2019 Ram HD trucks work and play aggressively in connected style and luxury as well
When revealing the new 2019 Ram 2500/3500 Heavy Duty (HD) trucks earlier this year, they told us, the new Ram Heavy Duty was going to sets benchmark in ride and handling, luxury, materials, innovation, and technology extending well past any competitive offerings due – in part – to 35 all-new and 21 class-exclusive features.
After looking at the trucks and reviewing the information they provided we said that was a ‘whole lot of bragging’ yet to be proven. But, with their success in delivering the full-size segment best Ram 1500 this past year, we thought Ram had a high certainty of delivering on the new Ram 2500/3500 HD trucks as well.
- See our debut report at https://ticket-1994427.inwheeltime.com/2019-ram-hd-is-heavy-duty/
We got our chance to evaluate the 2019 Ram 2500 HD and Ram 3500 HD trucks last week in and around Las Vegas.
Cutting to the chase, in our opinion, for 2019, Ram has delivered the best performing lineup of heavy-duty trucks in the segment. Trucks that not only work and play aggressively but do it in connected style as well.
Rather than listen to me talk about the trucks and my time behind the wheel, l thought I would share my conversations with a farmer user of heavy-duty trucks.
A Farmer’s Perspective – Work Time vs Seat Time
A Texas farmer from the panhandle was an invited guest on our test drives. Following the day’s driving, we sat down with him to talk about the new Ram HD trucks. He spoke to us in terms of ‘work time’ vs ‘seat time’ from his test rides in a 2019 Ram 2500/3500 Laramie Longhorn Crew Cab and Limited Mega Cab.
A typical Texas farm or ranch user of heavy-duty trucks spend many more hours and miles every week just driving (seat time) in the course of operating their business than they do in ‘work time’ where that superior towing and hauling capability is needed.
Noting that superior hauling and towing capability are basic essentials he expects in any heavy-duty truck – he said that the 2019 Ram HD trucks’ performance he experienced exceeded his expectations.
Making ‘work time’ easier – he added – were the numerous new features available on the Ram HD trucks such as:
- Auto leveling rear air suspension for ease of loading cargo, trailer hook up and leveling when towing
- Surround View Camera w/Reverse Guidance for productively and safely working in tight spaces
- Cargo Bay Camera to monitor load or aid in aligning 5th wheel/gooseneck trailer hookups
- Cargo Bay 115V/400W power outlet
- LED Cargo Bay Lighting
- Added Backup Sensors covering the added width of dual rear wheels
We both noted the Side Mirror Mounted Auxiliary LED Reverse Lamps to light the side of the truck to the rear when backing up at night. Interestingly he also found the mirrors can be swung out to shine the light away from the truck, making them a good work light at night as well.
His big surprise was the huge upgrade he found in ‘seat time’ elements (standard or available) enhancing ride, connectivity, convenience and comfort in the 2019 Ram HD trucks.
In addition to the quiet cabin, smooth ride, powerful acceleration, firm braking and convenience of controls, some of the specific ‘seat time’ amenities and features he noted were:
- Brighter LED Adaptive Front Lighting since much of that seat time is before dawn and after dusk on roads and in fields where there is little, if any, light available.
- Eight-way Power Adjustable Heated/Ventilated Premium Leather Bucket Seating
- Heated Steering Wheel for cold mornings and late nights
- Uconnect 4C w/NAV and 12-inch configurable (and split) color display
- SiriusXM 360L
- Seven-inch, full color driver customizable information display
- Adjustable pedals – yes, his spouse and children often drive his truck
- Harman Kardon Premium Sound System w/17-speakers
- Wireless Smart Phone Charging
- Large console work and storage space
- Charging outlets and 110V/400W power points
He concluded that the new 2019 Ram HD trucks not only – in his opinion – measurably made work time more productive, but also made seat time much more pleasurable.
For Texas Farmers and Ranchers, that combination is a very big deal.
A Word About Power Wagon
We spent some time in a Ram 2500 Power Wagon easily (as always) running the ridges and crawling the ravines of steep and rocky canyons between the Eldorado Mine and the Colorado River. Up front, let it be known we have been unabashed fans of the segment’s only factory production off-road capable truck. We still are, even more so.
New for 2019, we liked in particular, the 360-degree camera with forward view gridlines to guide the driver in wheel placement and avoiding obstacles. In addition, the side views are very helpful in navigating narrow spaces – staying centered on the trail avoiding scratches and dents.
Also new, was the front bumper-integrated, WARN Zeon-12 power winch with new fairlead setup and a new lighter, more flexible synthetic line instead of the old wire cable. We did not use it on this test, but based on prior experience dragging wire cable to make a rescue pull, synthetic is a huge improvement.
And, for those wanting Power Wagon capability on their Ram 2500 4×4 – without the price – the Power Wagon Package is available on the Ram 2500 Tradesman again in 2019. Power Wagon, fully equipped, has a hefty price tag. Our test truck with all of the features including the Power Wagon Package and Uconnect 4C NAV with 12-inch Display, ran $67,220.
Substituting a Ram 2500 Tradesman Crew Cab 4×4 (MSRP $39,850), you can get the same truck – without the Power Wagon badging et al – for around $15,000 less.
- Read our report on Ram HD pricing here: https://ticket-1994427.inwheeltime.com/2019-ram-hd-pricing-announced-at-las-vegas-first-drive-event/
Ram HD Trucks Test Driven
For the record, we drove or rode along in five Ram HD trucks- some under load and some not – over the course of the day.
Ram 3500 Limited Mega Cab 4×4 / Dual Rear Wheels / Powered by 6.7L Cummins Turbo Diesel (370 horsepower – 850 lb.-ft. of torque) / Not loaded – ran highway from Las Vegas to Eldorado Mine site via Red Rock and Summerlin Mountains
Ram 3500 Laramie Longhorn Crew Cab 4×4 Long Box / Dual rear wheels / Powered by 6.7L HO Cummins Turbo Diesel (400 horsepower – 1,000 lb.-ft. Torque) / Towing goose neck trailer loaded with Case Loader – 21,160# / 5 to 7% grades two lane road to and from Colorado River
Ram 2500 Power Wagon Crew Cab 4×4 / Powered by 6.4L Heavy Duty HEMI V8 (410 horsepower – 429 lb.-ft. of torque) / Running off-road trails course at Eldorado Mine site
Ram 2500 Laramie Longhorn Crew Cab 4×4 Long Box / Powered by 6.7L Cummins Turbo Diesel (370 horsepower – 850 lb.-ft. of torque) / Ran from Eldorado Mine back into Las Vegas
Ram 3500 Big Horn Regular Cab 4×4 / Dual Rear Wheels / Powered by 6.7L HO Cummins Turbo Diesel (400 horsepower – 1,000 lb.-ft. Torque) / Towing goose neck trailer loaded with Case Loader + pallets construction materials – 35,100 pounds / 5 to 7% grades two lane road to and from Colorado River