Here is everything you need to know about the 2019 Ram HD 2500 and 3500 trucks. This is official and complete specification and feature information from Ram. Heavy duty trucks are primarily about doing work, hauling heavy loads, and towing giant trailers. This is the segment where all the numbers count, and Ram is swinging for the fences several class leading claims. The big 1,000 lb-ft of torque and over 35,000 lbs of maximum towing are just some of the milestone claims that Ram is making. Here are all the details.
Any truck needs a strong foundation, and the 2019 Ram HD has a new strengthened frame that is made out of 98.5% high-strength steel. It boasts six separate crossmembers, hydroformed main rails, and fully boxed rear rail sections. Ram says it offers the best torsional rigidity in the heavy duty truck segment. It helps to reduce the overall weight of the truck. Ram says that the new frame, updated powertrain, and an aluminum hood combine for a 143 lbs weight reduction.
Ram says the new frame, suspension design, new engine and exhaust mounts improve ride quality and noise, vibration, and harshness (NVH) levels. The new HD frame also utilizes two Active-Tuned Mass Modules (ATMM) that counteract some unwanted vibrations. The new 2019 Ram 1500 half-ton truck uses a very similar technology on its frame as well.
The highest Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR) for the new Max Tow package is 43,000 lbs.
Engine & Transmission
A new heavy duty truck would not do without an updated powertrain. The 2019 Ram HD will offer two engines, a total of three power levels, and a choice of three unique transmissions.
Ram is no longer offering a 5.7L HEMI V8 engine in a heavy duty truck. The base engine is now the 6.4L HEMI V8. This engine is mainly a carry-over from the previous 2018 generation. It still offers cylinder deactivation, but it can run in four-cylinder mode for more extended periods of time. The power rating for the 6.4L HEMI V8 is still 410 hp @ 5,600 rpm and 429 lb-ft of torque @ 4,000 rpm. Fuel requirement is listed at 87 octane.
While the engine is familiar, it’s mated to a new ZF 8HP75 8-speed automatic transmission. It offers a host of latest technologies with up to 40 different shift profiles that optimize the power delivery. It’s operated in the cabin via a rotary dial – very similar to the new half-ton Ram trucks.
Next up is a standard output new 6.7L straight-six Cummins turbo-diesel. The engine has the same displacement as before, but the block is made out of Compacted Graphite Iron (CGI) to handle higher output and also reduce overall weight. The standard power output is 370 hp @ 2,800 rpm and 850 lb-ft of torque @ 1,700 rpm. The new standard Cummins diesel gets 50 lb-ft more torque than before. This engine is hooked up to an updated but familiar 68RFE 6-speed automatic transmission.
The new Cummins I6 is now 60 lbs lighter than before, according to Ram. A new cast-iron cylinder head includes new exhaust valves and springs, and new rocker arms. Pistons are redesigned and include new low-friction rings and connect to the crankshaft via newly design forged connecting rods and new bearings. An all-new exhaust manifold houses an improved variable-geometry turbocharger that can deliver up to 33 psi of boost pressure.
Before we get to the main headline of the high-output Cummins engine, we need to point out that there is no longer an option of a manual transmission in a Ram heavy duty truck. The 2018 Ram HD was the last one to offer a manual option with a diesel.
The high-output turbo-diesel eclipses the magic 1,000 lb-ft of torque milestone, that just yesterday seemed unattainable from a factory truck with strict emissions standards. This new 6.7L I6 is rated at 400 hp @ 2,800 rpm and the magic 1,000 lb-ft @ 1,800 rpm. The previous H.O. Cummins was rated at 385 hp and 930 lb-ft of torque. This engine is again mated to a familiar transmission. It’s the Aisin AS69RC 6-speed automatic. The Aisin has been upgraded with a new electronic controller that can deliver quicker and more precise shifts, according to Ram.
- 6.4L HEMI V8 : 410 hp / 429 lb-ft : 8-speed automatic ZF
- 6.7L I6 Diesel : 370 hp / 850 lb-ft : 6-speed automatic 68RFE
- 6.7L I6 Diesel : 400 hp / 1,000 lb-ft : 6-speed automatic AISIN
Towing & Hauling
The 2019 Ram HD has a new frame/chassis and upgraded powertrains. The towing and payload ratings get pushed into the stratosphere with a maximum gooseneck trailer towing capacity of 35,100 lbs and a maximum 3500 Dually truck payload of 7,680 lbs. These are class-leading numbers and this is how they stack up against competition.
Here is how these numbers compare to the previous 2018 trucks. The 2018 Ram HD was rated at a maximum of 31,210 lbs of towing and 7,390 lbs of payload. That is approximately a 12.5% increase is maximum towing and a 4% increase in payload capacity.
If you are looking for the maximum payload truck (7,680 lbs), then you need to configure an HD 3500 regular cab 2WD with an 8-foot bed and a 6.4L HEMI V8 & 8-speed automatic transmission. On the other hand, if you must tow the most (35,100 lbs), then the regular cab HD 3500 2WD 8-foot bed with a high-output Cummins diesel is the one for you. Naturally, if you get a crew cab 4×4 truck, then the payload and towing ratings will come down some.
Here is a complete 2019 Ram HD Towing Guide for your convenience.
The new 2019 Ram Power Wagon is listed with an improved payload of 1,660 lbs and maximum towing of 10,620 lbs. More about the 2019 Power Wagon below. (2018 Power Wagon was rated at 1,510 lbs of payload and 10,030 lbs of towing.
Cabs & Interior
The cabs and the beds are carryover from the outgoing Ram HD truck. You are not getting the latest high-tech material construction, but you are still getting all cab/bed configurations that you are already used to: regular cab, extended quad cab, crew cab, stretched mega cab, and a choice between 6.5-foot and 8-foot beds.
Step inside the cabs, and you get treated to the all-new interior options that closely mimic what’s available in the new 2019 Ram 1500 trucks. There are still the Tradesman, Big Horn, Laramie, Power Wagon. Laramie Long Horn, and Limited trim levels, but the interiors offer the latest designs, materials, and that 12-inch infotainment screen makes its way into the new Ram HD as well. The 12-inch screen also makes its way into the 2019 Power Wagon.
Ram Power Wagon
This would not be the new Ram HD lineup without the new Power Wagon. It continues the off-road story with numerous updates. The philosophy remains the same. The truck still has a factory suspension lift, unique suspension, front and rear locking differentials, a disconnecting sway bar, and a 12,000 lbs winch. The winch is the new WARN Zeon-12 with a synthetic (not steel) line. Ram says the new synthetic line option does not kink, it is more maneuverable, and reduces overall weight by 28 lbs. There still will be a Ram HD Tradesman with a Power Wagon package. The truck looks like a Tradesman, but has all of the suspension and off-road components of a Power Wagon.
New Power Wagon technology package includes a much-welcomes 360-degree camera system with forward-looking grid lines.
The 4LO transfer case offers a 2.64:1 gear reduction, and the new 8-speed automatic transmission helps the truck get a low crawl ratio.
Here is our first overview video of what’s new with the 2019 Ram heavy duty trucks. Our second deep dive video is coming in the morning, so please come back to TFLtruck for that as well.
Here are few more images of the new heavy duty.