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.