Chrysler's Ram Truck brand has added a pair of roomier Tradesman pickups, plus a panel-removal option for its chassis-cab medium-duty trucks and higher-weight packages for towing.
Regular Cab Tradesman is being joined by roomier QuadCab and CrewCab versions. All can be ordered with Ram Box bins in bed sides.
Regular Cab Tradesman is being joined by roomier QuadCab and CrewCab versions. All can be ordered with Ram Box bins in bed sides.

The first Tradesman was a basic 2-door Ram 1500 work truck that proved so popular that it contributed to a tripling of Regular Cab sales over last year, said Bob Hegbloom, Ram brand director. So available soon are 4-door QuadCab and CrewCab versions that can carry more gear and additional people.

All upcoming Tradesman variants come with a 4.7-liter V-8 as standard, while the 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 becomes an option. They're available in two- or four-wheel drive. All get standard power windows and remote-locking doors, and as with other Rams, rear doors are front-hinged for easier access to cabs' back-seat areas in tight parking lots.

Tradesman pickups otherwise continue as no-frills machines with Vinyl-covered floors and Vinyl- or cloth-upholstered contoured bench seats, black plastic noses and bumpers, and painted steel wheels. A chrome package brightens up the grille, bumpers and wheels.

The Ram Box feature, with lockable water-tight bins in bed sides, will be a $1,295 option on most Tradesman pickups. Use of the smaller V-8 allows a lowering of the Regular Cab's list price to $22,370. The Tradesman QuadCab lists at $27,330 and the CrewCab is priced at $29,810.

Back Panel Cutaway
Installers of specialized commercial bodies will have an easier time because of a new Back Panel Cutaway option available on Ram 3500, 4500 and 5500 chassis-cab trucks with Regular Cabs. Following supplied instructions, qualified upfitters can take out about 80% of the rear panel, creating a passage into the body.

The option should be valuable for builders of ambulance, box van, motor home and other walk-through bodies, Ram executives said.

Heavier Payload, Tow Packages
Ram 4500 and 5500 chassis-cab models can now be ordered with a MaxTow package with a 30,000-pound gross combination weight rating, 4,000 pounds more than standard. It includes recalibrated transmission software, enhanced thermal management devices, and a stronger transfer case on 4x4 versions. The TC gets new gear sets and stronger chain-and-sprocket sets.

A 4.88 axle ratio replaces the 4.44 in 4500 models using an Aisin 6-speed automatic, while a 6-speed Daimler manual remains available. Ram 4500 and 5500 trucks come standard with the 6.7-liter Cummins Turbo Diesel.

Ram 3500 with the 5.7-liter Hemi gasoline V-8 gets a GCWR increase of 3,000 pounds, to 20,000 pounds, and also claims an increase in fuel economy, Ram executives said. The Cummins diesel is optional on the 3500.