Towing up steep hill. What gear?

Disclaimer: Links on this page pointing to Amazon, eBay and other sites may include affiliate code. If you click them and make a purchase, we may earn a small commission.

MrTunaCat

Junior Member
Joined
Jul 10, 2022
Posts
10
Reaction score
0
Location
Hawaii
Ram Year
03
Engine
Cummins 5.9
I have a 5.9 cummins. I tow an 4 ton chipper up a fairly steep hill and also sometimes have a load of wood chips in my bed.

I have an automatic which I heard is weak and only has 4 gears.

In the past I always try to go up in 4th gear but when it gets too steep i drop into 3rd. Is 3rd gear an acceptable gear to be towing uphill? I don’t want to be damaging my transmission. Is there an rpm I should stay in? I usually try to keep it in the 2-2.5k rpm. Sometimes 3k.
 

18CrewDually

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 17, 2019
Posts
2,070
Reaction score
2,666
Location
U.S.- New Jersey
Ram Year
2018
Engine
Cummins 6.7 H.O.
Dropping to 3rd to keep the rpms up a little on a steep grade is fine. It keeps it from lugging the engine and the higher rpms keep the line pressures higher so it can keep a firm grip on the clutches.
 

chri5k

Senior Member
Supporting Member
Joined
May 24, 2019
Posts
1,991
Reaction score
3,054
Location
USA
Ram Year
2016
Engine
Diesel
That engine has a pretty flat torque curve from about 1000 - 3000 rpms. Somewhere around 2500 rpms should be good.
 

Smokeybear01

Senior Member
Military
Joined
Jan 25, 2020
Posts
463
Reaction score
221
Location
US-NW Coast
Ram Year
2005
Engine
Cummins 5.9
Sounds like you're doing it the same way I do with my fiver. Keep up the RPMs and use a lower gear, It's not a race to the top.
 

06 Dodge

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 4, 2022
Posts
1,954
Reaction score
1,850
Location
Forest Grove, Oregon
Ram Year
2022
Engine
6.7L CTD
I have a 5.9 cummins. I tow an 4 ton chipper up a fairly steep hill and also sometimes have a load of wood chips in my bed.

I have an automatic which I heard is weak and only has 4 gears.

In the past I always try to go up in 4th gear but when it gets too steep i drop into 3rd. Is 3rd gear an acceptable gear to be towing uphill? I don’t want to be damaging my transmission. Is there an rpm I should stay in? I usually try to keep it in the 2-2.5k rpm. Sometimes 3k.
I had a 06 5.9 CTD. I would run it between 2100 and 2600 RPM's, yes it can take 3K and then a bit more but IMO its best to not push, why push it if its not necessary too do so...
 

GTyankee

Senior Member
Supporting Member
Military
Joined
Nov 2, 2020
Posts
10,368
Reaction score
13,378
Location
El Cajon Calif. 92021
Ram Year
2016
Engine
3.0 ecodiesel
Just remember, you can always use an Automatic transmission as a Manual Gear Box.
Say your about to climb a grade & your truck & trailer are full.
You can always start out in First or Second gear, if it pulls the load easily, shift to the next higher gear.
 
Top