Ram Trucks invited HDRams.com out to Las Vegas, Nevada, for the opportunity to be one of the first few people outside Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) to test their latest Heavy Duty truck lineup. What we thought was going to warm winter weather in Las Vegas, ended up being filled with snow. So needless to say HDRams got more than what we bargained for while testing the new 2019 Ram Heavy Duty lineup.
We were first treated with an opportunity, to see the very first Cummins turbo diesel Ram Truck ever built. The truck was a Cummins prototype that was built-in 1985. Its purpose was to be a feasibility study to sell the Cummins engine to Dodge’s (before it was Ram) truck division. The study worked and not too long after the first Ram Trucks with Cummins power began rolling off the Warren Truck Assembly line.
Fast forward almost thirty years, and the Ram/Cummins partnership is only getting better. Today, a truck buyer can walk into a Ram Truck dealer and choose from either an 850 lb.-ft of torque animal or a 1,000 lb.-ft of torque beast, capable of pulling over 35,000 lbs. Simply Incredible!
But there is a lot more to the new Ram Heavy Duty lineup than it’s incredible Cummins engines. The demographics for heavy-duty pickups is quite fascinating. In one corner, you have your true work trucks with rubber floor mats, simple stereo systems, and traditional incandescent lighting. In the other corner, is what should be considered luxury vehicles. Supple leather that feels better than your favorite living room chair, 12.1-inch touchscreen infotainment systems and state-of-the-art LED lighting systems are available. The amazing part is the Ram Trucks team has been able to bring all these owners together with it’s new Heavy Duty lineup, especially when it comes to the Ram 2500 Power Wagon.
While we cannot discuss driving impressions at this time, we can tell you a little about the trucks we were able to drive.
The first truck we drove was a 2019 Ram 3500 Laramie Longhorn Crew Cab 4×4 Dually in Walnut Brown. The color along with Laramie Longhorn chrome trim made the truck scream luxury. While opening up the door, the power running boards drop down inviting you into the Laramie Longhorn-specific interior. Compared to the 2018 Ram Heavy Duty Laramie Longhorn, they have toned down the interior a bit. Gone is the ample boot style stitching and in its place is a rich simplistic look with open grain wood that is literally branded with the Laramie Longhorn logo. The interior of the cabin called out the native Texan in me, with its traditional western theme. This 3500 Laramie Longhorn Crew Cab 4×4 Dually was powered by the 6.4-liter HEMI V8 and backed by the ZF-sourced 8-speed Torqueflite 8HP75 transmission.
The second truck we drove was literally the same truck. However, it was powered by the new 6.7-liter High Output (H.O.) Cummins turbo diesel option with 1,000 lb.-ft of torque under the hood. This time there was weight strapped to the back of the Laramie Longhorn. Over 21,000 lbs. worth of trailer and Case tractor (with the front bucket attached to it). It gave me a chance to test out the new Cummins H.O. towing capability down a narrow 6% grade to a dead end turnaround at the Colorado River, just south of the Hoover Dam. We then were able to continue to turn around and proceed up the grade with all that weight strapped to the back of the new 3500 Laramie Longhorn.
The third truck we drove was the new 2019 Ram 2500 Tradesman Power Wagon. While it’s not the loaded up version, its more of the entry level with chrome bumpers, standard 5.0-inch Uconnect system and cloth seats (still with the trademark Power Wagon tire imprints on the seats). While it isn’t as flashy as the actual 2500 Power Wagon trim level, the Tradesman Power Wagon is still a Power Wagon whether it is fully-loaded or not and still offers the same off-road capability as its more luxurious sibling.
After driving the truck on public roads, we turned off on a short but reasonably technical off-road course that was set up. With a push of a button, the differentials can be locked, hill decent can be engaged, and the sway bar can be disconnected. All Power Wagon models feature a 2-inch lift, new Warn winch with synthetic rope, Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac aggressive tires and better angles of approach and departure than the previous Power Wagon.
The fourth truck we got our hands on was the new 2019 Ram 3500 Tradesman Regular Cab Dually 4×2. This is the truck that receives the 35,100 lbs. of towing rating for the Ram Heavy Duty lineup, and Ram was kind enough to load this truck to the max with 35,100 lbs. of Case backhoe and two pallets of weight hitched to the back of it. It was the prime example, of maximum towing with the new Ram Heavy Duty.
This time we drove the same 6% grade down to the Colorado River as before, for a chance to get some great shots of this heavy hauler. This ultimate towing Ram 3500 Tradesman Regular Cab 4×2 dually has a U.S. MSRP of $34,845. It was equipped with the Max Tow Package ($3,695), Chrome Appearance Package ($995), the 6.7-liter Cummins H.O. diesel ($11,795), Tradesman Level II Package ($995) and Rear Park Assistance ($295). This is a classic example of what a Texas work truck, looks like.
We ended up driving back to our hotel in the ultra-luxurious 2019 Ram 3500 Limited Mega Cab 4×4 Dually with the new Cummins H.O. engine. Needless to say, Ram gave HDRams.com a taste of a bit of everything the new Ram Heavy Duty lineup puts forth for the 2019 model year.
Special thanks to Ram Trucks for inviting us to experience be the new Ram Heavy Duty pickups, and we look forward to sharing detailed driving impressions and hands-on examples of the tech with you in the upcoming week. So stay tuned HDRams.com for the complete details of our time spent behind the wheel of the 2019 Ram Heavy Duty lineup.