The Ram Heavy Duty has been around since 1981 when Dodge introduced the three-quarter and one-ton trucks. The Ram was available with an innovative, 5.9-liter, Cummins turbo-diesel, something GM and Ford trucks couldn’t boast. The old Cummins turbo-diesel saw Ram Heavy Duty sales grow, thanks to its direct-injection fuel system, turbocharger, and greater power outputs than the competition.

Four generations of trucks later, the Ram Heavy Duty is still powering ahead of the competition with its Cummins turbo-diesel power, unmatched payload and towing stats, and its rugged, big-rig-like looks.

The 2015 model year sees some fairly significant changes for the Ram truck, mostly dealing with its updated, 6.7-liter, Cummins powerplant and the trucks certification with the Society of Automotive Engineers’ J2807 towing standards. Though the Cummins is the headlining engine, Ram (no longer Dodge since 2010) also offers a 6.4-lite, HEMI V-8 and the venerable 5.7-liter, HEMI V-8.

With three cab configurations, three bed lengths, two engines, and two- or four-wheel-drive offered, the Ram 2500 and 3500 can be built to suit whatever job needs doing. Heck, Ram even offers a chassis cab version of the 3500 prepped and ready for aftermarket bed applications.

Click past the jump to read more about the Ram 2500 and 3500 Heavy Duty Models

  • 2015 Ram Heavy Duty
  • Year:
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
  • Transmission:
    six-speed automatic
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    385 @ 2800
  • Torque @ RPM:
    865 @ 1700
  • Displacement:
    6.7 L
  • 0-60 time:
    9 sec. (Est.)
  • Top Speed:
    110 mph
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • body style:

Official Ram Video


2015 Ram Heavy Duty Exterior
- image 565964

The Ram Heavy duty lineup takes its styling cues directly off the Ram 1500 series truck. That doesn’t mean the Heavy Duty is a dead ringer for the 1500 though. A taller grille allows more airflow into the radiators while offering a more aggressive look. The front bumpers are also different, with the Heavy Duty still retaining the larger, more landscape-oriented fog lights. Stout tow hoods protrude from the chrome bumper and provide recovery points for pulling lesser trucks out of sticky situations.

The 3500 series is available with the dual-rear-wheel axle, meaning the rear fenders must accommodate the extra tire width. Ram’s fenders smoothly wrap around the truck and look integrated, rather than Ford’s fenders that look glued on.

Towing mirrors are standard fare for this size truck and the Ram’s exterior mirrors swivel 90 degrees to provide a larger viewing area when towing. The 3500s also have big-rig-style wheels with chrome for days. In fact, a large majority of the truck is covered in chrome.


2014 Ram Heavy Duty High Resolution Interior
- image 513209

Inside the Ram Heavy Duty is a cabin as spartan or luxurious as you want to make it. Vinyl floors and seats dominate the Tradesman trim level and offer a no-nonsense combination of ruggedness and comfort. Of course, the Laramie Longhorn trim level affords all the bells and whistles normally found on expensive luxury sedans. Heated leather seats with power adjustment, power-adjustable pedals, the intuitive 8.4-inch Uconnect infotainment system, and more storage compartments than you can shake a stick at.

Like the exterior, the interior takes after the Ram 1500’s styling. Fit and finish are top notch and NVH levels are extremely low. The Ram Heavy Duty also offers plenty of tow-ready features inside the cabin. An available backup camera helps with trailer hook-ups, an integrated trailer brake controller ties the trailer’s brakes in with the truck’s ABS system, while the truck’s stability control software will help counter trailer sway by modulating the brakes independently of each other.

The driver’s gauge cluster is simple and easy to read with all the pertinent information ready for quick viewing. The Ram comes with either a steering column-mounted gear shifter or a floor-mounted manual transmission. Yes, the Ram Heavy Duty is the last remaining HD truck with a manual transmission.
2014 interior shown


2014 Ram Heavy Duty Drivetrain
- image 513196

Speaking of the drivetrain, the Ram Heavy Duty offers three of the most powerful engines in its class. First up is the standard 5.7-liter HEMI V-8. It kicks up 383 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque. It comes mated with the 66RFE six-speed automatic transmission. Next up is the optional 6.4-liter gasoline-fed HEMI V-8. While the engine shares the same displacement as a few of Dodge’s SRT-branded performance vehicles, Ram says this engine is tailored specifically for truck duty. The 6.4-liter boasts the best-in-class horsepower and torque ratings at 410 horses and 429 pound-feet.

Of course the engine of choice for maximum capabilities is the newly improved 6.7-liter Cummins turbodiesel. The engine comes in three separate versions, with the first being offered with the segment exclusive six-speed manual transmission. In this form it generates 350 horsepower and 660 pound-feet of torque. The second version is mated to the 68RFE six-speed automatic. It’s tuned to deliver 370 horsepower and 800 pound-feet of torque.

The third version of the Cummins is Ram’s crown jewel: the 6.7-liter Cummins High Output. It’s mated to the Aisin six-speed automatic transmission and is tuned to make an impressive 385 horsepower and 865 pound-feet of torque.

Engine Transmission Horsepower @ RPM Torque @ RPM
5.7-liter HEMI V-8 66RFE Six-speed Auto 383 @ 5,600 400 @ 4,000
6.4-liter HEMI V-8 66RFE/68RFE Six-speed Auto 410 @ 5,600 429 @ 4,000
6.7-liter Cummins TD I-6 Six-speed Manual 350 @ 2,800 660 @ 1,400
6.7-liter Cummins TD I-6 68RFE Six-speed Auto 370 @ 2,800 800 @ 1,600
6.7-liter Cummins TD I-6 High Output Aisin Six-speed Auto 385 @ 2,800 865 @ 1,700

Frame and Suspension

2014 Ram Heavy Duty
- image 513201

Torque-rich engines would be nothing without a strong backbone. The Ram Heavy Duty’s frame is constructed with high-strength steel rated at 50,000 psi. The frame’s design includes eight separate cross members that hold the two hydroformed main frame rails together. Out back, the frame is fully boxed and welded to provide a stable platform for towing and hauling.

The Ram Heavy Duty uses a similar rear suspension system as its light duty brethren. The five-link system holds the solid axle in place while coil springs and shock absorbers help carry the load. An air-ride suspension is available and provides automatic load leveling and an even more compliant ride.

While the Ram 2500 uses the updated suspension, the Ram 3500 still sticks with the old school leaf spring design. However Ram has added the air ride suspension to alleviate the negative attributes of rear leaf-type suspensions. It takes a lot to haul 30,000 pounds and the coil spring suspension just isn’t rated for such loads.

Both the 2500 and 3500 uses the same front suspension system, however. A three-link system mounts the solid axle in place. Stiff components and a thick sway bar helps reduce body roll when cornering.


Ram has yet to release pricing for the 2015 Heavy Duty, but it’s unlikely prices will skew far from the 2014 pricing.

For 2014, the Ram Heavy Duty starts at $30,115 for the base model 2500 Tradesman. That gets you a 5.7-liter HEMI V-8, the base six-speed automatic, two-wheel-drive, and a sparse cabin made to resist the dirt and grime of a worksite. At the other end of the spectrum is the 3500 Laramie Limited starting at $53,305. Start adding options like the Cummins turbodiesel ($8,160), the Aisin six-speed automatic ($2,995), the air ride suspension ($1,595), and you’ve got yourself a $70,000 truck.


Chevrolet Silverado HD

2015 Chevrolet Silverado HD High Resolution Exterior
- image 526267

The Chevrolet Silverado HD is certainly a strong competitor in this three-dog fight. It enjoys a restyled exterior and interior, matching that of the 1500-series trucks. What remains the same is the Chevy’s fully boxed, hydroformed frame with its two available engines.

The Silverado HD’s stock powerplant is a 6.0-liter V-8 making 360 horsepower and 380 pound-feet of torque. The 6.6-liter Duramax turbo-diesel is the workhorse of the two, delivering 397 horsepower and 765 pound-feet of torque. An Alison transmission is available with either engine and provides six speeds of pulling power. Max towing for the Silverado 3500 HD is listed at 24,500 pounds at the fifth wheel.

Pricing for the Silverado HD starts at $32,405 for the 2500 series and $32,805 for the 3500. Pricing rockets past $60,000 with all the options added to the 3500 Silverado.

Ford Super Duty

2015 Ford F-Series Super Duty Exterior
- image 526150

While Chevrolet and Ram make excellent trucks, the Ford continues to wear the crown of best-seller. Available in the F-250, F-350, and F-450 guises, the Ford offers plenty of choices for customers looking for the Goldilocks truck. Numerous cab, bed, and driveline options means the Ford Super Duty can be made to order.

Two engines are offered in the Super Duty: the 6.2-liter gasoline mill kicking out 385 horsepower and 405 pound-feet of torque, and the mighty 6.7-liter Power Stroke V-8 turbo-diesel. It makes an impressive 440 horsepower and 860 pound-feet of torque. In F-350 form, the truck is rated to pull 26,700 pounds on a fifth wheel, though stepping up to the F-450 gets you 31,200 pounds of towing. However, like the Chevy, those numbers aren’t SAE J2807 certified.

Pricing for the Ford Super Duty starts at $31,045 for the base F-250, $31,940 for the F-350, and $51,720 for the F-450.


2015 Ram Heavy Duty High Resolution Exterior
- image 565966

The Ram Heavy Duty lineup boasts some impressive stats with its SAE J2807-certified towing and hauling ratings matched to one of the most respected engine builders in the industry. While Cummins and Ram have been working together for over 30 years, it’s Ram’s other innovations that combine to make it a solid product. An untraditional rear suspension with available air ride system, a quiet cabin, Chrysler’s 8.4-inch Uconnect infotainment system, the limo-like Mega Cab, and two potent gasoline engines add together in making the Ram what it is.

Of course all that comes at a price. Adding the turbo-diesel to the top trim level in the Ram 3500 results in a sticker price exceeding $70,000 – well above the sticker price of similarly equipped Chevy or Ford products.

Price of the top trim levels aside, the Ram Heavy Duty trucks offer a great solution to those looking to get work done on daily basis.

  • Leave it
    • Starts to get pricy with options
    • Manual trans means less power for Cummins
Mark McNabb
Mark McNabb was a contributor at TopSpeed from 2013 to 2018. Growing up, Mark always had a mind for tinkering on random items throughout his home and dad’s garage, including a 1953 Ford Mainline and 1971 Corvette Stingray.  Read full bio
About the author

Press Release

August 25, 2014 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - Ram takes heavy-duty towing and hauling seriously. With this week’s start of 2015 model year Ram 2500 and 3500 Heavy Duty production, the truck world’s “King of the Hill” further adds to its most-capable claims.

Ram 3500 models will offer increased torque ratings of 865 lb.-ft. and an increased payload of 7,390 pounds, while maintaining a class leading maximum tow rating of 30,000 pounds.

Ram is the only automaker to back its heavy-duty towing claims using SAE J2807 testing criteria.

"Ram maintains leadership throughout its pickup line by offering best-in-class fuel efficiency with our Ram 1500 EcoDiesel at 28 MPG, best-in-class towing at 30,000 pounds, best-in-class power at 865 lb.-ft. and best-in-class payload at 7,390 pounds with our Ram 3500," said Bob Hegbloom, Head of Ram Truck Brand, Chrysler Group LLC. "Ram owns best-in-class attributes in the areas that are most important to truck customers.”

Working closely with Cummins, a more aggressive fuel delivery and turbo boost calibration to the 6.7-liter I-6 produces an additional 15 lb.-ft. of torque. This improvement places the coveted engine ahead of the competition with 865 lb.-ft. of torque, while maintaining performance and EPA compliance. The Ram 3500 continues towing leadership at 30,000 pounds and adds a new notch in its belt with a chart-topping payload of 7,390 pounds. The payload claim was made possible by challenging the Ram 3500 6.4-liter HEMI V-8 pickup with an increase in GVWR of 100 pounds, now 13,800 pounds GVWR.

“Ram has driven innovation in the heavy duty segments and intelligently engineered a better truck than our competitors, including a 30,000 pound towing monster,” said Mike Cairns, Director— Ram Truck Engineering, Chrysler Group LLC. “Our 2015 Ram Heavy Duty Trucks own all three relevant titles in the segment: towing, payload and power, while delivering an impressive level of comfort and features unavailable elsewhere in the market.”

Ram 2500 and 3500 Heavy Duty pickup trucks are assembled at Chrysler Group’s Saltillo Truck Assembly Plant in Coahuila, Mexico.


2015 Ram Heavy Duty High Resolution Exterior
- image 565965

With Chrysler Group’s 6.4-liter HEMI V-8, the Ram Heavy Duty delivers to best-in-class horsepower and best-in-class torque among pickups with gasoline engines. Compelling numbers tell the story of the 16-valve engine with 410 horsepower (306 kW) at 5,600 rpm and a peak torque rating of 429 lb.-ft.(582 N•m), at 4,000 rpm.

Other engine options include the 5.7-liter HEMI V-8, standard equipment for the Ram 2500 and 3500 (SRW). The engine produces 383 horsepower at 5,600 rpm and generates peak torque of 400 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,000 rpm. The 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 is mated to a 66RFE six-speed automatic transmission.

The renowned 6.7-liter Cummins Turbo Diesel I-6 is available in three versions. The first version is paired with Ram’s segment exclusive six-speed manual transmission. This combination delivers 350 horsepower at 2,800 rpm and 660 lb.-ft. of torque at 1,400 rpm. The second option matches the Cummins to the 68RFE six-speed automatic transmission. The diesel engine cranks out 370 horsepower at 2,800 rpm with 800 lb.-ft. of torque at 1,600 rpm.

Dominating torque charts, the 6.7-liter Cummins High-Output Turbo Diesel I-6 for Ram 3500 is paired with the Aisin six-speed automatic transmission (AS69RC), leaving no doubt to Ram Heavy Duty’s capability. In addition to 385 horsepower at 2,800 rpm, the most powerful Cummins generates best-in-class torque of 865 lb.-ft. at 1,700 rpm.


Ram Heavy Duty trucks feature frames built with high-strength 50,000 psi steel, including eight separate cross-members, hydroformed main rails and fully boxed rear rails for optimal strength and mass efficiency. Chassis controls on the Ram Heavy Duty ensure reduced noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) measurements and improve ride and handling characteristics. Standard electronic stability control (ESC) on single and dual-rear-wheel equipped trucks, and body-to-frame hydro-mounts provide improved ride quality.

Center frame rail sections are roll-formed, an efficient means for maintaining consistent strength in less complex longitudinal sections. In the rear portion of the frame, the structure includes fully boxed rear rails and a factory-installed rear axle cross-member with provisions for fifth wheel and gooseneck hitches.


Heavy Duty trucks generally have suspension equipped for constant, heavy payloads. This leads to a harsher ride when unloaded. Ram innovation leads again. The Ram 2500 takes lessons learned from the Ram 1500 with a segment exclusive five-link coil rear suspension system. Loaded or unloaded, the 5-link coil system provides best-in-class ride and handling. The five-link coil design incorporates support at all major points of force. Leaf spring suspensions struggle to combat axle wrap by using staggered shock absorbers (one mounted on the front of the axle tube and one mounted on the rear of the axle tube). The superior design of the five-link coil system functionally resists unwanted axle rotation. Leaf spring configurations also lack lateral support, forcing the leaf ends and shackles to hold against lateral loads — a task they’re not particularly good at and one reason competitive leaf-sprung rear suspensions shutter on rough surfaces. Additionally, the Ram 2500 offers a rear air suspension system for automatic load leveling and greater versatility.

The Ram 3500 continues to feature the rear Hotchkiss leaf spring system, but offers a supplemental air suspension system (late availability). By adding supplemental air bags to the rear suspension, Ram engineers were able to soften the leaf springs, allowing for more unladed suspension movement— even with a best-in-class 30,000-lb. trailer.

In the front, the Ram Heavy Duty line features an advanced three-link front suspension to ensure roll stiffness. Greater roll stiffness, also known as body roll, is an important characteristic in taller vehicles and especially trucks with heavy payloads. Roll stiffness is measured by the amount the truck’s body tips side-to-side, independently of the wheels, during cornering.


2015 Ram Heavy Duty High Resolution Exterior
- image 565966

The Ram Heavy Duty comes equipped with robust engine, transmission and body mounts, including pioneering hydro-mounts at C-pillar positions for class-leading noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) characteristics despite the truck’s aptitude for higher payloads and towing.

The Ram Heavy Duty trucks feature a factory-installed seven-pin trailer tow connector in the truck bed, included with the optional fifth wheel or gooseneck tow prep package. Ram is unmatched in terms of offering the most complete “hitch ‘n go” towing prep package found anywhere in the heavy-duty category. Additionally, Ram features a standard Class 5 receiver hitch with four- and seven-pin connectors on the bumper. A tailgate handle-mounted, rear high-definition camera backup system is available with dynamic imaging in the 8.4-inch display. Also, the cargo-view camera located in the center high-mounted stop light (CHMSL) provides a view of the bed for easier connection to fifth wheel or gooseneck trailers as well as monitoring bed loads.


Ram Heavy Duty customers can enjoy the convenience of an exclusive cargo camera, power folding mirrors and a combination, power rear-sliding window with defrost. Also, central locking includes the RamBox cargo management system and tailgate power locks, creating a convenient solution for locking all exterior doors and storage with one push of a button. Auto rain-sensing wipers and SmartBeam headlamps also are available, adding to a truckload of content offered in Ram Heavy Duty.

Total Cost Of Ownership And Unsurpassed Powertrain Warranty - Five Years/ 100,000 Miles Operating costs are of great consideration for owners who use their trucks for work. The Ram Heavy Duty holds class-leading features in:

Extended maintenance cycle (oil change of 15,000, fuel filter life on diesel)
Brake life with advanced engine exhaust brake and largest brakes in the segment

The 2015 Ram Heavy Duty is backed with an unsurpassed five-year/100,000-mile Powertrain Limited Warranty. The powertrain-limited warranty covers the cost of all parts and labor needed to repair a covered powertrain component – engine, transmission and drive system. Coverage also includes free towing to the nearest Ram Truck dealer, if necessary. The warranty also is transferable allowing customers who sell their truck during the warranty period to pass the coverage on to the new owner. The standard five-year/36,000-mile Basic Limited Warranty provides bumper-to-bumper coverage for the Ram Heavy Duty, from the body to the electrical system.

About Ram Truck Brand

2015 Ram Heavy Duty Exterior
- image 565964

Since its launch as a stand-alone division of Chrysler Group LLC in 2009, the Ram Truck Brand has steadily emerged as an industry leader with one goal: to build the best pickup trucks and commercial vehicles in the industry.

Creating a distinct identity for Ram Trucks has allowed the brand to concentrate on core customers and features they find valuable. Whether focusing on a family that uses a Ram 1500 day in and day out, a hard-working Ram 3500 Heavy Duty owner or a business that depends on its Ram ProMaster commercial van every day for deliveries, Ram has the truck market covered.

In order to be the best, it takes a commitment to innovation, capability, efficiency and durability. Ram Truck invests substantially in its products, infusing them with great looks, refined interiors, durable engines and exclusive features that further enhance their capabilities.

Moving into the 2015 model year, Ram continues to beat the competition in the two most sought-after titles, fuel economy and towing capacity:

Best-in-class fuel economy with exclusive EcoDiesel - 28 mpg with Ram 1500
Best-in-class towing capability - 30,000 pounds with Ram 3500 Truck customers, from half-ton to commercial, have a demanding range of needs and require their vehicles to provide high levels of capability. Ram trucks are designed to deliver a total package.

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