HDRams.com was invited to Las Vegas, Nevada this past month by the Ram Truck team to get some seat time with the new 2019 Ram Heavy Duty lineup. Even though we didn’t get a ton of time with the entire lineup of Heavy Duty trucks that Ram is offering for the 2019 model year, we did get to spend some time with the vehicles that we feel would most appeal to our readers.
While everyone has been talking about the new 6.7-liter H.O. Cummins turbocharged I-6 diesel, they have also been talking about the Ram Heavy Duty’s capability to tow 35,100 lbs. While Ram Trucks announced this feat back in Detroit during the Heavy Duty launch, it didn’t take long for Chevrolet to fire back with announcing their new 2020 Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD with a 35,500 lbs. rating at the Chicago Auto Show. Ford has yet to officially release numbers on their updated 2020 Ford F-350 Super Duty, but we can only guess it won’t be far off the Ram and Chevrolet trucks numbers.
With that being said, we were very curious about the towing capability of the new 2019 Ram 3500. Now just like Chevrolet and Ford, the truck that usually holds the highest towing rating for the Heavy Duty lineup is a base model, regular cab, long box configuration with diesel power equipped with two-wheel drive. Well that happens to be the case for the Ram has as well, so when Ram showed up with the truck at the media drive, we were jumping at the bit to get some seat time.
This ultimate towing Ram 3500 Tradesman Regular Cab Dually 4×2 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 Assist ($295). This is a classic example of what a Texas work truck, looks like.
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. The new 6.7-liter H.O. Cummins had no trouble pulling the load. With a very aggressive engine brake and the optional Max Tow Package which gives the Ram 3500 a 4:10 rear axle ratio, this truck felt like it could pull anything. The 6-speed Aisin transmission provided swift shifting up the 6% grade with ease. The Max Tow Package also gave us the auto-leveling rear air suspension which allowed the trailer to stay perfectly level with the truck the whole way up the steep grade.
The exterior of the truck retains that bold “big rig” styling that the Ram brand is known for. The grille is 30% larger for the 2019 model year, to allow more air for the intercoolers on the H.O. Cummins engine. The optional Chrome Appearance Package ditches the cheap black plastic for a more upscale look. The new halogen headlamps give the Ram Tradesman a more aggressive look than the outgoing model, as they push into the grille design.
While the Ram 3500 Tradesman Regular Cab Dually 4×2 may look spartan on the inside, this work truck was actually quite comfortable. Retaining the 4th generation Ram regular cab, the cab has plenty of space behind the seats to store essential tools and other items which keeps the cab free from clutter. While the new dash design looks handsome and luxurious in trucks such as the Laramie Longhorn, this dash is all business. Gone is the upper glovebox on the higher trim trucks. Instead, the area is open to allow you to have a deep and very useful space to put documents or items.
The Tradesman’s cloth seats are soft and yet made from exclusive work grade cloth. The truck also featured the 5.0-inch Uconnect touchscreen radio. While the Uconnect is sometimes hard to read compared to its giant 8.4-inch and 12.1-inch offerings in higher trim models, the system is responsive and offers big knobs that are great for when you are wearing thick work gloves. While climate control knobs look basic, they also feature a nice feel and are big enough to work with gloves on. The towing mirrors worked great, giving me enough reach to see completely around the trailer.
Overall, the 2019 Ram 3500 Tradesman Regular Cab 4×2 Dually with the Max Tow Package really impressed us. We wouldn’t be at all surprised to see if Ram Truck even ups their tow rating with this truck. While the H.O. Cummins performed flawlessly; it seemed like it could handle much more. This truck would be a more than capable tow rig for anything you could throw at it.
FIRST DRIVE: 2019 Ram 3500 Tradesman Regular Cab 4×2 Dually Image Gallery: