I hopped into the 2020 Ram 3500 HD as the apple was cutting to a halt: A accompaniment of civic emergency was hours abroad from actuality declared. Admitting Michigan had not yet gone into absolute coronavirus lockdown, anybody ample that was aloof a bulk of days.
But, crucially, it was additionally the weekend of Harbor Freight’s big bounce parking lot sale, which meant deals! deals! deals! Prices for all sorts of abounding being were headed through the floor! Including prices for a 44-inch rolling apparatus chiffonier I’d had my eye on for a continued time. If I was activity to absorb the bounce in isolation, ample I ability as able-bodied use my abounding chargeless time to adapt my garage.
To get it home, this big Ram was the alone affair on duke that fit the bill. Of course, it was abstract capability-wise; a dually, with the high-output Cummins turbodiesel, it’s congenital to tow, but I had annihilation to pull. Payload for this aggregation cab barter is 5,590 pounds, and the apparatus chest weighs a few hundred. But the amusing bit was that the Ram, all 21.7 anxiety of it (with a rare-these-days 8-foot bed), had a honkin’ fifth-wheel block in the bed. Abounding if you’ve got a gooseneck bivouac to move, but not ideal if you’re bringing a apparatus chest home; it bargain the bulk of accessible wide-open, stuff-hauling absolute acreage in the boss 3500 to, roughly, that of a Subaru Brat.
I was about to advance the hunk of animate with wrenches, or maybe a claret cutter. Turns out it has a quick-release system. Easy! Pop the linchpins, bang the quarter-turn absolution handles and lift the affair up and out of the way. A acquaintance helped me unload the chest already I got it home.
The 3500 had completed its primary cold flawlessly. But what abroad was I declared to use it for? Where are you declared to go back aggregate is shut bottomward and you’ve been ordered to break at home? Back I did adventure out (notably, to abutment one of my admired restaurants, Palms Krystal in Port Huron, Michigan) by avaricious some takeout, there was about any cartage to accord with. I was appealing abundant chargeless to set the adaptive cruise control—yes, adaptive cruise ascendancy on a 3500 dually—and about balloon this barter is 8 anxiety wide; a communicable tends to attenuate out freeway traffic.
Mostly, though, it would absorb the abutting 10 canicule or so apprehension my driveway basically impassible, its massive adequacy acutely under-used. Then again, alike beneath ideal affairs there’s annihilation I would accept done that would accept appear abutting to maxing this affair out.
Unless you’re the array of being who gets a bang out of big numbers, diving into able auto specs can bound become a mind-numbing exercise. As I’ve said afore about abate trucks, it starts to feel bookish afterwards a assertive point. How abundant do you absolutely need? Ram, for example, touts a blockbuster 1,000 lb-ft of torque from its 6.7-liter Cummins—but that’s alone if you get the high-output alternative (like the one in this tester). And alike admitting it’s a nice annular number, Ford’s 1,050-lb-ft 6.7-liter Power Stroke agent V8 bests it. But I didn’t anticipate the 910-lb-ft Duramax V8 in GM’s HD lacked for torque. Does it absolutely bulk afterwards a assertive point, except for aloof rights?
What’s more, the numbers bold can additionally be misleading, abnormally if you alone attending at the better figures. A GM HD diesel, for example, can tow up to 35,500 pounds, but that’s with a rear-wheel-drive dually. Get the aforementioned barter with four-wheel drive, and that drops bottomward to 31,760 pounds—still absolutely a bit, accomplish no mistake, but you’re abrogation about 2 accoutrements of towing accommodation on the table (which is apparently a ticketable breach in Western-sounding places like Cheyenne or Laredo or something). While the Ram 3500 maxes out at aloof 35,100 pounds for a 4×2 dually, this actual barter can lug 34,110 pounds in 4×4 configuration. You’re ultimately giving up beneath to get the added apprenticed wheels.
I anticipate you could say that the abstraction of giving up beneath is accurate about Ram trucks in general. I was absolutely afflicted by the new fifth-generation 1500 that debuted in 2018, abnormally the way it fabricated cutting-edge tech feel like an advised allotment of the ample berth rather than an add-on. And acknowledgment to Ram’s longstanding use of accessible air suspension, the 1500 was (and is) top of the backpack back it comes to ride quality, as well. If you’ve apprenticed one, it shouldn’t be any admiration that so abounding Americans feel adequate application avant-garde full-size pickups as circadian drivers.
Ram has now done the aforementioned affair with its abundant duties, which agency an about cautiously adorned autogenous for what is evidently a assignment truck. In this tester, the accessible 12-inch touchscreen dominates the centermost stack; fortunately, all of the “key” functions, from berth temperature and music aggregate to tow/haul approach engagement, are handled by concrete buttons crabbed and beneath that ample infotainment touchscreen. I haven’t approved application this awning interface with chainsaw-proof cool able covering gloves, but it does assume to assignment with with my mechanic’s gloves, if that’s a affair for you.
Meanwhile, you’re benumbed on air (here, it’s blade springs supplemented by air bags), which makes this truck’s ride adequate and minimally bumpy, alike while cycle over pothole-ridden pavement unladened. And I will agenda that, admitting Ram ashore with a six-speed manual actuality (Ford and GM accept gone to 10-speeds), there’s no powertrain clunkiness to allege of, nor does the barter feel fatigued at freeway speeds. I’d be analytical to see what it’s like with a amount on the hitch.
It goes afterwards adage that all of this clarification comes at a cost. Admitting you could go a little college on the trim ladder (this was a Laramie, not a Laramie Longhorn), this tester was loaded, and the amount tag of $85,275 reflects that. A lot of that is in options, but while the starting amount is a added bashful $55,495, apperceive that the 1,000-lb-ft agent is activity to amount you a whopping $11,795 more. The max-tow amalgamation (gotta accept it) is an added $3,695, which gets you a 4.10 arbor ratio, amid added things.
But if you do charge what alone a 1,000-lb-ft diesel-powered able dually auto barter can offer—and affairs are appealing acceptable that you don’t, but one or two of you account this might—know that this is the quietest, best adequate and best technologically avant-garde barter in this chic that I’ve anytime been in. If I had to move 17 accoutrements of whatever beyond the country, before, during or afterwards a pandemic, this is the rig I’d accept for the job.
Base Price: $55,495
Drivetrain: 6.7-liter turbocharged inline-six diesel; six-speed automated transmission; four-wheel drive
Output: 400 hp @ 2,800 rpm; 1000 lb-ft @ 1,356 rpm
EPA Fue Mileage (City/Highway/Combined): N/A
Options: 6.7-liter I6 Cummins HO turbodiesel agent ($11,795); Laramie akin 2 accessories accumulation ($4,095); Max-tow amalgamation ($3,695); Night copy ($2,295); Dual rear auto ($1,395); Uconnect 12.0 with aeronautics ($1,295); Safety accumulation ($1,095); Power adaptable active boards ($995); towing technology accumulation ($795); Bed account accumulation ($745); Leather-trimmed brazier seats ($545); Bivouac camera base ($495); Dual alternators rated at 440 amps ($295); LT235/90R17E OWI on/off-road tires ($245)
Pros: The best adequate way to tow over 17 tons; best tech affiliation of any barter in its class.
Cons: The agent advancement is a huge block of what is a absolute shocker of a amount tag. Also, you apparently don’t charge this thing.
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