RAM EcoDiesel option
Since its launch as a stand-alone division of Chrysler Group LLC in 2009, Ram Truck says it has steadily emerged as an industry leader. This year's models feature several styling, technology and performance upgrades. These updated vehicles—the Ram 1500; 2500 and 3500 Heavy Duty; 3500, 4500 and 5500 Chassis Cab; and ProMaster Van—should all appeal to landscape contractors, which are a very important market for Ram this year, media relations manager Nick Cappa points out.
Of particular interest to landscapers is the 2014 Ram 1500, which now offers a 240-hp, 3.0-liter EcoDiesel engine along with the TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission. The result is 25 mpg-plus fuel efficiency, 420 lb.-ft. of torque, and up to 9,200 pounds of towing capability.
Ram 1500s are also available with a 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6, offering 42% more horsepower, 13% more torque, and at least 20% more fuel economy as compared to the previous 3.7-liter V-6. A 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 with Fuel Saver Technology and variable-valve timing is also available, providing 395 horsepower and 410 lb.-ft. of torque.
Unique features of the 2014 Ram 1500s include:
- Available front park assist system
- Air suspension system that enhances fuel economy, improves ride control and off-road capability along with entry/exit and loading, and features automatic load leveling
- Uconnect Access offers alternative ways to access new connected services and applications via the vehicle's 8.4-inch touchscreen display or the web
Closer look at the EcoDiesel option
The initial response to the EcoDiesel option has been extremely positive, according to Cappa. This engine is equipped with a diesel oxidation catalyst, diesel particulate filter, and selective catalytic reduction—making it emissions-compliant in all 50 states.
But the really big story for cost-conscious landscape contractors is the fuel economy. Ram says this engine can generate the torque of a V-8 without V-8 fuel consumption. Plus, it's capable of running on B-20 biodiesel fuel.
Other EcoDiesel engine features include:
- Compacted Graphite Iron (CGI) bedplate and cylinder block engineered for more uniform graphite dispersion, delivering higher strength while enhancing durability and reducing noise and vibration
- Engine fuel filter and pre-filter on transmission cross-rail provide for better injector corrosion prevention, while also protecting against the vagaries of regional fuel quality
- High-dispersion nozzles and a new servovalve enable fuel-injection events, which occur with greater precision up to eight times per cylinder cycle, ensuring efficiency via clean, smooth combustion
- Interval between two consecutive injections is better modulated to mitigate noise and benefit fuel consumption and emissions reduction (known as injection rate shaping)
- Fast-acting, high-temperature glow plugs operate at higher temperatures than conventional metallic glow plugs for enhanced performance and durability
"The new (Ram 1500) builds on a very successful 2013 model, which has won every award we could have hoped for," said Reid Bigland, president and CEO for the Ram Truck Brand. "Adding the new EcoDiesel engine is more than just icing on the cake, it answers a long-time consumer demand and Ram is the only manufacturer to offer it."