The Richmond Auto Mall - Tony Whitney Reviews

Aug 14, 2017



If there’s one thing that’s highly desirable in a heavy-duty pickup it’s lots of torque, so how about a rig with 930 lb.-ft.? That’s what buyers of the 2018 Ram 3500 Heavy Duty will get and it’s no surprise that’s it’s the highest torque rating ever for a pickup. Many rivals come close, but the new Ram is the chart-topper for the time being.

For truck owners with exceptionally demanding work scenarios or for people needing to haul a large fifth wheel RV, torque is king and anything not up to scratch in that department will always fall short. For the RV crowd, this Ram HD will haul 30,000 lb. with a fifth wheel hitch and will haul the unit over any road grade that’s likely to be encountered. Ram points out that this capability will open a new gateway for heavy trailer manufacturers and deliver performance only available before with Class 4 and Class 5 trucks. The new Rams have just started rolling off the production line and should be at dealerships soon.

Behind this impressive capability is a Cummins 6.7-litre 385-horsepower turbo diesel powerplant with intercooler that is the result of close cooperation between the engine manufacturer and Ram engineering teams. Technical advancements include higher boost limits through a variable geometry turbo and flow rate increases through the fuel delivery system. This helped produce an additional 30 lb.-ft. of torque and boost the massive total. Buyers have a choice of six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmissions. The new Ram can haul the biggest travel trailers in the industry, aided also by a new hitch design that costs a reasonable $1,500 or so.

Products in the Ram pickup range can be ordered in many configurations, including regular cab long bed, crew cab short bed, crew cab long bed and mega cab short bed. Pickup trucks always have long lists of options and prospective buyers should go thorough the spec sheets with a truck specialist at the dealership and discuss exactly what their needs are. The chances are strong that they’ll find exactly what they need at the price they’re ready to pay.

Ram pickups have great cabs, even in standard form, but add a few bells and whistles and you can end up what is more or less a luxury SUV. The difference is that it’s an SUV that can earn a living for those with work to do. For seriously bad terrain, buyers can opt for hill descent control, a transfer case skid plate, Bilstein shocks, limited slip differential, 18-inch or 20-inch on/off road tires and other goodies. All Ram trucks now have a standard five micron cabin air filter, which is something of a blessing on dusty trails. Ram cab storage is among the best in the industry and not only are there numerous places to stow stuff, but several that are very large and would take the rugged-use laptop computers many users carry to jobsites these days.

When it comes to trim levels, Ram offers no less than eight for its 2500/3500 heavy-duty trucks. Starting with the least opulent, there’s Tradesman, SLT, Big Horn, Lone Star, Power Wagon, Laramie, Laramie Longhorn and right at the top of the range, the luxurious Limited. Most trucks are available with two or four-wheel drive and the HD 3500 has dual rear wheels.

The new Ram HD is a remarkable truck and while it leads the pack right now as far as torque goes, you can bet that Ford and GM will be working hard to match these amazing figures. The “torque wars” may be raging among truck manufacturers, but it’s the demanding customer who ends up the real winner


BODY STYLE: Heavy duty pickup in various cab configurations

ENGINE: Cummins 6.7-litre turbo diesel

TRANSMISSION: Six speed manual or automatic


FUEL ECONOMY: Not yet available

PRICE: Not yet available