“What am I going to do with that,” I ask while looking at the 2019 Ram 3500 Laramie Longhorn Crew Cab…with four-wheel-drive, dual rear wheels, and long box?
“Anything you want,” was my co-worker’s response!
“Yeah, but that barn-sized truck won’t even fit in my driveway,” I replied.
“It’s not for decorating your driveway,” snarked Mr. Smarty Pants. True that!
The big Ram certainly looks like it can do anything with its big chrome grille, step down front fenders, long body, and bulging dually fenders. Being a Laramie edition, there’s more chrome and Light Mountain Brown exterior paint, but all Rams look the part of an over-the-road hoss. Power running boards keep the look clean while LED adaptive lighting brightly bends corners. Beneath the truck’s immense size, 17” wheels look like dimes.
Put your boot on the power running board and heave up inside to find a cabin worthy of a private jet. It’s pretty posh with a theme I’d label “Texas chic” given premium leather, real wood on the dash/doors, and anodized gold trim. Heated and ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, and heated steering wheel add comfort – as do automatic climate control and a power sunroof. A large sleek 12” touchscreen controls the 17-speaker Harman Kardon audio system, navigation, and climate. Wireless phone charging, Wi-Fi, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto ease connections. Given the Ram’s size, you’ll appreciate safety features like parking sensors, around view cameras, adaptive cruise with auto stop, and blind spot warning.
My only confusion with our truck is its powertrain. It came with the 6.4-liter HEMI V8 engine delivering 410 horsepower and 429 lb.-ft. of torque. Power is routes through a smooth-shifting 8-speed automatic transmission and electronic four-wheel-drive system. The books say it can tow 13,710 lb. or carry 6,680 lbs. of payload as configured. That’s no laughing matter, but I think most buyers will step up to the optional 6.7-liter Cummins turbo-diesel that changes the earth’s gravity with 400 horsepower and 1,000 lb.-ft. of torque. That truck can tow up to 35,100 lbs. If you’re going to get a truck, get a truck.
And, there’s a lot more to this truck. Ram offers the best-riding pickup in the business thanks to its auto level rear air suspension that not only takes the hop out of bumps but can also be lowered for trailer hook-ups. There’s no getting around the very stiff solid axles front and rear, but the ride is relatively smooth given this truck’s capability. A gooseneck prep group and transfer case skid plate help get big stuff to the job site and back again.
To buy and drive the Ram 3500, you should have a need. I guess you could just drive it for enjoyment, but I wouldn’t recommend a 3500 Crew Cab dually for getting the kids to band practice (unless your kids take the band trailer with them). But, if you have serious work and want to do it in exquisite comfort, this is your truck. Load up, hook up, and haul out. You’re good to go. Ram 3500 starts at $38,500, but came to $73,150 as tested. Competitors include the Chevy Silverado 3500, GMC Sierra 3500, Ford F-350, and select models from Kenworth, Peterbilt, and International.
Send comments to Casey at AutoCasey@aol.com; follow him on YouTube @AutoCasey.