Riding with Ram

Features - L&L On the Road

The makers of the 2013 Ram 1500 had fuel efficiency on their minds.

September 11, 2012
Brian Horn

NASHVILLE – Contractors looking to save on fuel and have a better idea of how their vehicle operates will want to research the 2013 RAM 1500. The new line features fuel technology that will deliver drivers 17 MPG in town and 25 on the highway.

“One of the key areas we focused on was enabling fuel economy,” said Bob Hegbloom, director of the Ram Truck brand. “For a landscaper who is interested in the cost of ownership for his vehicle, that’s great for him to have,” Hegbloom said.

L&L joined other media members to test drive the truck through the winding roads of Nashville

A new 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine features 42 percent more horsepower, 13 percent more torque and at least 20 percent better fuel economy when compared to the previous 3.7-liter V-6 powertrain.

A 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 with Fuel Saver Technology and variable-valve timing (VVT) provides 395 horsepower, 407 lb.-ft. of torque.

A four corner air suspension makes getting in and out of the truck, as well as loading equipment, easier. The truck can be put into four modes:

Aero Mode: Lowers the vehicle .6 inches from normal ride height. Aero Mode improves fuel efficiency by up to one percent and is activated by vehicle speed.

Off-road 1: Lifts the truck 1.2 inches from NRH for added height in clearing obstacles.

Off-road 2: Delivers more off-road capability, increasing ground clearance by 2 inches over normal ride height.

Park Mode: Lowers the vehicle 2 inches from NRH for easy entry/exit and equipment loading.

The new air suspension also has load-leveling capability, which automatically detects load on the suspension from a trailer or payload.

The air pressure increases until the vehicle reaches normal ride height, leveling the truck and improving the loaded ride.

Inside, a vehicle information center on the dashboard behind the steering wheel will allow drivers to see.

The main screens found inside the instrument cluster menu are: digital speed, vehicle information and fuel economy, trip A information, trip B information and trailer-tow information.“It’s a great opportunity for the landscaper or even someone who is pushing snow in the winter to always know where that vehicle is with the trans temp and oil temp, Hegbloom said.

“They’ll be able to watch that right in the vehicle information center and always know when they are in the optimal levels.”

Contractors can also remotely lock or unlock doors or start their vehicles from any distance via the web or a smartphone application. The 2013 Ram 1500 will be available for purchase in October of this year. The V-8 8-speed will be available in the first quarter of next year.


The author is associate editor of Lawn & Landscape. He can be reached at bhorn@gie.net.