Ram brand offers – what some say is – the most complete line of pickup trucks in North America that is topped off with their 2014 Ram 3500 – the biggest of them – that gives their customers the segment’s most powerful range of heavy duty working trucks across the six models they offer.
At the 3500, or heavy duty pickup truck level, Ram offers an extensive range of heavy duty trucks for just about any need. Starting with the six trim level models Ram then offers three cab sizes, two cargo bed lengths, 4x4 or 4x2 configuration, two gas and three diesel engines, four transmissions, three rear axle sets, two transfer cases and single rear wheel or dual rear wheel options for you to choose from. And all of that before taking a look at the interior trims, technology and comfort/convenience features that you can select from to make your Ram 3500 perfect inside as well as out.
Now we are not the target customer for a Ram 3500 heavy duty as we do not have to haul up to 7,500 pounds of payload or tow up to 30,000 pounds of loaded trailer in our everyday or working lives, but a whole lot of people do. So when they have to haul loads and go places for work and play that need that kind of capacity – Ram 3500 (as the segment leader for tow/haul) – is the truck for them to get.
We recently climbed behind the wheel of a seriously powerful, technology enabled and very comfortable Ram 3500 heavy duty powered by the biggest of the 6.7L Cummins diesel engines offered and mated to the beefiest 6-speed automatic transmission available driving its dual rear wheel set – fully able of hauling (as configured) almost 6,000 pounds of cargo and towing up to 23,800 pounds of trailer and equipment wherever we wanted to go.
Officially, our test truck for the week was a Ram 3500 SLT Lone Star Crew Cab 4x2 Long Box DRW Diesel in a distinctive True Blue Pearl Coat with a rich Canyon Brown/Light Frost Beige interior and Premium Cloth Bucket Seats. Our truck had a base MSRP of $38,850 before including a long list of options to make it a Lone Star Crew Cab 4x2 Long Box DRW Diesel that had a final delivered price of $60,785.
As a base Ram 3500 SLT Crew Cab 4x2, our truck came equipped with the 8-foot Cargo Box, Electronic Stability Control, Anti-spin Differential Rear Axle, Anti-lock 4-wheel Disc Brakes, Trailer Brake Control, Remote Keyless Entry, Speed Control, Power Windows and Door Locks, Automatic Headlamps and Power Heated T-Tow Mirrors with Puddle and Signal Lamps. Also included was the Uconnect infotainment system with SiriusXm Radio, a USB and Auxiliary Media Hub with a remote USB Port for charging and Ram’s unique In-floor Second Row Storage Boxes.
Of course, underneath, this Ram 3500 was firmly grounded for toughness and comfort with its advanced three-link front suspension with track and stabilizer bars, coil springs and a solid axle. It was coupled with a rear suspension made up of the proven Hotchkiss leaf spring system and solid axle with an available (optional) supplemental air suspension.
The real key to building the right truck for your need is to choose carefully from Ram’s extensive list of optional packages and features to complete your Ram 3500. In our case, for a test truck, Ram had chosen pretty well for us on this one.
Our Ram 3500 started by adding the Premium Cloth Bucket Seats ($250) along with the Customer Preferred Package 28Y ($1,135) which added 18x8-inch Polished Forged Aluminum Wheels, 10-Way Power Drivers Seat, Premium Cloth 60/40 Second Row Seating with Fold Flat Rear Cargo Storage, Leather Wrapped Steering Wheel with Audio Controls and Fog Lamps.
The Luxury Group ($640) contributed Heated Front Seats and Heated Steering Wheel, Overhead Console Storage, Sun Visors with Illuminated Mirrors and the 7-inch Multi-view Information Cluster.
Getting down to the business end of our Ram 3500, the power train was the biggest of the 6.7L Cummins Turbo Diesel engines with the Ram Active Air intake system that kicks out 385 horsepower and 850 lb.-ft. of torque and includes the improved Exhaust Brake for more effective load control ($7,995). It was mated to the toughest of the 6-speed automatic transmissions, the Aisin AS69RC ($2,895) that enables full utilization of the horsepower/torque combination with its wide range of gear ratios. Normally mated to a 3.42 rear axle, our Ram 3500 was equipped with the optional 3.73 rear axle ($50) – all adding up to a power train that maximized tow/haul capacity for this truck.
The Dual Rear Wheel setup ($1,400) included the dual rear 17-inch x 6-inch Bright Skin Wheels with LT235/80R17E All Season Tires and Clearance Lamps for the extended bed fenders.
A segment exclusive to Ram included on this 3500 was the Rear Air Suspension System (1,595) which enables load leveling for better control and more efficient operation of the truck.
The Ram 3500 can tow fifth-wheel or gooseneck as well and our test truck was equipped with the Gooseneck Towing Prep Group ($400) and Cab High Mount Stop Lamp with Camera ($325) to monitor the load, the trailer or the hitch equipment while underway.
Adding to comfort and convenience inside the cabin was the addition (upgrade) of the Uconnect 8.4 AN infotainment system with 8.4-inch color display, Premium Navigation, Sirius Traffic and Sirius Travel Link, Single Disc Remote CD Player and 9-speakers with Subwoofer ($1,500).
Lastly, our Ram 3500 had Chrome Tubular Side Steps ($525), additional 220 amp Alternator ($100) to provide dual alternator power of 440 amps, Security Alarm ($100), ParkSense Rear Park Assist ($250), ParkView Rear Backup Camera ($200), Power Adjustable Pedals ($125) and a Spray-in Bedliner.
We noted before that we are not exactly the target market for this truck, but if we were, this Ram 3500 SLT Lone Star Crew 4x2 Long Box DRW Diesel would meet our requirements very nicely.