintaining vehicle security
Safety Cage Body Structure: Protects occupants by managing and controlling energy in the event of an impact
Seat-Belt Pretensioners: During a collision, impact sensors initiate front seat-belt pretensioners to immediately remove slack from seat belts, thereby reducing the forward movement of occupants` heads and torsos
Security Alarm: Arms and disarms alarm feature through remote control, flashes lights and sounds horn upon unauthorized entry
Sentry Key Engine Immobilizer Theft Deterrent System: This utilizes an engine key that has an embedded transponder with a pre-programmed security key code. When the key is inserted into the ignition, the controller sends a random number to the transponder and the engine is allowed to start. If the correct key is not used, the engine will shut off after only a few seconds
Side-guard Door Beams: In front and rear doors, provides occupant protection during a side impact
Three-point Seat Belts: Front outboard seating positions and all rear seating positions in the Dodge Ram 3500, 4500 and 5500 Chassis Cabs have lap and shoulder belts
uconnect® Hands Free Communication: Uses Bluetooth® technology to provide voice-controlled wireless communication between the occupants` compatible mobile phones and the vehicle`s onboard receiver

New 2010 Dodge Ram 3500, 4500 and 5500 Chassis Cabs will be built at Chrysler`s Saltillo Assembly Plant in Coahuila, Mexico. One of the company`s most flexible plants, the Saltillo plant also produces the Dodge Ram Mega Cab, Ram Power Wagon, and Ram 2500 and 3500 Heavy Duty trucks.

Chrysler`s Flexible Manufacturing Strategy (FMS), based on extensive use of robotics in the body shop, balances production with demand. FMS enables the company to efficiently build low-volume vehicles and, as needed, to quickly shift production to different models.

The Saltillo Assembly Plant has 1,700 employees working on two shifts and is one of five Chrysler manufacturing facilities in Mexico.

Comprehensive Commercial-Grade Service and Support
In addition to offering superior upfit-friendly work trucks that deliver maximum uptime, class-leading fuel performance and low ownership costs, Dodge offers a number of innovative dedicated customer programs.

With a network of more than 500 dealers, Dodge BusinessLink features dedicated commercial account managers and sales teams, priority next-bay service and maintenance, extended hours, free loaner vehicles and inventories with a higher mix of work trucks and commercial vehicles. Dodge`s "On The Job" program offers discounts on upfits, cash incentives and other customer savings.

In addition, a new national dealer program, Fleet Elite, was created with the goal of providing a world-class dealer experience to Fleet and Fleet Management Company (FMC) accounts and customers. Leveraging the Five-Star certification process, Fleet Elite is a dealership certification program that is designed to ensure that business customers receive enhanced service and support with specialized facilities, staffing and processes to meet specialized needs.

To address technical issues and provide "real-time" support, a comprehensive Dodge Body Builders Guide is available to upfitter partners as well as a toll-free commercial hotline supported by a dedicated Commercial Vehicle Team located in Engineering.