Though the fleet-focused trim won’t get as much love as the luxurious Laramie Longhorn, Ram has introduced a new Tradesman pickup alongside the rest of its new 2019 1500 lineup.
Available in Quad Cab with a 6-foot, 4-inch bed length and Crew Cab with bed lengths of 5 feet, 7 inches and 6 feet, 4 inches, the Tradesman comes standard with a 3.6 liter Pentastar V6. An optional 5.7-liter Hemi is available, along with a 5.7-liter Hemi with Ram’s new mild hybrid eTorque system. (You can read more about eTorque in our First Drive review of the 2019 Ram 1500 lineup.) Two- and four-wheel-drive configurations are available.
During a recent drive event, Ram was quick to point out the 40/20/40 split bench seats with room for six passengers make this a great truck for transporting crews to and from jobsites. You can outfit those seats with vinyl or cloth and all six seats have shoulder and lap belts. The floor comes carpeted or in vinyl.
The interior also tech features like uConnect 5.0, a five-inch screen and hands-free calling. Three USB ports are available along with a 12-volt auxiliary power outlet and one auxiliary port.
On the exterior, Ram says black accents cover the Tradesman for “jobsite durability,” though chrome accents are an available option. A mesh grille is flanked by halogen headlamps while the truckr ides on standard 18-inch steel wheels. Aluminum wheels are an available option up to 20 inches.
David Sowers, head of Ram commercial truck marketing, says the truck’s frame “is stronger than ever” and features 98 percent high-strength steel. Between the body and bed, the truck is more than 50 percent high-strength steel.
But all that rigidity didn’t heap on added weight. Sowers says the Tradesman model shed upwards of 215 pounds while increasing payload (up to 2,300 pounds) by 22 percent and towing capacity (up to 12,750 pounds) by 20 percent.
Ram Tradesman also features a Class III trailer hitch and lighted, above-the-bumper four- and seven-pin trailer wire connectors.
Ram 1500 features a segment-exclusive multi-link rear coil suspension for improved ride quality. A coil spring setup absorbs road impact and reduces overall friction in the spring system and it weighs 40 pounds less than a leaf spring configuration. A four-corner air suspension is an available option.
For 2019, Ram Box gets a 115-volt outlet to charge tools at the jobsite.
The coming model year is also more fuel friendly. Sowers says body design refinements bring a 9 percent improvement in aerodynamics, which results in a 10 percent fuel economy improvement over the prior model. The 3.6 liter Pentastar is rated as high as 17 mpg/city and 25 mpg/highway.
Alongside Tradesman, Ram has also introduced its factory-installed telematics platform, Ram Telematics.
Powered by Verizon, the tech suite allows fleet customers to manage vehicle data, like driver behavior information and diagnostics, remotely. The system will be available on all Ram truck and van models with an annual subscription service of $800.
The telematics suite can be spec’d at the time of purchase but Sowers says a retrofit will be available back to 2015 model years.