By on March 29, 2015

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Recently I had to go pick up a pallet of mortar for a temporary job I was managing. My Suburban was not up to the task, and I didn’t want impossible-to-vacuum-while-still-getting-into-every-crack concrete dust sitting in my wife’s BMW X1 for the next decade. So I snagged the keys to a coworker’s 2015 Ram 2WD 1500 Quad Cab. I’ve driven Rams in the past, but this is my first interaction with the new ZF 8-speed transmission. It was introduced on the 2014 model year Rams, but the hardworking, good-looking editors here at TTAC elected to skip the launch to review another rented Ford Fusion Ecoboost[Not true-DK].

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 This particular Ram listed at $35K, but came off the lot at $27,000 before a trade-in. Ram dealers in the Atlanta area are throwing money at customers, despite growing sales. Even though Ram has seen double-digit percentage sales increases over the last two years they are very short of the number GM is pushing off the lots. For sheer numbers, believe Dennis Leary, Ford is the king of pickup sales.

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 Last year, Matt Gasnier piloted a Ram V-6 EcoDiesel across this vast and great land and had very positive reviews. Eight years ago I traveled from Montgomery Alabama to Altamont California in a 2005 Ford F-150 STX. I did not have the same pleasant experience, and it was actually my own truck. That speaks volumes for the ride quality improvement in trucks across the board. Alex Dykes also had a great review of the diesel 1500 Ram and gave it high marks. But dear reader, this is not a review of a sinister oil burner here pollutin’ up my green city with parh-tic-you-lates and whatnot.

IMG_0199No sirrie bubba, this here is an old-fashioned, pee-trol-fueled, 5.7-liter “Hemi” putting out 396 horses and 425 lb. feet of torque. That may not sound like a lot of twist in a conversation about diesels, but in a frame just over 3 tons and mated to the aforementioned 8 speed, this thing will go, and in a hurry. I discovered this as I pulled away from the worksite. Applying a little too much throttle I was rewarded with wheelspin. The owner wasn’t nearly as impressed as I was (Maybe it was the “Yee-Haaaww!” and throwing the horns out of the window). My experience with Rams of the past found their power and acceleration on par with the offerings from GM and Ford. But this transmission really makes a difference. The zero to 60 times don’t tell the same story on paper, but trust me; you could school some Gee-Em and FoMoCo pickup driver in this thing.

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In stark contrast to the modern drivetrain, the cabin is sparse even by truck standards. I was a little surprised to find the asking price north of $30,000 and even $27K might be a little much for this interior. When Ram “revolutionized” their trucks in the early 90’s, one of their selling points was a cabin designed for working. This tradition still carries with this Tradesman model, but at the expense of the material quality. It’s not the amenities, but the materials. The black door inserts are particularly out of place and look malaise era cheap. I can’t help but wonder how well these items will wear in a work environment compared to other pickups, including the imports. The seats are fine and comfortable, but the back seats are a bit of a joke. The headroom is great, but there is no room for a normal human being’s knees with another normal human sitting in the front.

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The stereo however, is excellent. with quality sound and compatibility for an entry level. The controls on the steering wheel, while a bit small, are instinctive and work well. The wheel-mounted shifters responded quicker that I expected, but ultimately the truck will override bad decisions and shift the truck with enough throttle input.

IMG_0202 It’s a good-looking truck; with chrome wheels raised white letter tires and factory dual exhaust. It’s an excellent, stable and comfortable ride. While it’s mostly an evolution of the 09 redesign, the transmission really transforms this into a vehicle that can be driven on the freeway and in complete comfort as was referenced by the cross-country trip. The owner is seeing upwards of mid 20’s in Atlanta traffic with makes my 11-year old Suburban downright embarrassing in comparison.

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The new all aluminum F-150 is much more expensive even before the repair costs are weighed in. In the realm of work trucks, the market Ram has clearly targeted, this is a real factor to consider. Even if you are fine with the nicks and dings that come with a truck that earns its’ living, it will have a negative effect on resale. Atlanta area Chevy and GMC dealers are putting cash on the hood, but it’s an eminence front (see what I did there?), as they are not getting their similarly equipped models under $30K. Why? Because here the Eh Tee El, they don’t have to. Those trucks will sell regardless, your market may vary.  Nissan doesn’t offer a Titan quad cab below $32 and good luck finding an entry level one at the dealer. Toyota Tundras start at $28, but when optioned to even this sparse level they hit $30K while being down on HP and MPG to the Ram.

So for a truck that will see work beyond hauling petunias from Home Depot on weekends, the Ram 1500 might be worth a test drive. Especially if your dealer is as aggressive about making a deal as this one was.

Ram didn’t contribute a thing to this test. The truck is privately owned and was a replacement for a previous 2004 Ram Quad Cab that blew a head gasket at 200,000 miles.  Mental did owe the owner lunch after boiling his tires like a drunken redneck in a Miranda Lambert song.

Christian “Mental” Ward has owned over 70 cars and destroyed most of them. He is a graduate of Panoz Racing School, still loves cartoons and once exceeded the speed of sound. Married to the most patient woman in the world; he has three dogs, a Philosophy degree and makes Derek wonder if English is actually his first language. Follow him on Twiiter, Instagram and Vine at M3ntalward. 

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140 Comments on “Capsule Review: 2015 Ram Quad-Cab Tradesman...”


  • avatar
    bumpy ii

    On the second-row (lack of) space: the QuadCab isn’t a true two-row crew cab (that’s the MegaCab). Despite the front-hinged doors, this one is really an extended-cab.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      Front-hinge doors are gimmicky, just for the “crew cab” look. For Ram (Dodge) it started when their biggest was the “Quad Cab” extra cab. The Quad doors just don’t look right, and you have to enter the back kinda sideways.

      The clam/suicide rear hinge are just more versatile for tossing/accessing things in the back and loading dogs and small kids, fast and easy. That’s the what extra cabs are really for anyway, and not so much for adults, except short trips in a pinch. Like 2+2 coupes.

      Blacked out B-pillar (outer) trim and lack of exterior door handles gives a clam/suicides a ‘sporty coupe’ look. And the shortened (length) front doors on Quads don’t look right either, and less easy to get in the front.

      Thing is I like to drive to meetings and formal events wearing anything comfortable and change on location, in the parking lot or parking garage, especially when it’s a long drive. Both left doors open, parked next to an SUV and bam. No wrinkles, sweat stains, just fresh pressed. Or from hiking gear to work casuals. Or vise versa.

      I’ve seen true “crew cabs” with clam/suicide conversions at shows, and they make too much sense.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        Believe it or not, DM, I agree with you about the doors; both GM and RAM went with the fake 4-door look and flat out eliminated any chance they might have had of me buying one of their full-sized trucks (which was admittedly a microscopic chance anyway). The front-hinged back door kills–absolutely kills–any real usability that back area had as usable storage by forcing you to use a too-small opening for loading heavier packages like a 50# three-ball bowling bag or 40#-50# dog-food bags, etc. that you don’t want riding out in the open in rain or cold weather. The front-hinged extended cab doors are simply impractical.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          Yep. Just today I loaded new oak cupboards across the back seat and with front hinges, it would’ve been a b!tch. Opened the clams, front seats tilted forward, loaded them on the back seats, upright the fronts and slammed the clams.

      • 0 avatar
        Carlson Fan

        Clam/suicide doors on a crew cab seems like the answer to a question no one asked. The whole point of a crew cab is for carrying people. Who in their right mind would want a crew cab that required opening the front door to get the rear door open. Even on an extended cab I wouldn’t want them. Give me a real rear door that operates independently of the front door. I took a trip in an extended cab PU with those suicide/clam doors. They suck if you have more than 2 people in the cab.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          While I might agree with you, Carlson, about suicide doors on a crew cab, the truck pictured is NOT a crew cab, it’s an extended cab with near-useless front-hinged back doors. They are so impractical that they could almost be welded shut and not make much difference.

          Somebody buying an extended cab is not expecting to carry full-sized adults in the back seat–ever. With limited exceptions they’re not even planning on carrying pre-adults back there. That seat at best will probably carry a 50#-100# dog or serve as a shelf to lay items the driver wants to protect from the weather. As such, the only time he’d even WANT access to the back is when he already has his own door open, at which point the clamshell doors give him a much larger opening to use than some half-baked half-length front hinged door.

          Too many people here think that a truck’s purpose is to carry people first, then cargo. Well if that’s the way you think, then you don’t need a truck, you need a bus.

          • 0 avatar
            Carlson Fan

            Depends how you use your truck. My crew cab has had 1 to 3 kids seats in the back of it for about 10 years now. Snowmobiling trips, 4 place trailer behind the truck, 4 guys in the cab.

            Even my with my compact ’93 Toy X-tra cab PU, that had only 2 doors, I had more than 2 people in that all the time. The back flip seats as small as they were got used a LOT. Even on long trips.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            The doors and B-pillar are an obstruction that I want gone and out of the way when loading/unloading, sourcing, sorting, etc. The “extra cab” is what it implies. Just and extra nook for tools, supplies, what ever. But still able to carry small to large passengers in a pinch.

            Once you’ve had clam/suicides, you don’t want to go back to walking around the doors up to several times at each stop. Even on true “crew cabs” I’d definitely prefer clam/suicides. But on an extra cab, there’s no question. To many reasons including the changing of clothes on the spot. I love that one!

      • 0 avatar
        Dan

        That B pillar is nothing but headache from the loading/unloading perspective but it’s in the right place structurally and saves a non trivial amount of weight and manufacture cost. I’m surprised that Ford didn’t go that route too.

    • 0 avatar
      mnm4ever

      I think you guys are going overboard on the “uselessness” of the rear doors and seats of the Quadcab. We tested a Dodge Quadcab in 2014, and a few friends have them as well. The rear seats and the rear doors are plenty big enough for regular use, I have ridden in the back many times, with coworkers, no one complains, even the big guys can get in just fine. One friend uses his quadcab for long distance trips with 2 6-ft teenagers in the back, towing his boat, no issues. The Megacab is gargantuan in comparison, more like a limo and really overkill unless you have some really big people climbing in there!

      Now I can see where loading cargo in there would be more difficult if its something large or bulky. But that isn’t what its for, the back seat is a seat, for people. If you need to regularly carry large bulky cargo in a weatherproof area, thats why they make vans and toppers. The suicide doors on the GMs and Fords are annoying if you use them regularly for passengers.

      Oh and I prefer the Express trim level, I didn’t find it cheap or spartan, and its a bargain. It had what you need for a truck, no fluff like my coworker’s FX2 F150.

  • avatar
    canddmeyer

    Nice write-up. Thank you.

  • avatar
    ajla

    It wouldn’t really change the review at all, but the body-color grille, dual exhaust, large chrome wheels, and lack of bedliner makes me believe that this is an “Express” trim not a Tradesman.

    I know it’s possible to delete the standard bedliner on the Tradesman for a credit but I don’t think the other stuff is available on that trim.

    And do you know what gear ratio was on the truck?

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      +1 on the gear ratio, the 5.7 with the 3:9X rear end is amazing. GMs highest ratio is an embarrasing 3:42, and that’s on the weaker 5.3.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        I too believe that is the best power-train combination and achieves the best power-to-weight ratio.

        • 0 avatar
          mikeg216

          I’m sure it does but why is the eco boost so much faster with the 3.5 and 3.73 rear

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            What is your source for “So much faster”? I don’t think I’ve ever seen a test where a 3.92 RAM goes up directly against a 3.73 EB. Lately RAM has been giving out Laramie Longhorns with 3.21 rear ends for comparison tests which has been hurting their acceleration times.

            The best I can tell at sea level an EB 3.73 would be around .2 faster in the quarter mile than a 3.92 RAM with similar configurations. I personally don’t consider that a big deal when not discussing vehicles made for drag racing.

            That said, Car and Driver ran a RCSB 5.7L with 3.92 late last year and it turned in some great times that are better than anything I ever saw recorded for the Tremor.

            http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/2015-ram-1500-r-t-hemi-test-review

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            mikeg216, my assistant has a 2013 F150 Platinum 4-door 4×4 Ecoboost. I have driven it while he was in CA and I do not think it measures up to my 2011 Tundra 5.7.

            The RAM 5.7L may not be as fast as an ecoboost on WOT acceleration, if that is a person’s criteria for choosing what to buy, but in our real-world application many actual buyers prefer a V8.

            Plus, the RAM 5.7 has cylinder management and can cruise on 4 cylinders where the ecoboost cannot, and the eco boost always runs on all 6 cylinders, boosted or not.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Higher rpms and quicker revving for the ecoboost. I’m sure the tranny itself has overall lower gearing at least in the first 2-3 gears, too.

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            “What is your source for “So much faster”?

            Casual observations at the drag strip seem to indicate the outgoing F-150 3.5L GTDI and Ram Hemi in similar configuration are pretty comparable in acceleration. Both are capable of solid 14 second passes.

      • 0 avatar
        theroadmaster

        The GM trucks can have 3.73’s if ordered with the Max Tow package.

    • 0 avatar
      Carlson Fan

      ‘And do you know what gear ratio was on the truck?”

      I would say considering the kind of mileage claimed in the review , which I’m a little skeptical of, probably the tallest gears they put in that truck.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      Fog lamps too, ajla. Especially since it wasn’t a special order as far as we know. I agree; it’s probably an Express.

  • avatar
    Hummer

    These really are a great value and do a good job telling the story behind Rams rapid reclaiming of the truck market. It would be great to see Ram hit 550k or more sales this year maybe not possible but it would sure send a sign to the rest of the industry, Price Sells. I am however dissapointed at all 3 makes for refusing to offer a regular non-touch radio.

    On the difference in Ride in an 05 F150 and this, let me make this point, the 05 F150 with the access door behind the driver door and regular(empty) bed was the most uncomfortable vehicle I’ve driven in, worse even than any 3/4 and 1 ton vehicles I’ve driven. Even among its contemporary competition that ride stunk, I sure hope the 4 door version rides better than the version I drove, it was horrible.

    • 0 avatar
      rpn453

      These Rams have a very nice ride for a truck. It’s a firm but comfortable ride that feels very composed while cornering, without any noticeable frame flex or quivering. But it’s not a car-like ride. You can still feel all that unsprung weight moving around under you.

  • avatar

    Question: excellent, stable and comfortable ride compared to other trucks and SUVs or to cars and CUVs in general?

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      Marcelo de Vasconcellos – I’d say “to other trucks and SUV’s” but then again, I’m not the author.

    • 0 avatar

      Excellent question. In writing, I meant compared to other trucks, including my very comfortable Suburban. But having considered the question with your extended base, I have to say in comparison to cars and CUVs. Don’t misread that, its still a truck, but not a bone jarring truck. I would actually put the freeway stability on par with a recently rented Altima I had in Houston (review coming). But with 20 inch wheels and those tires, its not going to be nearly as smooth over any imperfect surface as most cars.

      • 0 avatar

        Thanks! I can understand what you are saying. Modern trucks have come a long way that’s for sure.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          Hey Marcelo!
          Good to see your contribution in a macho truck discussion;)

          Even our global pickups have moved ahead leap and bounds over the past 5 years.

          It’s refinement. This is where the Ram has the other US manufacturers trumped I think.

          A consumer report noted that the Ram was the best riding US 1/2 ton on the market.

          This is exactly what the car/SUV person wants. That’s why Ford and GM are refining their pickups as well.

          • 0 avatar

            Hey Big Al! Sure, though they still get unsettled, they still have that empty back. I have driven all the current crop of mid size globals and had a Ranger in the late 90s. Maybe the Ranger left me sour. I know the new trucks have improved (your Ranger/Mazda is an example as is the Amarok), but still. Except on a smooth surface and very open curves, I still prefer a car.

            YMMV of course.

    • 0 avatar
      rpn453

      These Rams have a very nice ride for a truck. It’s a firm but comfortable ride that feels very composed while cornering, without any noticeable frame flex or quivering. But it’s not a car-like ride. You can still feel all that unsprung weight moving around under you.

  • avatar
    Mandalorian

    Gosh, those doors look so cheap.

    That’s minor though, the Ram offers a lot value.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      If you think the RAM doors (in this relatively Spartan trim) look cheap, you should check out the new F Series in terms of both materials AND the way the F Series doors SOUND when you shut them.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        It’s not an Audi. Just relax. Soft Touch mean Easy Scratch plastics. There needs to be a good balance for the High Horse Ranch King Edition, so yeah, I don’t mind slightly hard and shiny plastics. Tools, materials, supplies, dogs, kids, etc, always tend to end up on the inside. And those 20 ft sticks of stock through the back window.

        But pickup trucks are getting real sissified as it is. Bring back the Three on the Tree except Six on it. And solid front axles on all 1/2 tons, including 2wd.

        • 0 avatar
          jrmason

          I hate those stupid 3 on the tree and their sloppy linkage! I was happy to be rid of it on my 67 LandCruiser in exchange for a newer generation floor shift.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    RAM is the best lineup of full size trucks, at a far better value, than its Ford or GM (or small % of the overall pie Toyota or even smaller % Nissan) competition, full stop.

    The weak link in past Dodge pickup trucks was the transmission.

    I believe RAM has addressed this, and if correct, not only is RAM a better truck, but they actually offer the RAM in relatively significant quantities in actual less expensive/work-grade trim levels on dealer lots (from about 18 grand and up).

    I think the RAM has better interior materials & switchgear than Ford or GM p/you trucks, also. There’s no doubt the RAM rides better and has the best diesel offering in the ecodiesel 3.0, too.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      Ram is selling trucks cheap and growing sales. The problem is that most of those trucks are just big full-size sedans. With available payload of a few hundred pounds once you have a family in the back, a 1500 crew cab just isn’t much of a truck. But if you don’t actually need to carry anything, the trucks are pretty nice.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        You can have both, big full-size sedan AND respectable payload. Just step up to a 2500-series 3/4-ton.

      • 0 avatar
        jrmason

        You need to stop spreading this information. Its pure bs. The truck in the review has a payload of 1780 lbs and is very similar payload compared to Ford and GM.

        • 0 avatar
          ajla

          A similar Silverado (WT/LS 4×2 Double Cab 5.3L) is 1870lbs and the 5.7 Tundra Double Cab standard bed is 1735lbs so that’s pretty close to the RAM.

          Ford rates the XL Supercab 6.5ft bed 5.0L 4×2 at 2330, so that’s a fairly sizable boost over the FCA product.

          • 0 avatar
            jrmason

            Has Ford changed their numbers to reflect the true payload ratings? At one time they were publishing their numbers after removing everything in the dash, the spare tire/jack, no hitch, etc. Also didn’t account for a driver as other manufacturers did. Pretty easy to fudge 500 lbs like that eh? I wouldn’t put it past Ford to still pull some BS ratings followed by a tiny asterisk that can’t be seen by the naked eye. Ive personally owned and seen too many Fwords being worked to their maximum potential and they come up short. They’re not all they’re cracked up to be.

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          The truck in the review has a “payload” rating of 1570 lbs (not sure where you’re getting 1780), but that’s a totally useless spec when it also has a GVWR of 6800 lbs and a curb weight of around 5400 lbs depending on accessories. Put in a 200-lb guy, his 150-lb wife, and two 50-lb kids, and you’ve got about 900 lbs left to put in the bed.

          • 0 avatar
            jrmason

            My info is straight from the 2015 Ram 1500 payload and towing charts.

            2015 Ram 1500 Quad cab 2 wheel drive, 5.7/8HP70 with 3.92 rear. GVWR 6900lbs, base weight 5120lbs for a payload of 1780lbs. Front GAWR 3700 lbs, rear GAWR 3900lbs GCWR 15,950lbs.

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            Right off the RAM website today shows 1781lbs:

            http://oi57.tinypic.com/mc9bx5.jpg

            1590-ish is the 4×4 rating. The Ram ratings also take into account a single 150lb driver.

            Here’s the full RAM 1500 towing/payload file:

            http://www.ramtrucks.com/assets/towing_guide/pdf/2015_ram_1500_towing_charts.pdf

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            900 pounds in the bed is more than enough for me. Now, get rid of the two kids and I’ve got 1,000 of cargo capacity without even trying.

          • 0 avatar
            jrmason

            “Now, get rid of the two kids and I’ve got 1,000 of cargo capacity without even trying.”

            LOL. There are days I think this, but then I quickly realize I wouldn’t know what to do with myself.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            @Vulpine: Exactly. Plus everyone seems to have forgotten that 1000 lbs. is–wait for it–a half ton.

            I love the fact that an HD Payload Package F-150 can carry 3000 lbs. in the bed, but I understand that 99% of 1/2-ton owners would never need that kind of capacity.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            Oops — missed the 2WD, because I never think of 2WD pickups as a thing, because in my neck of the woods it would be stone dumb to buy one.

          • 0 avatar
            jrmason

            I agree, a 2×4 is almost nonexistent around here too. They do have their uses but not around these parts.

            Drzhivago138, the 3000 pound payload rating from Ford is pure marketing misnomer. While you may physically be able to put 3k in the bed for a VERY short haul, its simply unrealistic to expect a half ton to withstand that type of abuse on a regular basis. GM and Ram are smart enough to completely avoid this area and realize this is HD territory. It amazes me Ford has the audacity to publish those kind of numbers in such a light duty truck.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Well, since I don’t have any kids unless you count 1-50# dog and 2-10# cats, I don’t have to worry about them. Only the dog gets to take regular rides in my current Jeep.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            If one specs out a F150 5.0 V8 extended cab 4×2 the cargo range is 2230-3020 lbs. A Chevy 5.3 doublecab 6.5 box 4×2 is rated for 1870-2260 lbs.

            For those that say you will never need it or for those who say 1/2 ton pickups should be just 1/2 a ton have lost touch with reality.

            When you get into double cab and crew cab trucks you need to account for passengers. 4 average adult males will put you at 800lbs. That true 1/2 ton truck aka Ram LongHorn Ecodiesel 4×4 will leave 200 lbs for gear.
            Even a family of 4 will weigh around 600lbs. That does not leave much room for anything.
            Next time someone here actually uses a pickup why don’t you go out and weigh it empty then reweigh it after you load it. I’m betting most of you will be over its limits.

            If find it odd that Ram says this is a work truck. Those look like 20 inch wheels with Wrangler SR/A’s. You take that truck down a gravel road with a load you’d better be ready for flats and poor tire life. My F150 had 18″ wheels and SR/A’s. They were junk at 50k miles and I had several flats.

            JRMason – Ford runs a different frame and a larger rear end in that max cargo spec F150. It also runs LT truck tires. The Chevy with max tow/cargo runs a larger rear end as well.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Lou, thank you for proving my point; though I know you didn’t intend to. At one time, a ‘half-ton’ rating literally meant ½ ton of cargo and usually allowed 300 pounds for driver and front-seat passenger (Of course, I am talking about a standard cab, too). Crew cab half-ton then would be rated for ½ ton of cargo and 600 pounds for driver and three passengers (Of course, I am talking about the ’60s versions when they were literally meant as work vehicles and not family cruisers). So depending on cab size, a half-ton truck should still be rated for ½ ton of cargo, driver and one, two or three adult passengers (assuming two pre-teens would weigh about as much as one adult. By that measure, a half-ton truck should have a gross weight limit of curb weight plus 600 pounds on average since they no longer include driver and passengers in the rating. There is literally no reason whatsoever for a half-ton pickup to be rated to twice that unless they expect the driver and all passengers to weigh 300# each. I’ll grant we Americans have gotten a bit obese in the last 55 years, but that’s pushing it.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @Vulpine – you can thank CAFE and emissions for 1/2 tons becoming 3/4 ton trucks.
            The whole 1/2, 3/4, 1 ton rating system is antiquated.
            1/2 ton trucks used to be regular cab only. It was easy to rate it at 1000 lbs when passengers didn’t screw up your load ratings.
            Didn’t you mention that:)

            Most small/mid-sized trucks are class 1. Most 1/2 tons are class 2a. Most 3/4 tons are Class 2b. 1 tons are class 3 and pushing class 4. Ford’s F450 is actually class 4.

            If those old ratings still applied I’d be in a 3/4 or 1 ton truck.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            @Vulpine: Remember that there weren’t any “crew cab half tons,” or any non-regular-cab half-tons, for that matter, until the Dodge Club Cab in ’73. Unless you count the handful of half-ton Travelette crew cabs IH may or may not have made in the late ’50s.

            @jrmason: See my comment below. To get an F-150 to carry 3000+ lbs. safely, you need to get an HD Payload Package. As per Ford’s towing guide, the HDPP includes LT tires, heavy-duty 6-lug wheels (it used to be 7-lugs, which made them easier to spot in the wild), heavier springs, tranny cooler and a 9.75 rear end. The truck sits taller and rides stiffer than a normal F-150, but not as much as a 250.

            The HD package ups the GVWR to 7850. It’s not for someone who will pull 10K+ lbs. or haul 3K in the bed every day–that’s what a full HD truck is for. It’s for someone who wants to haul their camper 3-4 times out of the year and doesn’t want to put up with a 3/4-ton just for that. This is the same package that from 2000 to ’03 was called F-150 7700, and from 1997 to ’99 the F-250 light duty.

            I don’t know how many Ford actually sells; it’s a very niche market. But they are out there.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Heh. Good discussion and good responses. Thank you all.

            @Lou: Believe it or not, I’ll agree with you about CAFE–but more because the OEMs worked so hard to dodge the CAFE rules rather than adhering to them. Now they’re being forced to find ways to actually follow the rules and are succeeding. Moreover, I do believe we’re seeing the beginning of the full-sized trucks starting to shrink back to 1990 sizes, which can subsequently help them reduce weight which naturally helps them to achieve better fuel mileage. I don’t know when, but I expect that the GM, Ford and RAM full-sized trucks will see a name change or otherwise adapt to their smaller sizes again–with my guess being somewhere between 2020 and 2025. I’m personally betting the Canyon/Colorado flat out replace the “S” twins by GM while Titan and Tundra become Nissan and Toyota’s “heavy duty” trucks as their current midsizers grow to Colorado size. IF (and the capitalization is intentional) Hyundai’s concept proves a success, the combination of compacts and mid-sizers could well relegate current full-sized trucks to Medium-Duty roles where they’ll actually be proper working trucks again (and not SUVs with a patio).

            @Dr. Z: Whether or not it was a half-ton, Dodge had the D-200 CREW CAB back in the mid-’60s, later called a Double-Cab in the ’70s before reverting to Crew Cab later. If Dodge had it, I am quite certain the other brands had an equivalent. A quick Google search of images even revealed an interesting ’47 crew cab pickup–and that’s my point. It’s not the rating of the truck that counted, it’s the simple fact that the body style was in use long before the mid-’70s. I can also promise you that their load ratings were far more accurate to their weight class than they are today. Quite honestly the only reason crew cabs have become popular is that they have replaced the true full-sized sedans and wagons that we’ve lost over the last two decades. With their relatively poor economy, I expect to see them shrink again and maybe even lose some of their market share when fuel prices rise back to previous levels.

        • 0 avatar
          Sigivald

          Hey, if it’s a big family of 250 pound people…

  • avatar
    SoCalMikester

    pretty sure those are chrome plated wheelskins.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      My friend got the Laramie 1500 and was a bit dissed by the chrome wheelskins, but that’s nothing compared to when he learned his Hemi V8 is nothing like the original “Hemi”. He went ballistic so I had to point out it wasn’t a true Dual Exhaust either. Then he REALLY lost it! Fake Fake Fake. At least it’s a real crew cab, but of course he hates the 5.5 ft bed

      • 0 avatar
        Drzhivago138

        Even more ironic considering that as of 2014, the crew cab is now available with a “normal” 6.5′ bed.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          Whoooo! Thanks for reminding me! I laughed out loud today when a saw a big, black 4×4 crew cab running down the highway with a quadrunner in the bed and only one person in the cab. Tailgate down because the rear wheels of the quad were sitting on the tailgate itself.

          Just goes to show not all pickup truck drivers get what they need.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          Drzhivago138 – the Ram 1500 has a 6 ft 4 inch bed as a long box. Technically that would be 6.3 feet. Ford and Chevy are 6ft 6 inches or 6.5 ft.

          That could be an issue for fleet operators who want to swap out cargo boxes etc. when replacing their fleets.

      • 0 avatar
        jrmason

        I think you should be bashing your friend instead of the truck. Did he not see the 5.5 ft bed or the wheel covers before he bought it? FYI Ford and GM does the same thing on select models. My wifes “Pewmier” model Mountaineer which is their top of the line has wheel skins.
        And tell him not to lose too much sleep over the “real Hemi” thing. That technology is old and Chrysler/Dodge has moved on to much better and more efficient designs. He must of missed the memo 30+ years ago when the true hemispherical heads were axed.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          The original Hemi was an absolute monster. Still lives on in Pro Stock, Keith Black. No way to make them emissions/CAFE compliant though. Or they’d be in the HELLCAT, no blower necessary. No doubt about it.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        I think the “Hemi” marketing on the 345 unnecessary (even as a Charger R/T owner), but if your friend actually thought his pickup engine was a direct relation to the 426 from the 60s (or was he a FirePower fan?) then I hope they don’t keep too many sharp objects in the house.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          He’s a true Chevy guy from day one of the muscle car era, then has owned Toyota autos and trucks since then. Except his son in law now manages a Chrysler group dealer. So he did zero homework and just trusted everything to be the real deal. Why would it be otherwise, he guessed. Real old skool, but gullible lots of the time. He didn’t ask me before he bought.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          ajla
          That is true. The current hemi was based on a Porsche design and it almost did not get made as it was hard to make it emissions compliant. That is why it has 2 spark plugs.

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        Your friend sounds like a moron.

        >was a bit dissed by the chrome wheelskins

        There are painted/non chrome clad options available.

        >but that’s nothing compared to when he learned his Hemi V8 is nothing like the original “Hemi”

        Right, it’s got about 60 years worth of improvements. What did he expect, dual quads?

        >He went ballistic so I had to point out it wasn’t a true Dual Exhaust either.

        What kind of person honestly cares whether there’s one pipe or two from the Y to the tail pipe? The kind of person to put straight pipes on it anyway? Other makes do this too.

        >of course he hates the 5.5 ft bed

        Then why didn’t get the the 6.5′?

      • 0 avatar
        rpn453

        I really can’t understand why they put those cheap plastic-covered wheels on the higher trim levels when there are some very nicely designed and finished wheels available in lower trim levels.

        Is his Laramie a 2WD, DenverMike? If not, wait until he finds out his “4WD” is actually electronic on-demand AWD!

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        @DiM,
        The quality of your friends logic doesn’t surprise me at all.

        Birds of a feather……………

    • 0 avatar
      nrd515

      They are almost like model car “chrome” wheels, a plain aluminum wheel with a plastic “chrome clad” face. They call them “Chrome Clad” on the cars, I don’t know what they call them on the Ram. They scream CHEAP to me. I had them on my 2008 Charger R/T and I hated them, but never replaced them, even though real aluminum wheels were easy to find and cheap on the Charger/300/Challenger forums.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        This discussion about “chrome clad” is really funny. Until the mid-’70s, nearly every car on the road had “chrome clad” bumpers and wheel covers and it wasn’t considered “cheap”. “Cheap” was painted bumpers and plastic wheel covers. The chrome, on those bumpers and hubcaps, was plated onto the steel and most likely still is with these chromed wheels on the truck (though probably now plated onto aluminum). I highly doubt that the chrome is ‘plastic’. I can understand that you feel such bright wheels don’t fit your tastes, but maybe you should learn a little more about what is cheap and what is “cheap”.

        • 0 avatar
          rpn453

          Chrome plastic is cheap. Probably much cheaper than chrome plating. Go tap the surface with your finger the next time you see big shiny chrome wheels on a Dodge Laramie. They are chrome plastic covers over an unfinished aluminum wheel. Even at a glance from a distance, they scream “cheap” because the plastic lip sticks out so much farther than the actual metal one would. They’re obviously wheel covers to anyone who pays attention to wheels.

  • avatar
    Carlson Fan

    So I’d like to know what those bags weighed & then have seen a shot of how bad the truck squatted once loaded. Even better would have been a suspension picture underneath showing how much travel the suspension had left.

    Was it riding on the rubber stops? Curious, as it is often brought up on this web site how wimpy the payload of the 1/2 ton Rams are with their rear coil suspensions. Seems they enhanced ride quality while sacrificing the trucks ability to actually do some work.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      Carlson Fan – looking close at the photo shows 70 lbs each. 12 bags= 840 lb. Pallet? 60 lbs. I’m guessing 900lb. Poor placement of load.

    • 0 avatar

      Another excellent question. It was 10 bags at 70lbs. So 700 before the 20 lbs pallet. Yes, @Lou_BC it was poor load placement, but I had to remove them one at a time to carry inside and I didn’t want to have to jump in and out of the bed to do it.

      A post load picture would have been a great idea, and count on that next time. But it actually wasn’t noticeable, even far behind the rear axle. The ride was not compromised, it was not on the bump stops and never hit them driving back to the site. I didn’t take it on the freeway on the return (other pickups to make) so I didn’t have a chance to test the high speed stability with a load, but the owner has and has had no complaints.

      • 0 avatar
        Carlson Fan

        I’m sure the guy with the fork truck didn’t follow you home so smart to leave the load where you could unload it easily. Sounds the like the Ram handled over 700 lbs., mostly behind the rear axle, without any problem.

        • 0 avatar
          jim brewer

          Sure. A 1700/pound capacity is excellent. The capabilities of these things is just off the chart. The comment about what a pain it is in an urban environment is apposite, but its honest weight.

          I wouldn’t draw too many conclusions from the way it carried a 700 pound load. For a modern pickup truck, that doesn’t do anything but improve the ride. (A lot.)

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        I’ll leave the tailgate at home to protect it from forklift operators. Then the material is in easy reach, even when the pallet is pushed close to the axle center.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        Good to see you back and doing reviews again, WW.

        Your reviews remind me of Jack’s – and that’s meant as a compliment.

      • 0 avatar
        Dave M.

        If the Ram wasn’t available, were you going to take 10 trips with the X1?

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        @Christian
        The problem with leaving them at the back is simple. Hard braking will fire your load up against the front of the box. I’ve seen boxes get damaged. In crashed I’ve seen loads like that push into the cab.

    • 0 avatar
      jrmason

      I wouldn’t call 1780 pounds payload capacity wimpy for a half ton truck. Half tons do have their limits, I regularly use a one ton for my needs, but the gospel being spread that Ram has poor payload ratings is based on one model maxed out on options and is mostly bs as the majority of people who need a truck aren’t going to buy a LongHorn loaded to the hilt. They’re going to buy a truck similar to this, and at 1780 lbs payload and a GCWR of nearly 16,000 lbs its a very capable truck.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        jrmason – Most pickup buyers purchase mid level trim 4×4 crewcab pickups. That is not similar to a base truck.
        A midlevel trim Ram is around 1417 to 1,454. Adding factory options subtracts from that weight. A pickup truck site tested the Ram Ecodiesel 4×4. It was rated for 980 lbs but they weighed the truck and its actual cargo weight was 660 lb. They took rated GVW and minused tare (empty) weight.
        If we look at mid level Chevy and Ford trucks the low end rating is still higher.
        The lowest rated F150 (V8/EB3.5)Crew 4×4 is 1600 lbs.
        The highest is 2910.

        The lowest rating for Chevy crew 4×4 (5.3) is 1710 and max 2100 lbs.

        You notice the pattern here?
        Chevy and Ford crewcab 4×4 trucks have better ratings than a 4×2 Ram double cab.

        If I were in the market for a new truck, I wouldn’t touch a 1/2 ton crew 4×4 with anything less than 1800 lbs.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          @Lou: “If I were in the market for a new truck, I wouldn’t touch a 1/2 ton crew 4×4 with anything less than 1800 lbs.”

          That’s you. Your needs are significantly different from most who own pickup trucks. For me, especially with 4×4, that much cargo capacity is gross overkill and absolutely unnecessary. With just me, my wife and my dog I have no need or desire for a crew cab; I’d be fine with an extended cab. That cuts down on some of the curb weight right there. I also don’t need the high-dollar super-luxury trim packages, which would reduce the weight even more. Now, by extension on your own reports, that means my cargo capacity should have risen by a minimum of 300# which brings the RAM right back up to that half-ton cargo capacity.

          As I said, since I have no need for more than that, the Chevy and Ford crewcab trucks are gross overkill and I wouldn’t even be cross-shopping them. They would simply ride too hard even if I put my typical load of 22 event tables in the bed, weighing a maximum of 400# (my largest, but not my heaviest load). My less typical loading might put 600-800# in the back, certainly enough to soften the ride of the RAM but probably not enough to even flex the springs on the two you mention.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @Vulpine – I’ve never told anyone to buy max capacity trucks. I believe people should buy what they want but they had better make sure that it actually does what they want.
            Most do not do that. If you feel a reg cab truck with a 1000lbs is all you need then I’d say you aren’t that much different than me.
            You know what you want and have looked at whether or not it does what you need it to do.
            If I was single I wouldn’t have a crewcab full sized truck.
            If the crew 4×4 Tacoma had a 1500-1800 cargo rating at the time I purchased my F150, I probably would of bought that instead.
            The 2015 Colorado crew 4×4 has an 1800 lb rating. That puts it firmly on my shopping list next time I go to buy a truck.

        • 0 avatar
          jrmason

          “Notice a pattern here?”

          Yes, that the numbers are all over the place between the 3 manufacturers but every time they have all been tested head to head the Ram has come out on top or at the least been very competitive. That tells me the numbers aren’t as big as your trying to make them out to be Lou. Look at Rams HD segment, the 2500 and 3500 both have superior payload ratings. Remember Ford threatening Ram to sue over their claim to having best in class payload and tow ratings? Problem is, Ford was using the 450 with 19.5 wheels in comparison to the 3500. They like to run the numbers game anyway it benefits them just like your trying to do. Ive owned and seen enough Fwords ran hard to know they dont hold up any better on the heavy end than the other brands. What looks good on paper doesn’t mean anything in the real world.

          • 0 avatar
            Sigivald

            The F450 and the Ram 3500 have very similar GAVR/GCVW/Tow ratings; sounds fair to me.

            “Problem is” you think “450” means it’s radically different from a “3500”.

            (The F450 in question has a GVWR of 14,000 pounds – it’s a class 3 truck, not a class 4, even though the first digit is “4”.

            The “450” name is pure marketing. It is not a medium-duty truck, just a maximally-capable light-duty.)

          • 0 avatar
            jrmason

            If your logic held water there would be no reason for the 350. The 450 has a higher GVW, larger axles and brakes and an option for 19.5 tires.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            Jr mason – ever read a test where they put more than a 1000lb in the box of a 1/2 ton?
            That is why Ram 1500 keeps up.

            The debate was about 1/2 ton trucks. Odd…….now we are talking HD’s.

            All of the pickup makers wage war over capacity. I think it is stupid. Ram and Ford both claimed tow supremacy with HD’s. Ram was technically correct since the Ram 3500 is a class 3 pickup and the F450 is class 4. It was tweaked to barely fit into class 3. In that case Ford did play with ratings…
            But…
            If I has 30k to tow I’d want a class 4 or better yet a class 5 truck. A friend of mine tows 30k behind a Ram 3500. He hates it. His company got through Ram to avoid CDL requirements.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      Even 3,000 lbs wouldn’t put it on the snubbers, but that’s not what Overloaded means.

      • 0 avatar
        Carlson Fan

        Oh absolutely 3K would put it on the snubbers. The only suspension you’d have left is the flex in the tires sidewalls. Which speaking if tires you’d probably be overloading them as well.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          Do you think the 3,000 payload F-150 is close to the snubbers? Not exactly the regular duty pickup, but no F-250 either.

          Midsize pickups like the Frontier/Navara in OZ are rated for up to 2,800ish lbs, and not on the snubbers. I didn’t say Aussie payload rating aren’t comical, but still not bottomed out on the axle.

          • 0 avatar
            Carlson Fan

            “Do you think the 3,000 payload F-150 is close to the snubbers? Not exactly the regular duty pickup, but no F-250 either.”

            We are not talking about a Ford, we are talking about the Ram. And yes I’d bet money that 3K in the bed & that Ram has no suspension left. Plus you’ve just overloaded the tires.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            What are you basing it on? Show a Ram or any 1/2 ton on the snubbers and bottomed on its axle with just 3,000 lbs. it’s not overloading the springs so much, but the entire truck, including the tires. Brakes, bearings. ball joints, frame, cooling, etc.

          • 0 avatar
            Carlson Fan

            Mike you lost me. You said 3K wouldn’t put the Ram on its snubbers and I said yes it would.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Again, 3,000 lbs isn’t enough to bottom out, even a midsize truck. So you think a truck ‘fully optioned’ or Raptor pickup with a weak 800 lbs payload has soft springs because of it? Nope, the low rating has everything to do with its *factory* load, leaving not much ‘net’ GVWR.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @DiM,
            Yes, I could put 3 000lbs in my midsizer/BT50 and it wouldn’t be sitting on the rubbers.

            I don’t think any US midsizer will carry that kind of weight or very few 1/2 ton US pickups, other than the few heavy packages you can buy.

            I wouldn’t do that though.

            If you need to move that much weight you should either make two loads,use a trailer or get a bigger truck.

            Another factor with US pickups is the 4x4s. Off road you should not carry more than 2/3s or your rated load capacity.

            You risk breaking to many things, unless you spend the money for a decent aftermarket suspension kit. I wouldn’t trust the “factory” off road packages.

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    What was the rear end ratio in this truck? Ram’s web site lists 3 ratios: 3.92, 3.55, 3.21. If it spun the tires as easily as it did then it must be 3.92.
    This truck is rated for 1,719 lbs cargo.

    In contrast a base model Ford 5.0 V8 4×2 extended cab can range from a low of 2,230lb to a max of 3,020lbs payload.

    Chevy/GM double cab 5.3 V8 4×2 ranges from a low of 1870 to a max of 2,260lbs.

    Adding a shitty interior to a pickup does not make a work truck.

    Goodyear Wrangler SR/A’s are a poor choice of tire for a pickup let alone a work truck. I had multiple flats with mine and with 10-20% gravel road use they where dead at 30K miles.

    @Deadweight – Value? Vincentric rates trucks on value and Ram got the nod for civilian personal use but not for work trucks. Ram barely edged out the competition for personal use trucks when “value” is considered.

    Ram 1500 rides better because it has the worst payload ratings in the industry. Truck guys were having wet dreams about air ride until the specs were released.

    Best diesel offering?????????

    WTF?

    That is a no brainer since NO ONE ELSE currently offers a 1/2 ton diesel.

    I was excited about the Ecodiesel until I saw the capacity charts. No thanks. If I want those kind of ratings I’ll buy a car.

    • 0 avatar
      jrmason

      Lou, quit spreading your fan boy bs. 3k in the back of an F150 will leave it flattening the bumpstops. Been there done that in a friends EcoBoost, I ended up hauling the load for him because he was afraid of leaving the driveway with it. I dont care what their ratings claim, they’re a joke just like their trucks. Ive owned 2 Super Duties and have never been back to the dealer so many times with any other vehicle. Often times my 50k dollar PowerChoke would be in the shop getting the body ripped off while my14 year old Dodge (now 17 years old) was out doing the work I bought the Ford for. Then my wifes Mountaineer comes into the picture and its giving the SuperDuties a run for their money in trips to the dealership. The AWD system is a joke, the front end cant handle the dirt roads we live on. The whole front end had to be rebuilt by 50k miles and again recently. All the oil field guys are ditching their Fords for GMs or Rams because they dont hold up in that application either. Built Ford tough is nothing but a bad joke. I laugh whenever someone puts them up on a pedastal because its obvious they dont work them.

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        “3k in the back of an F150 will leave it flattening the bumpstops”

        Not to mention the driveline shudder. It’s a chronic issue with F150s that try too hard to please the daily driver air haulers and those who should have really bought a heavy duty truck.

        Ram has figured out that putting a tow rating of 13,000lbs on a light duty is rather absurd considering what most owners actually use them for and the fact that a HD truck is offered that can do it better. I guess F150 drivers can take solace in their max payload and trailer towing bragging rights while they endure their ox cart ride and handling.

        • 0 avatar
          Drzhivago138

          The 3000 lbs. payload is only for the HD Payload Package-equipped models. RC8’/SC8’/CC6.5′ only. And I’ve seen about a dozen of those models in 09-14.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          jrmason – “3k in the back of an F150 will leave it flattening the bumpstops”

          My reply got killed by the spambot……..

          It all depends on WHICH F150 you put 3k into. Any max cargo F150 is rated close to that weight.

          So who here is spewing fanboy crap????????

      • 0 avatar
        rpn453

        “Then my wifes Mountaineer comes into the picture and its giving the SuperDuties a run for their money in trips to the dealership. The AWD system is a joke . . .”

        The AWD system in the current Ram 1500 is also a joke. That’s right, their “4WD” is actually an on-demand AWD system, even in “4 Lock”. Only the 2500s and the V6 1500s have actual 4WD. For now, anyway.

        • 0 avatar
          Drzhivago138

          Source on this?

          I feel the need to clarify that (AFAIK) the only actual AWD systems on any fullsize pickup trucks were on the Harley-Davidson F-150s and Silverado SS models. If there are any others, let me know.

          • 0 avatar
            rpn453

            Here’s my previous TTAC discussion on it, with some links:

            https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/chicago-2015-2016-ram-laramie-limited-sports-fancy-duds/#comment-5073346

            Here’s the big thread on it. It’s a long one though, and the details are scattered.

            http://www.ramforum.com/f38/4x4_problem_ram_2013_8-speed-40753/

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            Okay. Thanks!

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        jrmason – where did I ever mention HD pickups? We are talking about 1/2 ton trucks.

        If I wanted a HD diesel pickup it would be a Chevy Duramax. They have a much better reputation than either Ford or Ram.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        IIRC the only Ford F150 with AWD is the Harley and Limited.

  • avatar
    CapVandal

    When I went to pick up a rental car at Enterprise, the only vehicle on the lot was a Ram with Hemi and 4W drive. It did snow a lot, so the 4WD was nice, as I watched some cars struggle to get up hills. But it was HELL to drive and park in that small town. It had leather seats and a nice enough interior. Plus, it drove well on the highway.

    But, the current generation of pickups are just absurd to drive in an urban environment. They really porked them out. This one had a quad cab and a full size bed. Oh yes… I managed to ding the fender while parking. Which colors my perspective on the vehicle. I am simply not interested in a vehicle this size. For work .. sure. but lifestyle? Especially at the prices. If I need to haul something or tow something, there is always Enterprise.

    • 0 avatar
      Carlson Fan

      Does Enterprise rent trucks and then tell you it is OK to tow with them? I’m pretty sure that is a big no-no.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        If the truck comes with a Hitch Receiver, it implies that the truck is equipped with the towing package. Ditto with full-size Vans from Enterprise, Hertz, Dollar/Thrifty, Avis, etc.

        • 0 avatar
          mnm4ever

          Around here all the local rental trucks expressly forbid towing. last I checked, they actually weld up the receivers so they cannot be used. Even the “hourly rental” trucks from Home Depot do not have a receiver mounted. You can tow with U-Haul trucks, but then you pay by the mile to use it. If you have to tow regularly, you basically need to have your own truck, or borrow a family member’s truck like I do.

          A few years back I found a rental Tahoe with an open receiver, and I used that to do a long distance move for my wife (then girlfriend). But I think that loophole may have been closed by now.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            That’s really interesting! I learned something today.

            Then again, I have always had a truck of my own, but in my area I have seen the Home Depot rental truck, for instance, towing a cement mixer behind it, presumably both rented by the driver from Home Depot.

          • 0 avatar
            mnm4ever

            Could be a regional thing too. IIRC you live out west, where people really use trucks. Here in Florida a lot of people just tow boats, so the rental places might not want people putting ramp wear and tear on their rentals or taking road trips and bringing a heavy boat.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            You’re probably right. Many, many pickup trucks in use in NM, TX, AZ, CO, NC and OK. Not to mention WY, UT, ID, ND, SD, and MT.

            But many people simply cannot afford a pickup truck, although in these parts a (4-door) pickup truck is often the only vehicle that a family owns.

            Plus the demand of all the illegal aliens getting brand new drivers licenses minted and issued by the Great State of New Mexico, and if you have a truck that runs and want to sell it, you can get top dollar for it.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            All of the rentals in my region have useable reciever hitches. They allow towing but not offroad use unless you pay a lot more. It also depends on the insurance you have or buy.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Sweet truck – I assume this had the shifter “dial” which is sort of silly in a work truck.

  • avatar
    ksmo

    Nice review.

    One thing. Mid 20’s MPG, to me, would mean 24-26 range. If this truck is delivering “upwards of mid 20’s in Atlanta traffic”, that’s insanely good. I don’t know anyone with a truck like this who gets 27 mpg in city traffic.

    • 0 avatar
      Carlson Fan

      I would have to agree – see my comment above. It s a 2WD which helps but that seems like the mileage you would expect out of the eco-diesel. Anything over 20 MPG, city or highway, with that truck IMO is excellent.

    • 0 avatar

      The owner is a light-footed veteran of ATL traffic and will deliberately space himself to allow for as little starting and stopping as possible. He uses his cruise control even on surface streets and it does have the cylinder shutoff. He’s a straight shooter I have known for over 2 decades, and I do believe his claim of mid 20’s. 27? probably not, but I would not be surprised if his active MPG conscious driving has not yield him 25 on occasion.

      • 0 avatar
        ksmo

        He needs to share his techniques with the guys on Fuelly. Similar trucks there are almost all in the teens.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          Ksmo- simple hypermiling techniques. I can get 20.5 mpg highway out of my 5.4 supercrew 4×4 with 1400 lb of family and gear on board and that is in British Columbia heading south from the Great White North.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    Ram has proven that the US 1/2 ton market is mainly the car/SUV set with the 1500.

    The diesel is a fine engine to have though. It offers fantastic FE and lugging power.

    I do think Ram could of done better if they changed the front end.

    If any US pickup succeeded in Asia it would be the Ram as it would not look out of place with that Korean inspired front end.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      It’s the tale of two cities with the RAM.

      On one hand, they can get as insanely priced and bling-tastic (and ridiculous) as 58k F Series & GMCs, when decked out in Cowboy Cadillac tim and with all the boxes checked.

      On the other hand, at the work/base (or closer to it) trim levels, nothing can touch the RAM (which can be had in extended cab 4×4 for as little as the low 20s) because ITS FOUNDATION (suspension, drivetrain, frame, steering, transmission) is so good.

      The cherry on top is that even the EXCELLENT 3.0 Liter edodiesel can be spec’d in lower trim level RAMs, just like the one Matt Gasnier bought & took coast to coast, with an excellent writeup btw, right here (where he obtained outstanding city and highway fuel economy and motor manners):

      https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/coast-coast-2014-final-destination-los-angeles-final-albert-review/

  • avatar
    NoGoYo

    Kinda odd seeing a 2WD with what seems to be 4WD ride height.

    I guess I’m just used to 80s 2WD Dodges, Fords, and Chevys with a “face down, ass up” stance and barely any ground clearance up front.

  • avatar
    RS

    I love my ’14 Ram 1500 Tradesman Quad Cab 4×4 and would recommend it. I drove them all before I made my choice. It didn’t hurt that the price was best on the Ram and they offered more than others for my F150 trade.

  • avatar
    Johnny Canada

    “The wheel-mounted shifters responded quicker than I expected..”

    No one is using those buttons to manually shift the transmission like a paddle shifter.

    The buttons allow you select the highest gear available for your situation. The gear selection is displayed on the LCD cluster. Also when in this mode, it cancels out the cylinder deactivation regardless of gear selected (even 8th gear). It’s really a great feature. I’m very happy with my 8 speed ZF Hemi combination.

  • avatar
    rpn453

    You didn’t notice the slow and lifeless steering? It’s the worst I’ve ever experienced, and that includes cube vans. All of the big-three’s 3/4-ton 4×4 trucks from the mid-2000’s feel like their steering was designed by Mazda in comparison to these new Rams.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    I do notice many pickup articles talk about load and tow capabilities.

    This is mainly discussed amongst the pickup diehards as a tool to justify their belief and fanboi’ism towards a particular brand.

    I do believe Ram under Sergio and FCA have made an incredible turnaround over the past few years or so.

    If you look at Ram’s formula it proves that most pickups in the US are in fact a car/SUV/CUV alternative. Most who buy pickups use them as a daily driver. What makes a 1/2 ton good is it’s a large family hauler that offer’s more flexibility than your average SUV.

    Most who buy them don’t car if a pickup takes 14 or 14.5 seconds to run a quarter mile. Most who buy them don’t care if it can carry 1 600 or 1 800lbs.

    Why?

    Because they are empty most of the time and may carry a little bit of weight a couple time a year when the pickup owner goes to Home Depot to pick up a few bags of compost.

    Most don’t tow to the tow limits of these vehicles if they tow at all.

    Most of the payload and tow debate is just banging d!cks to prove that my favourite pickup must be better than yours.

    My view is they are all good pickups.

    But, Ram has shown it is producing a very friendly and comfortable pickup than the competition that’s very competitive.

    I even think the Ram’s front end wouldn’t look out of place in any Asian country.

    Ram do offer a good range of engines and drivetrains. They do what 75% of pickup customers need or in reality want.

    The American pickup is just a car now, that can tow and carry a small load whilst toting the family around.

    Our pickups are going the same way, actually most global pickups are.

    Aesthetically in my view what destroys the look of the US pickup is the big rig small d!ck grilles. But, they are probably the cheapest way to fill the front end in.

    Imagine the cost of designing a good looking front end.

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