Well, RAM enthusiasts, it’s time to talk about the 2020 RAM 3500‘s place on the farm. For farmers, the truth is that standard trucks don’t always cut it. You’re going to need something that’s far more powerful. After all, you’re not just hauling around lawnmowers and ATVs. It’s a lot more complex than that, right? If you’re looking for something that can haul your hay or tow your farm equipment, investing in the RAM 3500 is the right decision. You already know this if you’ve got one, but we’re here to convert other heavy-duty truck drivers to the RAM side.
There’s plenty of diversity in the 2020 RAM 3500 as the truck comes in five different trims with three different engines. But if you are looking for maximum capability, then the engine you want is the 6.7-liter High-Output Cummins turbo-diesel with its incredible 1,000 lb-ft of torque. When properly equipped, a RAM 3500 with this engine can tow up to 35,100 lbs. It’s safe to say that RAM drivers definitely have the upper hand when it comes to strength.
The Showdown: The Tradesman Versus The Big Horn
Now, let’s spark a little debate. From the stats, we can gather that the two lowest trim levels (the Tradesman and the Big Horn) actually tow the most. They may not have as much fancy tech as the higher trims, but that’s not what you bought your RAM for anyway. You’re probably now wondering which one of these two models is the best in comparison. Let’s take a closer look at the stats to find out.
This trim comes in three different body styles: a regular cab with an 8-foot box, a crew cab with a 6-foot 4-inch box, and a crew cab with an 8-foot box. However, to get the advertised max tow rating of 35,100 lbs, you will have to go with the regular cab. Choosing the crew cab will limit you to 34,480 lbs. If you want to optimize payload rather than towing, then the regular cab is still your best bet and will provide up to 7,680 lbs of payload, but you should look for the gasoline HEMI V8 engine instead of the diesel.
The Tradesman’s Aesthetic Appeal
While towing and payload may be your main concern, appearance has to be up there on the list too. Aesthetic appeal is also one of the main differences between the Tradesman and the Big Horn, so we definitely need to compare exteriors and interiors to fairly see who wins this battle.
If you’ve ever found yourself disappointed with the number of color options a vehicle has, today is your lucky day. The Tradesman comes with no fewer than 31 exterior color options. Eleven of these are monotone colors, and the other 20 are low volume exterior colors. There are a few shades in almost every color possible, including greens, blues, oranges, reds, yellows, browns, blacks, grays, whites, and creams. That’s every color in the rainbow, and then some!
The Tradesman also comes with plenty of exterior options, including clearance lamps, LED bed lighting, and a plethora of chrome wheel choices. Optional side steps and running boards will give your RAM an even more appealing, tough look. The interior consists of either heavy-duty vinyl or cloth upholstery, with a standard 40/20/40 front bench seat. You can add on a rear window defroster and even delete the carpet to make it easier to clean out all the mud and guck you’ll accumulate on the farm. Overall, this rugged truck not only does the job, but it looks good while doing it.
If you’re going to be hauling around loads of hay, horses, expensive equipment, and so on, you definitely want to do it safely. There are several optional add-ons for the Tradesman that can help with that. First, you can add trailer brake control, which you’ll want to have since you need to haul large loads. The Tradesman really steps up the game by offering Blind-Spot with Trailer & Cross-Path Detection. You’re probably already great at driving trailers at this point, but the extra protection sure won’t hurt anything.
The Tradesman also comes with ParkSense and a trailer tire pressure monitoring system. ParkSense will help you reverse your truck with ease, not having to worry about backing into anyone or anything. The tire pressure monitor helps prevent blowouts and keeps drivers informed of potential trailer tire faults.
The Big Horn
This model comes in the same body configurations and engine options as the Tradesman. However, it can tow slightly less, falling at a max 35,000 lbs towing capacity and a maximum payload of 7,620 lbs. This is because the Big Horn comes with more features and options, from exterior looks to interior comforts. But let’s dive into the differences to see if these trade-offs are worth it on the farm.
The Big Horn’s Aesthetic
The color palette is endless here as well, with the same 31 available color options as the Tradesman. However, you can choose from more wheel options this time, including black wheels and up to 20-inch rims. This trim also comes with painted side steps in addition to chrome, to match whatever exterior color you choose. So, you can either chrome it out or stick with a painted look.
The interior comes with several more options than the Tradesman, including Black/Diesel Gray cloth, Black/Light Mountain Brown Cloth, a two-toned Black/Light Frost Beige cloth, and solid black. The main difference here is that vinyl seating is no longer available, so if you tend to get dirty while working, the Tradesman will be easier to clean. The Big Horn comes with the option to add better speakers and a subwoofer, along with a power sunroof, which also gives it the upper hand when it comes to comfort.
You can get all the Tradesman’s safety features on the Big Horn, plus a security alarm. Both vehicles come with the Safety Group package add-on, which includes Forward Collision Warning, Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop, and several other features, but it costs a decent amount extra.
Which One Wins?
Well, overall, these two 2020 RAM 3500 models are both capable of hauling large loads when properly equipped. Towing capacity wise, the Tradesman does win in numbers, but the Big Horn falls closely behind, so it doesn’t make too much of a difference. The main differences between these two lie in looks and comfort. Like most higher trims, the Big Horn does come with more standard features.
Drivers who are more concerned with power and less bothered with additional customization and technology are perfectly content with their RAM 3500 Tradesman models. They get the job done, and at a lower price than their Big Horn sibling. However, if better customization and additional options are worth losing that extra 100 lbs of max towing capacity, then you’re probably satisfied with your rugged-looking Big Horn model. At the end of the day, both vehicles have their own pros and cons, but in this case, the Tradesman slightly wins in the towing capacity category.