New Heavy Duty rigs ready to work

The 2019 Ram Heavy Duty Limited interior can double as a mobile office and features an optional 12-inch touchscreen.

The 2019 Ram Heavy Duty Limited interior can double as a mobile office and features an optional 12-inch touchscreen.

If you’re a fan of Ram trucks, your heart was surely aflutter when the new lineup of 2019 Ram Heavy Duty rigs debuted at the Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto on Valentine’s Day.

According to Ram, its 2019 Heavy Duty trucks are now the most powerful and capable pickups in the segment and boast a stout towing capacity of up to 15,921 kg (35,100 lb.) and a maximum payload capacity of up to 3,484 kg (7,680 lb.).

Visually, there’s six different new grilles, a new aluminum hood, a new front bumper and a variety of fresh wheel and tire packages.

While a pretty face is certainly important to truck buyers, the big news with the new Ram Heavy Duty models is an industry-first torque rating of 1,000 lb.-ft. from the Cummins 6.7-litre High Output Turbo Diesel engine, which makes all that torque at just 1,800 r.p.m. and delivers 400 horsepower at 2,800 r.p.m. Highlights include a cylinder block made from compacted graphite iron, a new cast-iron cylinder head, new exhaust valves and springs and new rocker arms.

A second version of the Cummins Turbo Diesel also delivers impressive numbers, with 370 horsepower at 2,800 r.p.m. and 850 lb.-ft. of torque at 1,700 r.p.m. The standard engine in the 2019 Ram 2500 and 3500 Heavy Duty is the 6.4-litre HEMI V-8, which produces 410 horsepower at 5,600 r.p.m. and 429 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,000 r.p.m.

Ram 3500 Heavy Duty models equipped with the high output Cummins 6.7-litre Turbo Diesel are paired with the Aisin AS69RC electronically controlled six-speed automatic transmission, while trucks powered by the standard output Cummins 6.7-litre Turbo Diesel are being offered with an upgraded version of the 68RFE six-speed automatic transmission. Changes were made to improve the electronically controlled transmission’s shift quality with variable-force solenoid controls for the torque-converter clutch and a new reverse accumulator for improved shift feel from park into reverse. The 6.4-litre HEMI V-8 comes paired with the TorqueFlite 8HP75 eight-speed automatic.

The trucks feature all-new frames made with 98.5 per cent high-strength steel, six separate crossmembers, hydroformed main rails and fully boxed rear rails. It’s no secret heavy-duty trucks generally ride rough unloaded, and Ram Heavy Duty trucks aim to end that harsh ride with frequency response damping shocks on all four corners capable of automatically adjusting the ride — whether the box is loaded or empty — or if the truck is towing a trailer. Progressive springs and upgraded bushings were also added to the suspension system, and the exclusive five-link coil design found on the Ram 2500 promises to provide enhanced load-carrying capability, as well as improved articulation over obstacles when compared to a traditional leaf-spring system. A new braking system also upgrades the calipers, booster and master cylinder.

These workhorse pickups are also often utilized as mobile offices and the new Ram Heavy Duty trucks were clearly designed with this in mind. A new instrument panel brings the central controls up and closer to the driver and the optional 12-inch reconfigurable touchscreen offers tailor-made graphics and the latest in connectivity including Apple CarPlay. There is a cavernous 258 litres of interior storage on Mega Cab models, including two bins behind the rear seats, and the new centre console has more than a dozen different storage combinations.

To increase comfort, an active noise cancellation system and acoustic glass have helped reduce cabin sounds and the new HVAC system delivers 30 per cent more air flow, lower noise levels and includes larger front defroster vents for better performance.

The Ram Power Wagon is also back for 2019 and offers a factory suspension lift, locking front and rear differentials, disconnecting sway bar and a Warn Zeon-12 winch with a synthetic line.

It’s clear to see these trucks are close relatives to the Ram 1500, and even with the enhanced capabilities, they also appear poised to be equally comfortable.

The new 2019 Ram Heavy Duty trucks will be on sale in early spring — pricing hasn’t been announced yet, but is expected to be fairly close to the current trucks.

willy@freepress.mb.ca

The new Ram 3500 Tradesman dually regular cab can be configured to tow more than 35,000 pounds.

The new Ram 3500 Tradesman dually regular cab can be configured to tow more than 35,000 pounds.

Photos by FCAThe 2019 Ram lineup includes the 2500 Heavy Duty Longhorn Mega Cab (from left), Power Wagon and 3500 Heavy Duty Limited Crew Cab Dually.

Photos by FCA

The 2019 Ram lineup includes the 2500 Heavy Duty Longhorn Mega Cab (from left), Power Wagon and 3500 Heavy Duty Limited Crew Cab Dually.

2019 Ram 3500 Heavy Duty Big Horn Sport regular cab.

2019 Ram 3500 Heavy Duty Big Horn Sport regular cab.