Archive for February 7th, 2014|Daily archive page

Ram diesel trucks “most durable;” 25 years of Cummins

Given the reputation of Cummins as a maker of bullet-proof diesel engines, it is hard to be surprised by Ram’s announcement today that their Cummins-powered trucks are Canada’s most durable diesel pickups.

The first Cummins-powered light-duty pickups (confusing called “heavy duty” or “super duty” by GM, Chrysler, and Ford) appeared in 1989, immediately boosting Dodge pickup sales. The current version of the Cummins B-series engine is far more powerful than in those early days, and has increased in displacement from 5.9 to 6.7 liters; they now produce up to 385 horsepower and 850 lb-ft of torque, more than any competitor.

Ram chassis cabs with the Cummins diesel reach 37,500 lb of gross combined weight ratings; the Ram Heavy Duty has a class-leading 30,000 lb of towing capacity. The engine is the only one shared by heavy equipment and light-duty pickup trucks; it uses an iron head (rather than aluminum), with 30%-40% fewer moving components than competitors.

Ram uses three versions of the engine; the first is paired with a segment-exclusive six-speed manual transmission, which has  a wear-compensating clutch. The diesel is rated at 350 horsepower at 2,800 rpm and 660 lb.-ft. of torque at 1,400 rpm with this transmission. Coupled to the 68RFE six-speed automatic transmission, it is rated at 370 horsepower at 2,800 rpm with an unsurpassed in ¾-ton trucks 800 lb.-ft. of torque at 1,600 rpm. Finally, with the Aisin wide-ratio six-speed automatic transmission (AS69RC), the Cummins is rated at 385 horsepower at 2,800 rpm, with best-in-class torque of 850 lb.-ft. at 1,700 rpm.

The “most durable” claim comes from a study showing the percentage of Canadian diesel pickups sold within the last 20 years that are still on the road, by brand.

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