The 2016 Ram 3500 in Miami, FL, dominates the competition in towing capacity, landing best-in-class overall towing. However, it wasn’t always able to. In 2015, the model successfully stomped on the Silverado 3500 and the F350, but lost to the F450. Since there has been (and still is) a heated debate about whether the F450 is actually a Class III truck, Ram decided to say hell with it, and up it’s game with the 2016 model. Lo and behold, the Ram now beats the F450 by ten pounds in towing capacity. Because of this, naturally there are skeptics out there, who insist the Ram 3500 doesn’t have a legit tow rating. To those who agree, I’m here to rain on your parade, and prove you wrong.
Here are some hard facts as to why the 2016 Ram 3500’s tow rating is legit, so you Ford fanboys can go pound sand.
Upgrading the engine for 2016 gave the legendary 6.7 Cummins Turbo Diesel I6 engine a boost of 35 lb-ft of torque, which brings the overall torque output up to an insane 900 lb-ft. That’s proof enough that the 2016 Ram 3500 is able to tow up to 31,210 pounds, especially when you consider this is the maximum amount of raw torque found on a commercial passenger vehicle without any aftermarket alterations. Only super cars with modifications beat the Ram 3500 in torque output, which is crazy when you view it in that mindset.
But, the engine can’t do it alone, and needs the help from a few other components. The AISIN AS69RC six-speed automatic transmission is the only transmission offered in the 3500 lineup that is able to handle the stupid amount of torque pushed out of the engine. Equipped with this transmission, the Cummins turbodiesel engine becomes a High-Output engine, which concentrates on promoting more torque in the low end, where it’s needed most while hauling a heavy load. Without this transmission, that engine would lose out on that “extra” torque that’s been added to the lower gears, which means it wouldn’t be able to reach that max towing capacity of 31,210 pounds.
Still don’t believe it’s real? Let’s take a look at some of the upgrades from 2015-2016. That way, you can see first hand how the 3500 landed best-in-class towing.
Upgraded Components for 2016
As far as cranking up the power goes, Cummins engines have always been easier to tweak than the other engines found on the market. So with this diesel engine, it really is as simple as pumping up the fuel delivery and the turbo boost.
Upgrading the fuel delivery system gave the engine more fuel, and upgrading the turbo boost gave the engine access to more air. Together, it provides the compression process with more resources, and makes it more powerful. Since, obviously, squeezing the air and diesel together makes the two resources explode, the more resources squeezed increase the power of that explosion. In turn, this provides more power (torque) for the engine, specifically, 35 more lb-ft of torque, which translates to that increase in towing capacity.
Apart from the engine, the rear axle ring gear hardware has also been upgraded. In order to promote more strength, the Ram 3500 (equipped with the towing package) now has 16 bolts instead of 12. Along with the stronger material used in the differential case is what ensures the extra durability and strength. Also, it guarantees that the Ram 3500 can safely and effectively tow that increased amount of weight.
These were the two major upgrades and are the primary reasons why the 2016 Ram 3500 is able to tow that extra 1,210 pounds.
Has a SAE J2807 Towing Capacity
Still in angry and sputtering denial, Ford fans?
“Good,” said the spider to the fly. I have you right where I want you, and am about to send you over the edge with this next tidbit.
This towing capacity wasn’t rated by Ram, nor was it rated by another competitor. Instead, it has a SAE J2807 towing capacity. Before this standard was written in 2008, the towing capacity on most trucks was hogwash. They were numbers that were created by the manufacturers, and monitored by no one but the company itself. As you can see, this is a breeding ground for all sorts of false tow ratings.
Regardless of when Ram started using it, the 2016 Ram 3500 now has a certified SAE J2807 towing capacity. Which means there is no room for fine print and asterisks regarding the 31,210 pound towing capacity — it’s a standardized and legit rating. Best part is, for Ram lovers anyway, this SAE J2807 certification applies to most trucks found on the modern market. Therefore, there is no room for dispute when it comes to who is the true leader in towing capacity. Hence why Ford was whining and stamping its feet back in 2015 about their F450 being in the same class as the Ram 3500, which backfired on Ford big time, because now in 2016 with an SAE certified tow rating, the 3500 can truly claim best-in-class tow rating in the class, the same designation Ford labels its F450.
The trailers that are used to conduct all of these tests are standard, regardless of brand, and all of them need to be hooked up the same way. The SAE J2807 testing eliminates all of the unrealistic test weight practices that happened in the past, and maximum tow ratings are no longer allowed to be based on a bare-bones truck model. Now, things like popular configurations and features, along with driver and passenger weights are taken into account.
In a nutshell, every truck tested is given an equal opportunity and the towing capacity of each truck is accurate. The tow ratings you see on the 2016 Ram 3500 and the other trucks are set in stone. So, there’s really no way to get around it, is there? This is why — combined with the torque-focused diesel engine, transmission, and upgrades — the 3500 has a legit tow rating of 31,210 pounds.