2019 Ram Heavy Duty First Drive: Much More Than Truck Stuff

Between the start of the 2019 North American International Auto Show in January and the close of the 2019 Chicago Auto Show during the first week of February, the world’s three largest truck producers introduced new versions of their three-quarter and one-ton pickups. And now, the first of these vehicles is barreling toward dealers as it attempts to take a bigger piece of a very lucrative pie.

That truck is the 2019 Ram Heavy Duty, available as a three-quarter-ton 2500 and a one-ton 3500, and like the half-ton Ram 1500, its approach to truck stuff blends capability with comfort and intelligence in a bid to wrestle away some of Ford and General Motors’ most loyal customers. It should work. Ram has created a heavy-duty truck that remains infinitely useful on the worksite, but is also comfortable every day, is composed on urban roads and in traffic, and doesn’t require its owner sacrifice livability to embrace the truck lifestyle.

The Ram HD’s capability announces itself through a swarm of numbers. The biggest is the revised towing capacity: a scarcely conceivable 35,100 pounds (that’s for the 3500 Mega Cab 4x2 with the high-output diesel – the 2500 maxes out at 19,780 pounds, while the...