Ram Truck Names and Payload Ratings
Ram 1500. Ram 2500. Ram 3500. What do those numbers mean? Are they different trims or different models altogether? For those working in the auto world, they’ll know that each of those Ram trucks is a different model from the other. The difference isn’t just in the name though – it’s also how much that specific truck can carry. If a Ram 1500 is a light duty pickup truck, then one could assume the 2500 and 3500 are medium-to-heavy duty pickup trucks. So what’s the reasoning behind the 1500, 2500, or 3500 moniker? In simple terms, it’s just an easy way to tell the difference between how much a Ram truck can lift.
Back when Ram and other pickup trucks came about, they were known as half ton, three-quarter ton, and one ton. This was an estimate of how much a truck could hold in addition to the truck’s own weight, or the truck’s gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR). Such terms were used to identify each truck class and its payload capacity until World War II, when veterans could identify a truck based on its payload, but used informal terms. To capitalize on this, Ram and General Motors started using 1500, 2500, and 3500 as part of their branding for their half, three-quarter, and one ton trucks. The original names given to such pickup trucks have fallen by the wayside.
“Those terms don’t come up as much, except [with] some of the older buyers who have been around trucks all their lives … We ask what they’re pulling and how they use their truck before making a recommendation. Most of the customers are already knowledgeable about what they need.” – Assistant sales manager at an unspecified Ram dealership.
Truck buyers who come from the agricultural-heavy regions may be looking into limited edition trucks like the Ram Harvest Edition. Recently, Mopar opened a new catalog for Ram parts and debuted a Moparized Ram 1500 at the 2018 Chicago Auto Show, illustrating how Ram trucks can be customized for individual needs, and not just how much one plans to haul in a trailer. Today, many truck buyers are actually unaware of such capabilities and tend to buy trucks that are unnecessary with today’s modern technology.
Imagine a truck buyer getting a Ram 3500 because those were the only pickup trucks capable of hauling a single ton back in the day. These days, even the 2018 Ram 1500 can haul five tons when properly equipped. Like the terms that evolved with time, so did the trucks and the technology that powers them. Although there are some truck buyers out there, especially those with commercial business, that may feel better with a Ram Chassis Cab with a GVWR of up to nearly 20,000 pounds, and that’s alright. But why buy a massive pickup truck like the Ram 3500 when a Ram 2500 can offer a better ride when unloaded and still handle the workload of a Ram 3500 when it needs to? It’s just silly.
Plus, there’s the new 2019 Ram 1500 to look towards, able to haul over six tons! If looking for more of a western feel, the 2019 Ram 1500 Laramie Longhorn is on the horizon. If going off-road is more your deal, the 2019 Ram 1500 also comes with an optional off-road package available on most of its trim lineup. Pickup trucks like those we have today are nothing like those back in the days of old. If the truck and its capabilities are changing, then shouldn’t their names as well?
Here’s where we hit a roadblock though. Just like agricultural truck drivers that may still be living in the past, the average customer is just as uninformed about what a Ram 1500 truck lineup may consist of. Maximum payload numbers are hardly found around the vehicle when on a dealership lot, and if just browsing, it can lead to a little frustration among the average consumer. To rectify this, some dealerships are starting to put payload recommendations on dashboard displays, so even those in the market for a truck can easily tell if they’re getting what they need while on the lot.
How about you? Are the 1500, 2500, and 3500 Ram trucks a good system for classification, or would you rather know the capacity of a truck based one more than just its name? Tell us what you think on Aventura CJDR social media. Interested in a Ram truck of your own? We have plenty on the lot.