The numbers are out! As the Ram Truck team teased when they debuted the 2013 Ram HD pickup trucks at the State Fair of Texas last year, the 2013 Ram HD 2500 and 3500 trucks will offer some of the largest towing and weight ratings in the industry.
As you may recall, the new Ram HDs have a new frame, beefed-up front and rear suspensions on most models, and an upgraded Cummins motor (now with a new Diesel Exhaust Fluid injection system and extra cooling technology) that is now rated at a class-leading 850 pounds-feet of torque. These are only some of the key changes made to the heavy-duty pickups and chassis cabs that help Ram produce the bigger maximum fifth-wheel towing, payload and gross vehicle weight ratings.
Specifically, Ram says that its HD 3500 has a maximum gross combined weight rating (meaning the maximum weight the vehicle can tow when combining the weight of the pickup, trailer, personnel, cargo and fluids) at 37,500 pounds. As you may have already figured out, there will be select models and configurations rated to tow a 30,000-pound trailer, which is more than 5,000 pounds than the previous category leader could tow.
We expect Ram to be releasing a full list of 2500/3500 payload, GAWR, GCWR and specific towing numbers soon, and when we get them, we’ll pass them along as soon as possible. For now, we can say the 3500 Ram HD maximum fifth-wheel towing numbers will beat the current max-towing champion, the Ford Super Duty F-450, which is rated at 18,500 pounds for conventional towing and 24,700 pounds for maximum fifth-wheel towing with a personal-use, non-commercial chassis cab pickup truck. It should be noted that the Ford F-350 has slightly lower conventional and fifth-wheel towing numbers.
Oddly, due to what are likely to be issues with the structural design of the current Class V hitch, the new Ram HD trucks are only rated to carry 17,000 pounds with a conventional hitch (presumably a weight-distributing hitch). That means Ford will retain that particular crown for the time being.
Ram also says that the maximum towing and GCWR numbers for the HD 2500 models (or three-quarter-tons) will also rise significantly, with maximum fifth-wheel towing numbers listed at 18,350 pounds and a GCW rating of 25,000 pounds. For those with relatively good memories (dating back just 10 to 15 years ago), these are the types of numbers that we were hoping for from our one-ton pickups.
We should say here that this new Ram HD 3500 is no Long-Hauler, with its extended range and monster length, but clearly there was plenty of learning garnered from that concept exercise. In fact, there are several unique towing features that were on the Long-Hauler that have made it into production. We’ll have more on those at a later date. For now, all we can do is champ on our bit and wait for the first available break in our schedule when we can get all the one-ton trucks together again for another Ultimate Showdown. You can bet this one is high on our priority list, and we’ll be looking for suggestions on how to best test all of these monster pullers to determine the champion.