These 4 Things Impact a Ram Trucks Towing Capacity

October 31st, 2016 by


If you are newer to the truck world you may not much about towing capacity or the factors that impact it. So to help you buy a Ram truck with the towing capacity you need, here is a rundown of some of the various components that impact a truck’s towing capacity. Keep in mind that these are not the only thing that affects towing capacity, but they are some of the major factors.

Engine power

It all starts with the engine. How much torque and horsepower an engine have effects towing capacity. Generally, the higher the horsepower and/or torque, the greater the amount of weight a truck can pull. Diesel engines have higher towing capacities than gas engines of the same size. Why? Diesel engines have more torque, the more torque, the more towing capacity.  

The Ram 1500 Tradesman is available with three different engine options. The base engine is a 3.6-liter Pentastar V6, and there is also a 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6, which is best-in-class for fuel economy, and a 5.7-liter HEMI V8. with MDS/ Fuel saver technology.

Example: Ram 1500 Tradesman – 8’ Bed / Reg. Cab / 4×2

3.6-liter Pentastar V6 engine

280 horsepower / 260 lb-ft of torque

Towing capacity: 4,850 pounds

3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6 engine

240 horsepower / 420 lb-ft of torque

Towing capacity: 8,300 pounds

5.7-liter HEMI V8 engine

395 horsepower / 410 lb-ft of torque

Towing capacity: 8,550 pounds

Cab Size

The weight of a truck affects towing capacity. Basically, the heavier the truck, the less it can tow. That might sound odd because you would think bigger trucks can tow more, but really it depends on the combination of the size of the engine and the truck itself. Essentially, an engine can only do so much work and the weight spent just moving the truck is less weight it can use for towing.

The Ram 1500 lineup is available with three cab sizes — the two-door regular cab, four-door five-passenger crew cab and the larger five-passenger four-door quad cab.

Example: Ram 1500 with 5.7-liter HEMI V8 engine

Cab Size: Regular Cab

Towing Capacity: 8,550 pounds

Cab Size: Crew Cab

Towing Capacity: 8,250 pounds

Cab Size: Quad Cab

Towing Capacity: 8,500 pounds

Trim or Equipment

Trucks with same engine and same body style, yet different trim might have a lower towing capacity because the extra features in some trims add weight to the truck and as we mentioned in cab size, the weight of a truck effects towing capacity. Features that add extra weight include tool boxes, larger wheels, larger tires, and so on and the features on each trim vary.

Example: Ram 1500 crew cab 5.7-liter HEMI V8 with a 5’7” truck bed

Trim: Tradesman

Towing: 8,250 pounds

Trim: Limited

Towing:8,200 pounds

Trim: Ram Rebel

Towing: 8,000 pounds

Axle Ratio

Axle ratio plays a relatively large role in towing capacity. So first off, what is axle ratio? In the simplest terms, axle ratio is the gears in the truck’s differential. The differential is a device that links the rear axle to the driveshaft to the engine. The higher the axle ratio, the higher the towing capacity. The reason for this is that the more the engine turns the axle more revolutions, but uses less power to do so.

The standard axle ratio on the gas-powered Ram 1500 2×4 truck models is 3.21. The standard axle ratio on the EcoDiesel engine and the 4×4 Ram 1500 trucks is 3.55. All Ram 1500 models are available with an upgraded axle ratio of 3.92.

The fun doesn’t stop there! If you are looking for a truck with even more towing capacity, be sure to check out the Ram 2500, 3500, 4500 or 5500 models! The Ram lineup is full of horsepower, torque and everything you need to successfully tow!! You can view our Ram inventory here.

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