By Patrick Rall
The Chrysler Group has recently dropped all of the details
for the 2013 Ram 1500 lineup and while the new half ton Ram gets a new 8-speed
transmission, adjustable suspension and a fuel friendly new V6 – the Ram
Tradesman HD will evidently not continue on for 2013. The affordable workhorse Ram 1500 Tradesman will
continue on with a standard 4.7L V8 but the Hemi powered Tradesman HD will no
longer be offered.
For those not familiar with the Ram 1500 Tradesman HD, it
was a work rated half ton Ram pickup that was fitted with chassis and
suspension goodies that allowed this Ram 1500 to outwork the standard Ram 1500
Tradesman. The Tradesman HD also came
fitted with the 5.7L Hemi with 383 horsepower that is specific to the Ram 2500
and 3500 heavy duty models along with the other items needed to give this low
priced Ram incredible capabilities for a truck wearing an entry level price. With a towing capacity of 11,500 pounds and a
hauling capacity of 3,100 pounds – the Tradesman HD was quickly the most
powerful half ton truck on the market while also being one of the least
While those consumers who appreciated the heavy duty
capabilities of the 2012 Ram 1500 Tradesman HD combined with the price of a
half ton pickup will surely be bummed to see this cost effective option removed
from the trimline list – we would expect to see something else come out in the
near future with similar capabilities.
In the everlasting battle of the American truck segment, there is always
a measure of one-upmanship in terms of power and capabilities. Ram has shown that they can offer an
affordable half ton pickup with heavy duty capabilities – something that we
have not seen from Ford, Chevy or GMC.
If the Ram 1500 is able to safely and reliably offer those capacities in
towing and hauling, I would be shocked to see some sort of package with those
increased limits arrive at some point in the 2013 model year.