How We’d Configure a 2020 Jeep Gladiator Work Truck
Not an easy exercise when you have to keep the costs in check as wellby Sidd Dhimaan, on
The 2020 Gladiator pushes Jeep into a category where they belong but haven’t been for a very long time. After a 30-year exile from the pickup segment, Jeep is going all guns blazing for this pickup truck. Although the concept of the truck was unveiled in 2005, Jeep took its sweet time to bring out the production version. Was it worth the wait? I would say yes because the truck is a perfect blend of modern technology and old-school charm. Not only is it riveting and engaging to drive, but it also carries a moniker that has been adored for many generations now. The best part about the Gladiator, you ask? Its versatility. Jeep has offered many options and packages on its website for the 2020 Gladiator, along with the access to Mopar stuff that can help you customize this truck as per your needs and requirements.
Although the general notion about the Jeep Gladiator is to drive it over mountains and boulders and what not, the add-ons that Jeep offers can turn it into a daily driver or even a work truck. So, I’ve decided to configure the Gladiator as a work truck, but it is going to be complicated. Jeep has put me and many other prospective customers who are looking to use this as a work truck in a sticky predicament. For starters, the entry level trims - Sport and Sport S - come with higher Towing and Payload capacities. But these trims miss out on a lot of privileges that are reserved for the higher Overland and Rubicon trims. However, these two top-trims do suffer from lower Towing and Payload capacities. It’s a vicious cycle.
Nevertheless, I’ll be configuring the work truck in the Sport S trim, mainly for its hauling capacities.
The Sport S trim can tow up to 7,650 pounds and comes with a payload rating of 1,600 pounds.
For the sake of comparison, the towing and payload capacities of the Overland trim is rated at 6,000 and 1,140 pounds, respectively. The Sport features the standard 3.6-liter, V-6 Pentastar engine that churns out 285 horses and 260 pound-feet of twist. On the inside, it comes with a five-inch UConnect infotainment system, power windows, power locking for the tailgate and doors, and heated mirrors, to name a few. The Sport S comes with a sticker price of $38,240, including destination charges.
My previous configurations of the gladiator - an off-roader and a daily driver - were made from an enthusiast’s point-of-view. I’ll be building this as a work truck that can add maximum value at the minimum cost. I won’t be making any changes to the powertrain whatsoever. It will ride with the stock engine, transmission, and tires. I was tempted to add the 4.10 rear axle ratio which would make it easier to pull loads from a standstill. However, this would require adding the automatic transmission, as well as swap the tires; and, since we’re trying to keep the costs in check, I’ll give it a miss. I will be adding the engine block heater for $95 though, to help reduce the startup wear during cold starts.
The one package I straight away browsed to is the Trailer Tow package. It includes a 240-Ampere alternator, heavy duty engine cooling, and a Class IV Receiver hitch. As the main job of the truck will be to haul and move stuff, this is the best $250 I could have spent on it. To complement this, I’ve added the Jeep Trail Rated Winch Accessory Kit that includes an 18,000 tensile strength tow strap, 3/4-inch D-rings, a carabiner, a pair of Jeep-branded gloves, and a winch manual. This Mopar-exclusive accessory will come in handy at times. The next thing on my mind is to add the cargo ramp from the Mopar catalog. The ramp will help in loading the my tools and equipment into the truck bed. It has punched holes and guide edges for added traction and weight merely 17 pounds, yet can support up to 150 pounds of weight! So, that makes perfect sense to add this as well.
|8-Speed Automatic 850RE Transmission||$2,000|
|Trac-Lok® Anti-Spin Rear Differential||$595|
|Engine Block Heater||$95|
My 2020 Gladiator Sport S will be painted in Granite Crystal color.
This color looks sedate, and scratches and dents will not be out-rightly visible. It's an easy-to-maintain shade.
As for the roof, the Sport S comes standard with a soft-top. However, I will be opting for a Hard-top, and Jeep rips you off in this department. The only hard-top on offer is the Black Freedom 3-piece hard top that costs $1,195. This top also includes a rear sliding window and a rear defroster as well. It is way too expensive, but the reason I’ve added this is so that I can strap on the roof carriages as well. This work truck is all about storage at the end of the day. Although the cargo boxes make more sense, I’ve added a cargo-carrier instead as it doesn’t come with a lid, thus allowing me to be flexible with what I want to carry on the roof. For the truck bed, I’ll be opting for the hard tri-fold Tonneau cover from Mopar. When compared to the soft tri-fold covers, this one can take more abuse and is sturdier in the long run as well.
|Trailer Tow Package||$250|
|Premium LED Lighting Group||$995|
|Cold Weather Group||$995|
|8.4-Inch Radio and Premium Audio Group||$1,595|
|Jeep® Active Safety Group||$895|
|Adaptive Cruise Control/Forward Collision Warning+||$795|
|Auxiliary Switch Group||$295|
|Cargo Management Group with Trail Rail System||$895|
The next package I’ve opted for is the Cargo Management Group with Trail Rail System for $895. This includes a 240-Ampere Alternator, 400W Inverter, 115-Volt AC Outlet in the bed, a Lockable Rear Underseat Storage, and rails on the walls and the sides of the bed to help tie down your stuff securely. An immensely useful system, especially from a work truck user’s point-of-view. Since truck beds are prone to damage, getting a spray-in bedliner is always a good precaution to have. It creates an anti-skid surface that keeps the cargo be in place too. It also helps prevent rusting and scratching, thus giving the bed a longer life. A good buy for $495.
|Dual Top Group||$2,295|
|Premium Black Sunrider Soft Top||$595|
|Body-Color 3-Piece Hard Top||$1,100|
|Roll-Up Tonneau Cover||$495|
|Remote Proximity Keyless Entry||$495|
On the inside, I won't be making any changes, partly because Jeep doesn't offer many optional accessories on this trim in the first place and secondly because you don't need fancy stuff in a work truck.
The stock fabric seats with an all-black theme serves my purpose well. The Gladiator Sport S comes with a five-inch UConnect system to cater to the entertainment needs. However, I will be adding a few safety kits from Mopar. The first one itself is called the "Safety Kit,’ and it includes jumper cables, a flashlight, screwdrivers, pliers, electrical tape, safety triangle, blanket, and bungee cord. Then there’s the first aid kit consisting of ice packs, gauze pads, alcohol wipes, bandages, first-aid tape, tongue depressors, vinyl gloves, antiseptic wipes, scissors, tweezers, and a few more things that could come handy at any time.
Next, I’ve added the MOLLE bags as well to carry the smaller stuff instead of letting them float around the cabin. Of course, the slush mats make their way in here as well. Dirt cheap (pun unintended) for 150 bucks to safeguard your cabin. The Cold Weather Group is the final addition to my Gladiator Sport S. This includes heated front seats and steering wheel - an important choice, especially in cold climate conditions.
|Leather-Trimmed Bucket Seats||$1,495|
|Wireless Bluetooth® Speaker||$295|
|Soft Top Window Storage Bag||$75|
|All-Weather Slush Mats||$150|
This is how I’ve configured my work truck. Although I found it a little difficult to procure the stuff for this trim, I have managed to keep the costs in check. Even after all the mentioned add-ons, the price is only marginally higher than the stock Overland trim. In total, I added accessories worth $3,775 from the Jeep’s configurator, and stuff worth $1,964 from the Mopar catalog. In total, my work truck Gladiator Sport S costed me $43,979 with all the necessary add-ons. How would you customize your work truck? Share your ideas with us in the comments section below.
|Roof-top Cargo Carrier||$350|
|Jeep Trail Rated Winch Accessory Kit||$200|
|Hard Tri-Fold Tonneau Cover||$950|
|First Aid Kit||$115|
2020 Jeep Gladiator specifications
|Engine||3.6-LITER PENTASTAR V-6|
|Type and Description||60-degree, V-type, liquid-cooled|
|Displacement||(cu. in. / cc) 220 cu. in. (3,604 cu. cm)|
|Bore x Stroke||3.78 x 3.27 (96 x 83)|
|Valve System||Chain-driven DOHC, 24 valves and hydraulic end-pivot roller rockers|
|Fuel Injection||Sequential, multiport, electronic, returnless|
|Construction||Aluminum deep-skirt block, aluminum alloy heads|
|Power||285 HP @ 6,400 RPM|
|Torque||260 LB-FT @ 4,400 RPM|
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