Maxed Out Towing With 2016 Ram Trucks
In this world of ever-increasing capability, it’s not often that we find ourselves with the opportunity to truly test the newest pickups to their max. Ten years ago, a 1-ton pickup’s towing capacity would top out near the limits of a standard Class-C driver’s license, allowing anyone to tow at maximum capacity. Now, however, 3/4- and 1-tons have solidly crossed over into Class-A license territory. This makes it difficult for those of us without a commercial license to test these trucks fully loaded on public roads. Seeing this as an issue, Ram set up an event at their proving grounds in Chelsea, Michigan. Why is this important, you ask? The roads at Chelsea are private property, allowing us normal folks to drive their entire lineup of trucks at full capacity without fear of a costly moving violation.
Ram brought out its entire lineup for us to drive, and loaded them all to at or near their maximum Gross Combined Vehicle Weight Rating (GCVWR). Included in the lineup was a ProMaster City, which was tethered to a 2,000-pound trailer and a ProMaster 1500 with a 2,500-pound trailer and 500 pounds of payload. A 1500 EcoDiesel was saddled with 5,800 pounds, while a 2500 had 12,300 pounds hanging off the back. Unfortunately, there were no gasoline 6.4L Hemi-powered trucks, only Cummins power. The 3500s were the stars, with three being hitched to gooseneck trailers and one loaded down with three tons of payload. And then there was the crowd-favorite 5500 chassis cab equipped with a dump bed and a pair of Case Skid Steers for loading it with dirt.
While conditions weren’t absolutely ideal for a tow test, with the roads at Chelsea being flat, the experience gave us a renewed appreciation for the capability of Ram’s lineup. From the smallest to largest, they all handled exceptionally well and towed the loads with relative ease. Experiencing the poise with which the Ram 3500 towed over 31,000 pounds gives a level of assurance that it can handle any task a normal consumer would throw at it. We applaud Ram’s confidence in their product line to coordinate a test like this and encourage other manufacturers to do the same.
Checking in at a whopping $75,695 was the ’16 Ram 3500 Limited. Despite its gargantuan size and opulent interior, this truck tugged along the 27,675-pound trailer with relative ease.
It may not look like much, but this ’16 Ram 3500 Big Horn had 20,820 pounds in tow. Even at this weight and with a high center of gravity, the Ram towed the load effortlessly.
This one is the beast! The big hoss ’16 Ram 3500 SLT regular cab long bed was hitched up to an impressive 31,135 pounds of steel ballast. The truck was loaded up slightly under the max capacity of 31,210 pounds due to being equipped with power windows and a couple other features, which increased the curb weight of the truck by 75 pounds over base. If you want the 1-ton that tows the most this is it, just order one with crank windows.
Not every truck had a trailer in tow. This ’16 Ram 3500 SLT was saddled down with 6,000 pounds of payload. That’s equivalent to placing a Ram 1500 Crew Cab in the bed.
One of the coolest trucks that Ram trotted out for us to try was the 5500 Tradesman chassis cab equipped with a dump bed. We could have easily spent an entire day filling the truck with dirt and dumping it. For us office dwellers, this was a great time reliving childhood sandbox memories.
Introduced in ’14, the Ram 1500’s 3.0L V-6 EcoDiesel is no slouch. This ’16 Limited model was hitched up to a 5,800-pound trailer, which is slightly under its 7,600-pound max.
Representing the 3/4-ton class was this ’16 Ram 2500 Limited. Hanging off the bumper was a modest 12,300 pounds of weighted trailer.
The Ram ProMaster has taken the cargo van world by storm and for good reason. Sporting an optional 3.0L I-4 EcoDiesel engine and MT40 automated-manual six-speed transmission the ProMaster 1500 can haul up to 3,750 pounds and tow over 7,000. Ram hooked up a 2,500-pound trailer and loaded the van with 500 pounds of payload to demonstrate its abilities.
Smallest of the haulers is the ’16 Ram ProMaster City. The cargo version seen here hauls a best in class 1,883 pounds of payload and tows 2,000 pounds, which is exactly what was saddled to the back of this mighty mini. With a full load in tow, the ProMaster City has no trouble with passing or merging power and remains incredibly stable, even at high speeds.