Despite the effects of the Great Recession on personal-use truck sales, there is still demand for
pickups ready to do hard work. The heavy-duty truck market has gotten smaller, but the guys
who buy those pickups are fiercely loyal to the segment-they need the extreme capability these
hard-working haulers provide. Some may wonder why anyone would own a truck that can tow
nearly 20,000 pounds, but for a lot of people in construction, those who transport vehicles or
goods, and those with ranches, this is just a part of everyday life.
Within the next few months, the heavy-duty category will heat up, as all three manufacturers
have all-new offerings coming. The Ram Heavy Duty is the first to market, and it's already ahead
of the game. When Ford and GM's all-new heavy-dutys come out, both new diesel engines are
going to require urea injection to meet emissions requirements that take effect January 2010. The
Ram Heavy Duty's Cummins inline-six turbo diesel, which puts out an impressive 350
horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque, met those requirements -- without urea -- over a year
Instead, the Ram 2500 and 3500 use a NOx adsorber with precious metals that convert the NOx
into inert gases. Not only does this mean the Ram's emissions and exhaust systems are less
complex than those in the upcoming Ford Super Duty and Silverado/Sierra HD (which could
improve reliability and help keep maintenance costs down), it also means that, at the dealership,
the Ram will very likely have a price advantage over its competitors. And while in this size
category diesel is king, there are plenty of heavy-duty truck buyers who prefer gas power. The
5.7-liter Hemi, the Ram's base engine, has the most horsepower (383) and torque (400 poundfeet)
of any V-8 in its class -- and only the Ford Super Duty's V-10 has more torque than the
Hemi, but it still has less horsepower.
Read more by logging onto www.motortrend.com , search “Ram Heavy Duty”
December 10, 2009 / By Allyson Harwood - Motor Trend.