Chrysler's Ram truck division will begin shipping its 2011 commercial-duty chassis cabs, putting another option out there for big truck buyers and helping to fill out the Ram lineup.
Ram's commercial chassis cabs, much like Ford's and GM's, are able to be spec'd out to suit a variety of customer needs: weight classes (3500, 4500, 5500), trim levels (ST, SLT and Laramie), "four cab-to-axle lengths (60, 84, 108 and 120)", engines (5.7 liter Hemi / cleaner, B-20 biodiesel-compatible 6.7 liter Cummins turbo-diesel), and 2- or 4-wheel-drive are all there to be chosen from.
The diesel engine gets either a 6-Speed manual or 6-Speed automatic transmission, while the Hemi snags a 5-Speed automatic. Automatic transmissions have a feature called Electronic Range Select (it puts a ceiling on the highest gear available).
There's a whole bag full of work-specific extras chassis cabs get, too: front axles get higher weight ratings (for accessories like snow plows), 390 mm front brakes, standard tow mirrors, and if needed, the truck can be "a 'hot spot' for instant access to Web sites, e-mail, and personalized music and more" thanks to a Uconnect multimedia system. Diesel-equipped models also get an exhaust brake.
Inside, all the amenities are there: navigation, heated steering wheel, seat memory, automatic HVAC, and adjustable pedals.
Chrysler says, "The 2011 Chassis Cab vehicles feature a 50,000 psi high-strength steel frame with advanced torsional rigidity and stiffness. A coil-spring suspension system in front and a multi-leaf spring design is maintained in the rear for heavy-duty capability. Front and rear shocks and springs are tuned for optimum ride quality and capability."
By Phil Alex