RAM Trucks 3500
Generations Timeline, Specs and Pictures
In 2009, Dodge Ram was converted into Ram Trucks as a separate brand for light utility vehicles, and the third generation of the 3500 series became Ram Trucks 3500.
In 2014, Chrysler’s light commercial vehicle division, born from the Dodge brand, introduced a facelifted version for the 3500 HD series. It was available in a few cab-styles, including a chassis-cab or as a regular-cab version with a bed in the back and ready to receive a gooseneck. It was the hard-worker of the family, used to carry heavy loads and pull trailers with construction vehicles.
Its exterior look was improved with the introduction of a new pair of headlights and, depending on the trim level, black plastic bumpers. For the better-equipped versions, Ram Trucks offered body-colored bumpers or even chromed metallic ones. The carmaker kept the cross-hair grille design from the rest of the Dodge brand. In the rear, the wide quarter panels were required to fit the dual-wheels system.
Inside, Ram Trucks offered a simple cloth upholstery for the base version. It was fit for regular workers. For those who used the 3500 Regular-cab as a pulling vehicle for a luxurious trailer, the carmaker offered better features such as a 7” infotainment screen on the center stack.
But the powertrain was the most important part of the vehicle. Ram Trucks offered the 3500 Regular cab with a choice of three engines. The gasoline Hemi engines were carried over from the rest of the Ram truck range, while the 6.7-liter Cummins turbodiesel engine was an industrial grade. Truck-builders around the world used the same inline-six for medium-sized commercial vehicles up to 18 tons.
After its rebranding from Dodge to Ram Trucks, the carmaker focused on commercial vehicles and pickups, and the 3500 HD Truck was its most potent range.
In 2016, Chrysler’s light commercial vehicle division, born from the Dodge brand, introduced new versions for the 3500 HD series. It was available in a few cab styles, including the Crew Cab version with four doors and a bed in the back.
Ram 3500 Crew Cab featured a new front fascia with a big trapezoidal with a mesh design and RAM chromed lettering. On the lower part, depending on the trim level, the heavy-duty pickup featured a chromed bumper. For the dual-wheels versions, the carmaker widened the rear fenders. Like its predecessor, the 2015 Ram 3500 was available with a gooseneck in the bed for improved towing.
Unlike its smaller siblings, the Crew Cab featured four doors and a wide cabin fit for five. Its flat front seats featured cloth upholstery for the base level and leather for the Laramie Limited. Its instrument panel sported two wide dials and four gauges, plus a TFT display in the middle. On the center-stack, the carmaker installed the infotainment system that supported Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
The powertrain was the most important part of the vehicle. Ram Trucks offered the 3500 Crew Cab with a choice of three engines. The gasoline Hemi engines were carried over from the rest of the Ram truck range, while the 6.7-liter Cummins turbo-diesel engine was an industrial grade. All gasoline versions were paired exclusively with a six-speed automatic gearbox, while the oil-burner was available with an option for a six-speed manual as well.
When your towing capacity looked like the ZIP-code for Macon, Georgia, it seems that the vehicle chosen was a 2016 RAM Mega-Cab.
RAM lineup was consistent, and the utility-vehicle maker considered that a full-size cabin was not an option if there was more stuff to carry inside. Also, it ensured a payload of up to 7390 lbs (3352 kg) plus a towing of 31210 lbs (14156 kg). Moreover, the heavy-duty hauler could fit up to six people inside the cabin plus their rifles or motorcycle riding equipment.
The RAM Mega-Cab 3500 HD featured a more extended cabin than the Crew-Cab, with an extension behind the rear doors. Depending on the trim options, the carmaker offered its biggest pickup from its stable with a chromed grille at the front, LED running lights, step-boards on the sides, and 20” chromed wheels. It could easily tow a full-size motorhome behind it, especially if fitted with a goose-neck in the bed.
Inside, it wasn’t too much different than the Crew-Cab, albeit it offered more storage area behind the rear bench. The carmaker installed a big, 8.1” touch-screen on the center stack for the infotainment system for the front area. Inside the instrument cluster, RAM installed two large dials for the speedometer and tachometer, a few gauges, plus a TFT display in the middle.
Under the hood, RAM installed the well-known 6.7-liter Cummins turbo-diesel engine that provided an excellent pulling power thanks to the truck-like 1220 Nm (900 lb-ft) torque. The other two engine options consisted of a 5.7-liter Hemi V8 and a 6.4-liter unit.
The 2016 RAM 3500 Heavy Duty was not the daily driver that someone would use unless it works on a daily basis with a trailer and a tractor in the back.
But it was one of the hard-workers that never complained.
The RAM 3500 regular cab was all about work. It was a heavy-duty vehicle with the proper chassis, engine, and transmission. It was available as a crew-cab as well, if there was a team needed for the job, but it was hardly a pickup of choice if some would like to go camping unless it needs to tow 14157 kg (31.210 lbs) on a trailer.
For the 2013 model, the RAM removed the “Dodge” badge from it. It featured a new front fascia which, depending on the trim level, could have been chromed along with the bumper. More important was that it featured new transmission and body mounts, including hydro-mounts at C-pillar positions for class-leading NVH characteristics despite the truck’s aptitude for higher payloads and towing.
The 2013 model featured a wide choice for the infotainment unit, including an 8.4” screen for the U-Connect system. For the instrument cluster, the RAM 3500 was fitted with a standard 3.5” information center between the round dials, and an option for a more complex 7” TFT screen was available.
Since it was a heavy-duty pickup truck, it featured a reinforced chassis with high-strength steel and eight cross-members between the longitudinal chassis rails. There was a wide engine choice, either gasoline or turbodiesel. The latter was produced by Cummins. It was a 6.7-liter unit but with different power choices.
The Ram 3500 Crew Cab is one of the biggest vehicles in the U.S. that can be driven without a CDL. After the Chrysler acquisition by the Italian group Fiat, the Dodge brand was split and the utility vehicles are named Ram, after the Dodge Ram series. 3500 means that it can haul 3500 pounds on it.
A revised RAM 3500 came out in 2013, bringing more style, more power, and more features. Visually, the new RAM 3500 upholds a bold presence, building upon the previous design, while retaining comfort and styling.
The model is offered with a choice of 18- or 20-inch wheels and a selection of 12 different colors. An interesting feature is found at the side mirrors, which can be flipped upwards to extend the view for if there is a trailer attached.
Mechanically, the company’s biggest truck now comes with an improved suspension, including the classic Hotchkiss leaf spring system and new rear air suspension, dual alternator systems for additional power supply and refined Cummins diesel engines. The same engines are used in Europe for buses and coaches of up to 18 tons.
The 3500 model can be had in a very wide range by combining several bed lengths, cab styles, rear axles and you can even have it in the chassis version so you can put whatever you want in the back. Other features include new interior trimmings, a restyled dashboard, Uconnect with voice control, keyless entry and start as well as a rearview camera.
The big, heavy-duty pickups are not meant to be daily drivers, but when the owner needs to tow every day 17.000 lbs, and a crew of five plus luggage, the Mega Cab HD was a great choice.
Usually, the HD pickups don’t feature some special comfort amenities or some special styling. They are just working horses who don’t have to look good. They just have to pull heavy loads. The Mega Cab was huge enough to raise the question if a CDL was needed.
For the styling, the Mega Cab shared the same front fascia with its lighter brothers such as the RAM 1500 Laramie. It looked like it had as much chrome on the grille as a luxury sedan on the whole vehicle. Even the front bumper was chromed, and it wasn’t chromed plastic.
Inside, there was room for five or six, depending on the option. The particular difference of the mega cab was the extension behind the rear seats that provided a 1x6 ft (304x1828 mm) storage compartment for a gun, a shovel, and some more. Since the vehicle was long enough, it was available only with the 6‘4” (1950 mm) bed. The rear twin-wheel made the car almost as wide as a traffic lane.
The best part of the big, 21 ft rig from nose to hitch was under the hood. Apart from the 5.7-liter Hemi engine, there were three other options based on the same inline-six Cummins engine with three power levels.