GM and Partners Burn Rubber to Improve Fuel Economy

National Tire Research Center to speed testing, development of fuel-efficient tires

DETROIT – General Motors’ drive to improve vehicle fuel economy is expected to gain traction in January when GM engineers and scientists begin work with research partners to accelerate the development of tire technology at the new National Tire Research Center in Halifax County, Va.
The world-class facility, to which GM contributed $5 million, uses state-of-the-art tire performance machinery that will enable automakers and tire manufacturers to replicate real-world emergency events and improve vehicle highway safety.
By some estimates, tire design can help improve fuel efficiency by up to 7 percent. A tire’s rolling resistance is determined by variations in tread pattern, construction, material quality and processing techniques. Ultimately, the lower the rolling resistance, the less fuel is needed to move the vehicle forward.
Low rolling resistance tires are expected to help customers save money at the gas pump, as will more efficient conventional engines and electric powertrains.   
The work we’ll undertake at the National Tire Research Center will have a big impact on how quickly next-generation tire technologies will be developed and the accuracy of their design and engineering,” said Ken Morris, GM’s executive director of Global Vehicle Performance and Safety, and proving grounds and test labs. Morris attended the center’s ribbon-cutting ceremony in October.
The center’s $11.2 million tire performance test equipment, known as Flat-Trac LTRe, is unique in its use of electric motor technology and can run a tire up to 200 mph. It provides data on handling, ride, torque, and braking capabilities on various surfaces, including wet road conditions. GM was instrumental in developing the machine’s test specifications.
The Flat-Trac LTRe is capable of replicating all driving maneuvers of a passenger car or light truck on the road. GM and other automotive engineers will be able to use the data collected by the equipment to predict vehicle performance and modify tire characteristics to improve performance for low rolling resistance, better road-holding capability and other criteria.
“This facility’s test equipment is like going from a basic telescope to the Hubble – it opens up a whole new world of possibilities,” said Frank Della Pia, a former GM vehicle dynamics manager who is executive director for the tire research center. “It can test tires in the full range of the performance spectrum. This facility has no peer in the world. It’s going to enable a transformational leap in tire technology.”
The center’s facilities also include the Southern Virginia Vehicle Motion (SoVa Motion) Laboratory, strategically located in the heart of the Virginia Motorsports Alley at the Virginia International Raceway. SoVa Motion offers shock and suspension testing, virtual prototyping of vehicle components, and a range of on-vehicle sensing such as wheel force transducers. SovaMotion will take advantage of the Tire Center’s test data to conduct drive and handling simulations that could help reduce time and cost of vehicle program development.
“The work GM will do with SovaMotion and the National Tire Research Center will further improve laboratory test methods and improve our overall vehicle development process,” Morris said. “Ultimately, that means better vehicles for our customers.”

General Motors Co. (NYSE:GM, TSX: GMM) and its partners produce vehicles in 30 countries, and the company has leadership positions in the world's largest and fastest-growing automotive markets.  GM’s brands include Chevrolet and Cadillac, as well as Baojun, Buick, GMC, Holden, Isuzu, Jiefang, Opel, Vauxhall and Wuling. More information on the company and its subsidiaries, including OnStar, a global leader in vehicle safety, security and information services, can be found at http://www.gm.com.


Find a Harbor Truck Body In Washington State

Harbor Truck Body - Washington Distributors

The Fab Shop
10315 16th St E
Edgewood WA 98372
253-568-9124 Main
253-568-9173 Fax

(Independent Dealer
Accessories Inc)

1213 4th Ave
Kent WA 98032
253-859-5450 Main
253-859-5693 Fax
Steve Archer


Capital Industrial Supply
2649 R W Johnson Blvd
Tumwater WA 98512
360-786-1890 Main
360-786-0399 Fax

Cobalt Truck Equipment
Regional Location
4620 E Trent Ave
Spokane WA 99212
800-572-4369 Main
509-535-4294 Fax
Doug Burpee, Branch Mgr

Mobile Fleet Services
2003 E Viola Ave
Yakima WA 98901
509-575-8888 Main
509-575-8317 Fax


GMC Pickups 101: Alphabet Soup of Acronyms

Explaining the GVWRs, the SRWs and the DRWs

Editor’s Note: For more than 100 years, GMC pickups have come in many varieties to suit a wide range of customer demands. From that have come a number of acronyms for various capacities and features. This third in an occasional series of “GMC Pickups 101” features explains those jumbles of letters.

DETROIT – Nearly every full-size pickup owner has a unique use for his or her truck. And considering the GMC Sierra’s 19 different cab and box combinations, the veritable alphabet soup of models practically has its own language of acronyms.

Some of the most important truck acronyms for owners to know are gross weight ratings. Exceeding any of a truck’s weight ratings is unsafe, and it’s a driver’s responsibility to know and avoid exceeding them.
“Nearly every vehicle performance attribute is designed and tested to one or more gross weight rating,” said Robert Krouse, General Motors trailering engineer. ”Body and chassis structural durability, powertrain and driveline durability, handling, braking, thermal and propulsion performance are all validated to specific ratings. That’s why it’s so important for owners to understand those limits.”
  • GAWR, or Gross Axle Weight Rating, is the maximum amount of weight that can be placed on either a truck’s front or rear axle, including the weight of the truck, driver, passengers, equipment and cargo. A higher front GAWR generally means more capacity for accessories like plows, while a high rear GAWR relates to a higher payload.
  • GVWR, or Gross Vehicle Weight Rating, is the maximum amount of weight for the entire truck and everything in it. This number isn’t simply each axle rating added together; for that to work, the owner would have to precisely load so that each axle weight rating is met just as the overall vehicle rating is met, which isn’t possible in real world conditions. As a result, GVWR is always lower than the sum of each axle to account for changes in weight distribution.
  • GCWR, or Gross Combined Weight Rating, is the maximum weight of a truck and an attached trailer, plus everything in each of them. Some of a trailer’s weight is supported by the truck – this is known as tongue weight – a GCWR isn’t simply the GVWR plus the trailer’s weight. When attaching a trailer, an owner should factor tongue weight into a truck’s payload capacity.
“It’s very important that drivers observe these limits to maintain safe stopping distances,” said Krouse. “Not only that, overloading a truck causes excessive wear on suspension and brakes and could lead to engine or transmission failure.”

The 2013 Sierra’s highest GCWR is 30,500 pounds for a 3500HD Duramax DRW model. DRW, another truck acronym, applies only to 3500HD one-ton pickups. It implies a “dual rear wheel” option, as opposed to a “single rear wheel,” or SRW.

The option adds not only higher payload and weight limits, but also better stability with a large trailer attached. For a 2013 Sierra 3500HD 4x4 Crew Cab, a DRW option adds 5,700 pounds of available trailer weight rating and 1,011 pounds of payload capacity.

GMC has manufactured trucks since 1902, and is one of the industry's healthiest brands. Innovation and engineering excellence is built into all GMC vehicles and the brand is evolving to offer more fuel-efficient trucks and crossovers, including the Terrain small SUV and Acadia crossover.  GMC is the only manufacturer to offer three full-size hybrid trucks with the Yukon, Yukon Denali SUVs and the Sierra pickup. The Sierra Heavy Duty pickups are the most capable and powerful trucks in the market. Details on all GMC models are available at http://www.gmc.com/, on Twitter at @thisisgmc or at http://www.facebook.com/gmc.


Maxon Lift Corp. Expands Tuk-A-Way® Product Line with the Addition of the TE-33 Liftgate


2012 has been a busy year for new product introductions by MAXON. We’re excited to announce our third new product this year which is also the newest addition to our industry-leading Tuk-A-Way® product line, the TE-33 liftgate.

The TE-33 boasts a 3,300 lb. lifting capacity, a bolt-on extension plate and a bolt-on heavy-duty step assembly, all in a rugged and economical package.

Engineered in response to customers requiring greater platform space for consolidated palletized loads, the TE-33 is optimal for small- to mid-sized trucks with beds as low as 38”. The TE-33 is available in 48” x 84” or 52” x 84” wedge-type steel platform sizes specifically designed to allow for the smooth transition of load on and off the platform.

All-in-all, the TE-33 has heavy-duty capability without the heavy-duty price tag. “That was our intention”, says Brent Stratton, Co-President of Maxon. “Our designs reflect the needs of our customers. They get the latest innovations all on a sensible budget. “

Large Wedge-Type Platform Design
The TE-33 features large 48” x 84” and 52” x 84” wedge-type steel platforms. The wedge design allows smooth transition of load on and off the platform.

TE-33 Wedge

Twin Cylinder Design
The TE-33 features a twin cylinder, mid-arm design resulting in great performance and stability.

TE-33 Twin Cylinder

Hydraulic Locking
The TE-33 features a hydraulic lock valve that takes operator involvement out of the equation. As soon as the control button is released, the gate is always securely locked.

TE-33 Hydraulic Locking

Bolt-On Steps & Extension Plate
The steps and extension plates were strategically designed to bolt-on in order to avoid welding on the gate that would affect the factory paint. The steps were also designed as an integral part of the gate that would easily allow for them to be exchanged in case of dock damage.

TE-33 Bolt-On

This patented, exclusive paint process has a tough polyurea top coat and an aluminum rich primer that combat corrosion and keep the liftgate looking like new.

maxpro logo

Additional product information (including install and operation manuals) about the TE-33 can be obtained by calling us at  800-227-4116  or online at www.maxonlift.com/te-33.


Wounded Warriors Truck at the 2012 SEMA Show

For more information on the Wounded Warriors visit www.woundedwarriorproject.org This Truck displayed a BEDSLIDE


Harbor Traverse Compartment Offers Deep Locked Storage

This is a special Transverse Compartment in the front compartment of an 11' Harbor Service Body. In this case the space is opened up to go across the bed are to the back of the opposite compartment on the other side of the service body. You could also go all the way through if that was needed. Notice how the shelf that lines up with the floor is a permanent steel shelf welded in place and the additional shelves are removable and movable.

The value of the Transverse Compartment is to give more space that can be locked and secured. You lose a bit of the front of the cargo area, but we think you'll agree that it is a very worthy trade-off. This is not an expensive option and Harbor does them all the time in various ways on a number of Harbor products. This is just one of the many modification we can make to our standard products inexpensively to make them more useful for your business.

Give Kimberly and her team a call at 800-433-9452, and visit our website at http://www.htbi.net/.


Ram’s Halo Trucks – 2013 Chassis Cab Lineup Offer Best-in-class Capability and New Exclusive Features

Ram’s Halo Trucks – 2013 Chassis Cab Lineup Offer Best-in-class Capability and New Exclusive Features
  • 2013 Ram Chassis Cab goes far beyond competitive capability with best-in-class towing and best-in-class total cost of ownership
  • New 2013 Ram Chassis Cab includes significant upgrades to powertrain, frame, suspension, body, electrical architecture and interior
  • Legendary diesel power with new six-speed automatic and manual transmissions
  • 6.7-liter Cummins available with high output option producing 325 horsepower (242 kW) at 3,000 rpm and best-in-class 750 lb.-ft. of torque (559 N•m)
  • 5.7-liter HEMI® V-8 delivers 383 horsepower (286 kW) at 5,600 rpm and 400 lb.-ft. of torque (542 N•m), and features variable-valve timing for greater efficiency and performance (Ram 3500 Chassis Cab)
  • New Aisin AS69RC six-speed automatic transmission handles higher diesel output and offers enhanced power take-off (PTO) capability
  • Exclusive dual-inlet Ram Active Air in diesel models adjusts induction according to driving conditions for optimal performance
  • Best-in-class 15,000-mile oil change intervals on Cummins diesel
  • Advanced diesel engine cooling system enables 25-percent more heat rejection for harsh duty cycles when compared to previous design
  • Next-generation selective catalytic reduction (SCR) and diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) system — more efficient energy
  • Innovative features combined with excellence in engineering make upfitting easy and less expensive
  • Only manufacturer to feature standard electronic stability control (ESC) on all models
  • New frame improvements include high-strength 50 KSI steel, eight cross member construction, C-channel rear rails to ensure continued unsurpassed noise, vibration and harshness (NVH), ride and handling characteristics
  • Integration of Powernet technology enables expansion of feature content by adding bandwidth to the truck’s electrical architecture
  • Best-in-class powertrain warranty – 5 years/100,000 miles
  • Exterior design changes include new grilles and all-new premium lighting system with bi-functional halogen projector bulbs and LEDs for park/turn and side markers
  • New interior features include: Standard and premium vehicle information center, steering wheel and controls, instrument panel, door panels, interior colors and premium materials
  • Next-generation Uconnect Access combines a new lineup of smart media centers with a powerful new wireless platform that includes Wi-Fi hotspot capability
  • New configurable premium vehicle information center with 7-inch multiview display available on SLT and standard on Laramie models
  • Best-in-class, new vehicle system interface module (VSIM)
  • New Passive Entry, Keyless Enter ’n Go
Auburn Hills, Mich. , Sep 27, 2012  -  The 2013 Ram 3500, 4500 and 5500 Chassis Cab truck is the pinnacle of capability. Engineered and designed for extreme daily work, the Ram Chassis Cabs are products of a demanding environment and direct customer input. Ram’s halo truck line focuses on best-in-class capability and best-in-class total cost of ownership, a leading concern among business owners. For 2013, the new Chassis Cab trucks also receive an all-new interior, the latest infotainment technology and exclusive upfit solutions, giving Ram Chassis Cab a competitive advantage. The new Chassis Cab goes further to offer a best-in-class powertrain warranty of 5 years/100,000 miles.

“The Ram Chassis Cab lineup is engineered for hard work. Our efforts to simplify upfitting and reduce total cost of ownership have made Ram a popular choice for industrial, commercial and even personal applications,” said Fred Diaz, President and CEO, Ram Truck Brand and Chrysler de Mexico — Chrysler Group LLC. “We see an opportunity to grow our share in the Chassis Cab segment and Ram is offering best-in-class capabilities with class-exclusive features to get the job done and attract new customers."

The new 2013 Chassis Cab best-in-class capability ratings:
  • Best-in-class Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR)
  • Best-in-class towing
  • Best-in-class front Gross Axle Weight rating (GAWR) on 4500 and 5500
Features include a number of industry exclusives:
  • Vehicle system interface module (VSIM) is capable of communicating between aftermarket modules and various Chassis Cab control modules
  • Electronic stability control (ESC) on all models
  • Largest fuel tank
  • Best-in-class 15,000-mile oil change intervals on Cummins diesel
  • Largest -in-class brakes
  • Best-in-class dual 220-amp alternator system
  • Exclusive back up camera for upfitter positioning
  • Best-in-class powertrain warranty
Ram Chassis Cab engineers design trucks for upfits and develop unique features to ease installation of multiple systems and bodies without interference or difficult relocation of components, including:
  • Industry standard frame lengths 60-inch, 84-inch, 108-inch and 120-inch
  • No components or lines above the rear frame rails
  • Through-the-frame plumbing and electrical
  • Removable/ movable exhaust and frame components
  • DEF refill port is conveniently located at the rear of the cab on the driver’s side to ensure easy access at pump stations
With the upfits in mind, the 2013 Ram Chassis Cab trucks feature new frames built with high-strength 50 KSI steel, including eight separate cross-member construction. Designing the frames for upfits creates a competitive advantage, improves durability and reduces warranty costs from unapproved modifications. Ram Chassis Cab trucks have no components or lines above the rear frame rails. This feature reduces the need for modification and relocation that is sometimes required in competitive trucks. One piece, C-channel rear frame rails, and through-the-frame plumbing and electrical provide a flat plane for ease of mounting application bodies and accessories.

To handle the best-in-class towing and unsurpassed Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) capability of the new Ram Chassis Cab, new springs have been integrated to handle heavier front load while maintaining front ride height. The improvements also improve overall roll stiffness. Greater roll stiffness, also known as body roll, is an important characteristic in taller vehicles, especially trucks with heavy payloads. An advanced five-link front suspension ensures excellent ride and handling for a higher GVWR and for use with heavy front loads, including snow plows. The newly designed Hotchkiss rear leaf spring suspension not only provides a minimum of zero degrees rake angle at max load, it also maintains objectives for ride and handling.

Along with alterations in the suspension, Ram engineers improved the Chassis Cab steering. The drag link is repositioned over the track bar to reduce roll oversteer and to improve tracking at highway speeds. Also, the drag link is now attached directly to the knuckle, offering improved efficiency for driver input. The caster and track are increased for more wheel aligning torque, which improves return-to-center at the steering wheel. A new ball joint alignment feature and sealing method improves alignment and service for lower total cost of ownership. The 2013 Ram Chassis Cab receives a new steering damper with new valving and protective cover for added durability. These improvements result in enhanced and precise on-center feel despite the vehicles higher towing and payload capacities.

The 2013 Ram Chassis Cab comes equipped with updated engine, transmission and body mounts for class-leading noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) characteristics.

Ram 3500, 4500 and 5500 Chassis Cab commercial trucks are available with an engineering-approved, upfitter-friendly solution for customers who require back panel removal on regular cab trucks. Because the instructions were created and approved by Ram commercial truck engineers, the cutaway design retains the structural integrity of the truck.

As the Ram Chassis Cab continues to offer more feature content, it created the need for a technology that allows more information to be electronically communicated within the truck. The new Powernet system allows both high- and low-speed data networks to be equipped with as many as 40 individual modules, all designed to improve vehicle performance and enhance the comfort and safety of driver and passengers.

A majority of the commercial truck customers need to tie into the electrical system and certain fleet customers require access to vehicle information. A new best-in-class, vehicle system interface module (VSIM) is capable of communicating between aftermarket modules and various Chassis Cab control modules. The class exclusive module acts as a secure gateway to the vehicles’ electrical systems and data bus architecture to enable safe, secure plug ‘n play connectivity for up-fitter use.

New for 2013, an optional dual 220-amp alternator system on the diesel-equipped Ram Chassis Cab provides best-in-class electrical capability for the higher electrical loads required in select upfits such as emergency lighting and electric clutch pumps.

Total cost of ownership and best-in-class powertrain warranty - 5 years/ 100,000 miles
Operating costs are of great consideration for owner’s who use their trucks for work. The 2013 Ram Chassis Cab holds class-leading features in:
  • Extended maintenance cycle (15,000 mile oil change, fuel filter life)
  • Brake life with advanced engine exhaust brake
  • Upfit integration
The 2013 Ram Chassis Cab is backed with an best-in-class 5-year/100,000-mile Powertrain Limited Warranty. The powertrain limited warranty covers the cost of all parts and labor needed to repair a covered powertrain component – engine, transmission and drive system. Coverage also includes free towing to the nearest Ram Truck dealer, if necessary. The warranty is transferable allowing customers who sell their truck during the warranty period to pass the coverage on to the new owner. The standard 3-year/36,000-mile Basic Limited Warranty provides bumper-to-bumper coverage for the Ram Chassis Cab, from the body to the electrical system.

The new Ram trucks deliver the most diesel power in the medium-duty commercial-truck segment – a proven and highly efficient gasoline engine, an upgraded six-speed automatic transmission with enhanced power take-off (PTO) capability and a host of technologies aimed at delivering best-in-class cost of operation attributes.

The 3500 chassis cab comes standard with the legendary 5.7-liter HEMI® V-8 gasoline engine. The engine produces 383 horsepower at 5,600 rpm and generates peak torque of 400 lb.-ft. at 3,950 rpm. Mated to the 66RFE six-speed automatic transmission, the HEMI® features enhanced fuel efficiency and power output, thanks to the incorporation of variable valve-timing and a compression ratio of 10.5:1. Refinements and other applied technologies provide the latest-generation HEMI with performance and fuel economy improvements to rival multi-valve V-8 offerings.

Unlike the competition, Ram offers two engine variants based on the 6.7-liter Cummins for diesel supremacy in the segment.

The first version features 320 horsepower at 2,800 rpm and 650 lb.-ft. of torque at 1,500 rpm – an increase of 15 horsepower and 40 lb.-ft. torque over the previous offering. The engine is paired with Ram’s segment-exclusive six-speed manual transmission, which features a wear-compensating clutch for consistent performance and a dual-trunion shift tower to accommodate a compact shift pattern.

A second high-output diesel delivers 325 horsepower at 2,800 rpm and generates best-in-class torque of 750 lb.-ft. at 1,600 rpm. The engine is paired with a new Aisin six-speed automatic transmission (AS69RC) and marks the first time a high-output diesel is offered in Chassis Cab.

The new AS69RC transmission features more robust components and a new controller that improves shift performance, transmission efficiency and drivability when compared to the previous model. The new transmission is designed for higher engine ratings and enables a left-side PTO option, as well as allowing for a split shaft PTO configuration. Fire pumpers, dump beds, cranes and onboard compressor/generators are typical PTO based upfits.

For 2013, all Ram Chassis Cab diesels benefit from an all-new cooling system. A high-efficiency fan, dual radiators, dual transmission coolers and charge air cooler afford 25 percent more heat-rejection capacity to align with best-in-class GCWR. Lower operating temperatures deliver improved performance, durability and lower operating costs.

New GCWR ratings also led to the development of the industry-exclusive Ram Active Air intake system, activated by new monitoring capabilities added to the engine controller. When the exclusive intake system senses extreme heat, it draws cooler air from the front of the vehicle – a function that also engages at high altitudes for superior throttle response in low oxygen environments. When conditions are wet from snow, ice or water fording, the system pulls air from an under-hood inlet, clear from snow packing and water ingestion.

Emissions performance
The Cummins powerplants benefit from a larger exhaust-gas recirculation cooler, which complements the selective catalytic reduction (SCR) and accommodates a best-in-class oil-change interval of 15,000 miles. Oil life is increased by reducing soot production and reducing fuel dilution of the oil.

When needed, the diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) is injected into the exhaust to reduce NOx (Nitrogen Oxides) emissions coming out of the tail pipe. Unlike the competition, the Ram Chassis Cab maintains full power when fluid is low. The state-of-the art DEF system applied on the Ram Chassis Cab features an electric heater in the DEF tank to ensure the fluid is available in a liquid state regardless of climate. The result is a less complex system for enhanced durability. Competitive designs have used a network of glycol-circulated cooling/heating lines. The DEF refill port is conveniently located at the rear of the cab on the driver’s side of the vehicle, and clear of upfit zones, a configuration that ensures easy access at fuel stations when compared to the competition.

Combined with an improvement in fuel economy, due in part to the engines’ high-pressure common-rail fuel system, SCR provides a net reduction in Ram Chassis Cab operating costs.

The SCR-equipped Cummins engines also operate cleaner by lowering greenhouse-gas emissions and better managing soot production than Lean NOx Trap (LNT) technology.

Two new grille designs are available on the 2013 Ram Chassis Cab, and the quad headlamp design has improved light spread, pattern consistency and distance. An all-new premium headlamp is offered featuring bi-functional halogen projectors and new LEDs for park/turn and side markers. The LED light housings are functional hardware with appeal and durability over incandescent bulbs.

An exclusive, new back-up camera is available and delivered with factory wiring and multi-purpose mount for easy installation by the upfitter. The camera provides a view of the rear with upgraded resolution with higher definition and dynamic imaging in the available 8.4-inch radio display or 1.7 x 3-inch display in the rear-view mirror.
Exterior door and fender badges are located in a portrait style format providing usable real estate on the door for a commercial customer’s logos and graphics.

For 2013, Ram Chassis Cab offers 12 different colors with an additional 18 specialty paint options, including Midnight Blue, Case Construction Power Tan, Case IH Red, New Holland Construction Yellow, New Holland Agriculture Blue and Robin Egg Blue.

New Ram Chassis Cab features and technologies create an opportunity for a redesigned interior with material upgrades, improved fit and finish, new colors, HVAC controls and new multimedia systems.

In four-door models, rear-seat occupants enjoy the same quality, fit and finish as the driver. With points of contact a priority, new premium, durable materials are now on all four doors.

The 2013 Ram Chassis Cab features the next generation 8.4-inch Uconnect system. To make room for the new big screen, the center stack is upgraded with matching materials found throughout the interior. To complement the range of Chassis Cab models, the interior design team created new, individualized themes with different colors and materials.

The all-new HVAC controls take lessons learned from other Chrysler Group Uconnect applications and feature simple, improved function meeting the highest Human Machine Interface (HMI) standards. The HVAC system includes a redundant architecture allowing the operator to use either the 8.4-inch touchscreen or manual controls to alter the truck’s environment. Below the upgraded HVAC arrangement is a new switch bank with relocated, easy-to-use controls for a number of features depending on vehicle models and options. The top row is for functional features and includes exhaust brake, tow/haul and ESC. The bottom row comes standard as an auxiliary switch bank for all five spots with a PTO option when equipped. Contiguous to the switch bank is a relocated and prominently placed adjustable integrated trailer brake control allowing the driver to add or reduce trailer brake function on the fly. The new console center stack includes one 115-volt and two 12-volt outlets on either side with an optional powered USB on the driver’s side.

All Ram Chassis Cab trucks continue to use a column shifter for the automatic transmission. Electronic Range Select (ERS) is now located on the face of the steering wheel, right side, allowing individual gear selection. Diesel models offer an exclusive manual six-speed transmission, the only manual transmission offering in the segment. On all models, the transfer case retains full capability with a rotary e-shift to control “4WD Auto,” “4WD Lock,” “4WD Low,” “2WD” and “Neutral”.

New technology moves to the gauge cluster. Previously only available on premium models, the 3.5-inch vehicle information center screen is now a standard feature. The new thin-film transistor (TFT), 7-inch multiview display is now available on premium models. The 7-inch screen features fully customizable function and configurability giving the owner a variety of systems to monitor from transmission temperature to navigation.

Chassis Cab trucks with bucket seats offer additional storage capacity in the center console. Six-passenger capability is available with the 40-20-40 bench seat.

Two new steering wheels are available and seating colors and feel are upgraded with new colors, including a new premium cloth material.

The center consoles for both the bucket and 40-20-40 bench seat configurations are all new with efficient storage in mind. The new bucket seat console uses the extra space as additional storage. The bench seat design includes three new cup holders built into the console lid that features a washable rubber bellow lining allowing storage for most cup sizes as well as other personal items. Folding back the center console and center front seat base reveals a large storage bin that houses an optional CD player. Both versions of the console feature two tiers of storage and are available with a new multi-media port with USB, SD card and auxiliary inputs in the upper tier. Additionally, a 2.5-amp USB power port and 12-volt outlet are available to meet device-charging needs.

Building upon base radio capability, two new Uconnect systems are offered to provide Ram customers with a range of features and connectivity options. The Uconnect 8.4A and 8.4AN provide Ram truck owners with a built-in wireless connection allowing vehicle occupants to automatically connect to a variety of new services. Users can remotely lock and unlock doors or start their vehicles from any distance via the web or a smartphone application. The new Uconnect system includes a 911 button on the rear-view mirror for a direct connection to emergency services. An ASSIST button also is integrated into the rear-view mirror to summon help directly from a roadside assistance provider or connect with Chrysler Group’s Vehicle Customer Care Center. Wi-Fi hotspot capability enabled by Uconnect Access provides in-cabin wireless Internet connectivity via laptop, tablet or smartphone, whether on the move or at the worksite. Applications are updatable over the air and are downloaded directly to the Uconnect 8.4A and 8.4AN systems, keeping features current.

Uconnect Voice Command allows drivers to control their mobile phone, music and navigation system while staying focused on driving. The phone book within a compatible phone is automatically downloaded, synchronizing as many as 1,000 phone book entries, which can then be selected by simply saying a contact name. The feature also allows drivers to switch radio modes, tune to AM, FM, HD and SiriusXM Radio stations and request real-time information (such as fuel prices) from the available SiriusXM Travel Link using natural voice commands.

Uconnect supports Bluetooth-equipped cell phones with message access profile (MAP) advanced text-messaging. This industry-first voice recognition uses the embedded connectivity to access cloud-based voice-recognition and enable advanced text messaging, which converts the spoken word into verbatim text messages. Communication is limited only by the user’s vocabulary.

Filling the gauge cluster in front of the driver is an available 7-inch, color, premium multiview display, featuring a new customizable function that enables Ram customers to personalize information inside the instrument cluster. Ram’s new information display is designed to visually communicate information, using graphics and text, quickly and easily. The multiview display offers drivers a wide range of customization options, from a basic digital speed read out to specific vehicle status information. Operation of the display is clearly communicated to users with easy-to-understand icons and instructions.

Ram Chassis Cab trucks offer more than 45 active and passive safety and security features, including standard front air bags and seat-mounted side pelvic-thorax air bags with Enhanced Accident Response System (EARS), knee bolsters, seat-belt pretensioners, BeltAlert and ParkView rear back-up camera system.

The 2013 Ram Chassis Cab models also include standard ESC, a segment exclusive on Class 3/4/5 chassis cabs over 10,000 lb. GVWR. ESC hosts a number of technologies including all-speed traction control, trailer-sway control, Hill-start Assist and anti-lock brake system (ABS).

The new 2013 Ram Chassis Cab now offers Keyless Enter ’n Go technology, which allows the doors to be unlocked and the truck to be started without having to touch the key fob. An available remote start feature allows a driver to start their truck from up to 300 feet away. Door controls, illuminated entry, engine immobilizer and panic alert are standard features with the Keyless Enter ’n Go system. Auto rain-sensing wipers and SmartBeam headlamps also are new offerings, adding to a long list of content.

Start of production of the 2013 Ram 3500, 4500 and 5500 Chassis Cab is scheduled for the first quarter of 2013 at the Saltillo Truck Assembly Plant in Coahuila, Mexico.