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A popular Ram commercial vehicle, a black 2021 Ram 1500, is parked in front of an apartment building.

The Only Heavy Duty Ram Truck Guide You’ll Ever Need

Automotive journalists often focus new vehicle reviews on a single trim to deliver road test results and impressions about specific features. While this is valuable information, sometimes, it’s better to pull back and provide a comprehensive overview that reads more like a general buyer’s guide. No category is more detail-dependent than commercial light- and heavy-duty (HD) trucks. If you’re buying a commercial truck, capabilities and specs are critical. Take the line of Ram commercial vehicles. These trucks are designed to work hard, tow, and haul massive payloads.

If a bigger picture overview is what you’re after, look no further. We’ve assembled everything you need to know about the Ram line of commercial trucks – from performance to interior luxury features – so you can choose the truck that is perfect for the tough jobs you need to tackle. Do you need massive amounts of towing capability? Will your truck pull double duty as a work vehicle and a weekend family road tripper? Luckily, there’s a Ram truck that’s perfect for just about any job.

Do You Need a Light-Duty or Heavy-Duty Truck?

Ask yourself if a light-duty truck will get the job done. These trucks are EPA fuel economy-rated and designed to provide utility on the job and around town as a daily driver. You’ll get better fuel efficiency, but you’ll sacrifice towing capability. Is your tough job about hauling or towing? A light-duty truck may not have the capability you need to get the job done, so you’ll have to look for a heavy-duty option.

On the flip side, if you’re using your truck for weekend big box home improvement store runs and trips to the nursery for mulch, you’re probably best suited for a light-duty 1500. Both types of trucks have their advantages and disadvantages, so choose which one you need wisely. Carefully consider your needs, then follow our guide to help zero in on the Ram truck that fits the bill.

The 2021 Ram 1500

The Ram 1500 is a half-ton light-duty truck with good looks and an impressive range of capabilities. Starting at an MSRP of just $32,245, it’s affordable on the bottom end of the model lineup, but that gets you a basic, stripped-down Tradesman work truck. If you want more powertrain options and better access to interior comfort and convenience features, you’ll have to move up to a different trim.

Moving up from the Tradesman is the Big Horn at $36,890, the Laramie at $41,430, the Rebel at $45,320, the Limited Longhorn at $52,180, and the top-of-the-line Limited for $56,250. Each trim offers an increasingly long list of standard features, with some trims getting you more capability and bigger engine choices. For tough jobs, you want to focus more on what the truck can do than how plush your interior is.

The Ram 1500 can tow a maximum of 12,750 lbs, but that requires an engine upgrade. You’ll want the optional 5.7-liter HEMI V8 with eTorque, which delivers 410 lb-ft of torque and 395 horsepower. Speaking of towing, Ram integrates towing safety systems, like advanced blind spot monitoring and trailer mating features that let drivers monitor the trailer’s tire pressure and lights.

The available multifunction 60/40 split tailgate makes every difficult job a little easier by adapting to whatever’s happening in the truck bed. If you need easy access without the hassle of reaching over the tailgate, use the swing doors. There’s even a center bed step to get you into the bed without getting a running start. When the tailgate is extended in a traditional fashion, it’ll hold up to 2,000 lbs, making it a great workspace or a handy spot to sit at lunchtime.

A white 2021 Ram 2500 is parked next to a field with a green ATV in the bed.

The 2021 Ram 2500

The big news for 2021 is it’s the popular Power Wagon’s 75th anniversary, so Ram is celebrating with an anniversary edition that’s prepped for off-roading. It features a standard ZEON-12 winch that’s rated for 12,000 pounds and special Bilstein shocks to absorb even the most aggressive off-road bumps. The electronic front sway bar disconnects to allow the axle to articulate even more, giving drivers even more advanced off-roading capability.

If you’re counting on the Ram 2500 to tow or haul at the job site, you won’t be disappointed. The 2500 can tow up to 19,680-lbs, thanks to a powerful 6.7 liter Cummins turbo diesel engine. Properly-equipped 2500 trucks can handle a maximum payload of 4,010 lbs, plenty of capability for even the biggest jobs. All Ram 2500 trucks can be equipped with a factory-installed structural cross member with mounting hardware that can accommodate a fifth-wheel or gooseneck trailer.

The Ram 2500 starts at $34,095 and is available in several body styles, including a two-door regular cab, a four-door crew cab, and an expanded mega cab, with plenty of cabin space for your work crew. Select the optional RamBox Cargo Management System, and you’ll have a secure, waterproof spot to store your valuable tools and gear. The RamBox system includes two storage bins located in the truck bed. The storage spots utilize the dead space above the wheels, so they don’t take away from bed capacity. The RamBox includes LED lighting and a 115-volt power outlet.

If that’s not enough power, opt for the truck bed 155-volt/400-watt bed outlet, perfect for powering tools at remote job sites. The available kick-out bed step, located under the rear bumper, gives you easy access to the truck bed without climbing over the tailgate, and the damped tailgate release makes opening and closing the tailgate a little easier. There’s even an available key fob-operated power tailgate release feature.

The 2021 Ram 3500

The Ram 3500 is Ram’s largest heavy-duty pickup. It starts at $35,545 and comes in five trims: the base Tradesman, the Big Horn, the Laramie, the Laramie Longhorn Edition, and the Limited. This truck is powered by an available – and seriously impressive – 6.7-liter High-Output Cummins turbo diesel engine, delivering a whopping 1,075 lb-ft of torque that can tow up to 37,100 pounds. Even the standard 6.4-liter HEMI V8 packs a punch, boasting a best-in-class 410 horsepower rating and 429 lb-ft of torque.

If your Ram 3500 is hauling payload, you’ll be glad to know that the truck’s max payload is an impressive 7,680 lbs. Paired with Ram Trucks’ available auto-leveling rear air suspension, it can help you haul heavy, shifting loads with minimal disruption to ride handling, even when traveling over uneven road surfaces, like unpaved job sites.

With all this capability, you might think the Ram 3500 is strictly a work truck. While that’s true, if you pick the right trim, you’ll get a hearty helping of luxury and connectivity to go along with all that grit. The upscale Ram 3500 Limited gets you there, with all-leather seating and a dash that’s accented with real wood and aluminum trim. A 12-inch infotainment touchscreen sits dead center on the dash. It offers Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, available navigation, and a 4G LTE Wi-Fi Hotspot to keep you connected to work and home. Pair that with an available 750-watt, 17-speaker Harman Kardon Premium audio system, and your cabin turns into a plush, technology lovers retreat.

A close up is showing the rear LED tail lights on a black 2021 Ram 3500, against a black background.

The Chassis Cab

In addition to the Ram 1500, 2500, and 3500 pickup truck lines, Ram Trucks also has a Ram 3500, 4500, and 5500 Chassis Cab that comes in Tradesman or SLT trim levels. The commercial line of Chassis Cab trucks offer up to 35,220 pounds of max towing capacity, a best-in-class rating, and gives businesses the flexibility to build out the back end with whatever’s needed – for hauling, stowing tools, or hauling heavy equipment. Ranging in price from $34,925 for the base 3500 10K Chassis Cap to $62,635 for the top trim 5500 Chassis Cab, this hard-working commercial truck line has an option for every business, no matter how tough the job.

Hard Jobs Demand Ram Trucks

Ram Trucks are synonymous with hard work. They help you get the job done every time, whether you’re hauling lumber or hitching up a fifth-wheel for a family adventure. Somewhere in this massive line of durable work trucks is the perfect solution for your needs. Whether you just need a light-duty truck to help you with your occasional projects, or a massive, heavy-duty offering that can tow anything and everything, Ram is for you.

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