The all-new 2019 Ram 1500 made quite an impression on the truck world when it debuted. It delivers on the promise of truck capability with a wide range of trims and interiors that offer a near luxury car experience. It’s a fantastic truck, but sometimes you need something more, something for serious work. That’s when you need a heavy duty truck and Ram is happy to oblige with the Ram 2500 and Ram 3500 lineups.
These are your go-to trucks when towing a heavy trailer isn’t a maybe thing or a sometimes thing, but a near daily occurrence. A choice of powerful engines makes the job easy.
Your first choice is a 6.4-liter Hemi V8 with 410 horsepower and 429 lb-ft of torque paired to an 8-speed automatic transmission. Your second engine choice is a new 6.7-liter 6-cylinder turbo diesel that is available in either a standard or high-output configuration. The standard output variant has 370 horsepower with 850-lb-ft of torque paired to a newly upgraded 6-speed automatic transmission.
Still looking for more power? The high-output diesel engine delivers outstanding performance numbers. It has 400 horsepower and 1,000 lb-ft of torque with a 6-speed automatic transmission specially developed to handle that monstrous torque number.
The heavy duty lineup has a max tow rating of 35,100 pounds with a maximum payload of 7,680 pounds. Ram isn’t kidding when it says these trucks are capable.
Deciding which engine you need is only the first step. Choose a regular, crew, or mega cab and either a 6-foot 4-inch or 8-foot box. Finally, choose from either two-wheel or four-wheel drive. The number of possible configurations will make your head spin, but all these options ensure you get exactly the right heavy duty truck for your needs.
We had a chance to drive the lineup with a variety of payloads and trailers along a twisting route that included a 5 percent grade. Ram didn’t cheat and hook up something lighter to make it easy. In fact, when they were setting things up for us and the heaviest trailer turned out to be under the maximum rating, they added a bunch of bricks to take it right up to the limit.
The lighter loads, which included towing an RV so it wasn’t exactly light, were no problem with plenty of control downhill and all the power we needed uphill. Even accelerating on the incline wasn’t a challenge. Hooked up to that maximum load, the high-output diesel engine worked harder, but was still up to the challenge.
Ram also set up a dirt course for the Power Wagon – the off-road 2500 that combines its capability with features like skid plates and a 12,000-pound Warn winch. The cable is now a synthetic material that weighs less and is easier on your hands, especially if you don’t have gloves. We winched our Power Wagon over a rocky incline in matter of minutes, but chances are good you’ll be freeing someone else rather than yourself if you’re in the Power Wagon.
All you really have to do is look at the numbers to know the lineup is capable. Seriously, 1,000 lb-ft of torque? If that doesn’t convince you then nothing will. You can read the numbers on a page and know whether or not these trucks will get the job done. But there’s more to buying a heavy duty truck than numbers.
Safety matters, too, so there are over 100 available safety and security features offered throughout the lineup. This includes forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking, a key safety feature proven to reduce accidents and injuries. Automakers recently pledged to make it standard on mainstream vehicles by 2022. Ram makes it available on its heavy duty trucks today.
Ram also makes your life easier when it comes time to hook up a trailer or simply maneuver in tight spots. The back-up sensors in the Ram 3500 are designed for wider dual wheels so you’re less likely to scrape your fenders and a payload camera lets you keep an eye on what’s in the bed.
The new 360-degree camera provides a wider field of vision with trailer reverse guidance that shows a clear view on either side of your trailer. You can even adjust the view, dragging your finger across the infotainment screen to get just the right angle and make sure you don’t miss anything. These features take the hassle out of towing, make it safer, and help you keep more of your money in your pocket by avoiding costly repairs.
Finally, there’s passenger comfort and here Ram knocks it out of the park. A heavy duty truck can be rough on passengers, especially when there’s no load. To keep the ride smooth and quiet, the same active noise cancellation technology used in the Ram 1500 finds its way to the heavy duty lineup.
It’s not simply in the quality of the ride, but also the quality of the materials used in the cabin. Particularly in higher trims, this is an upscale truck. Rich leathers, eye-catching contrast stitching, and comfortable seats that would be right at home in a luxury sedan are all a part of the package.
The work of a heavy duty truck isn’t always work. It’s often recreational and involves towing an RV or maybe a trailer full of horses to a show. You want to enjoy the ride when it’s your free time and the Ram heavy duty lineup makes sure you and your passengers are comfortable.
It also makes sure you stay connected with an available 12-inch configurable touchscreen with Uconnect 4C including navigation. A new split screen lets you view multiple applications or just one, which is especially helpful when you want a full-screen view for navigating unfamiliar roads.
The 2019 Ram 2500 and 3500 raise the bar for heavy duty trucks. They combine outstanding capability with advanced safety, the latest technology, and a premium interior that makes the trip comfortable. Look for the Ram heavy duty lineup in dealerships this spring with pricing from $33,395.