Trucks & SUVs

Here’s Why the Ram 1500 Tradesman Is the Best Work Truck

Pickup trucks made in America are top-selling vehicles. Ford F-150 has held the top spot for years and the Ram 1500 and Chevrolet Silverado have been close competitors. The folks at MotorTrend took a look at the three top-selling trucks and compared them. Which truck came out on top?

The Ram 1500 Tradesman

MotorTrend found that the Ram 1500 Tradesman was the truck to beat. Even at the base trim level, they determined that it had enough really great features to make it stand out from some powerful competition.

A 5.0-inch touchscreen

It’s a compact, high-resolution touchscreen that features multi-color graphics. You can even use it when you’re wearing your gloves for work. The Uconnect system is easy to use. If you select the optional Level 1 Equipment Group for just over $1500, you’ll get SiriusXM satellite radio along with carpet flooring and floor mats, cloth seats, and a power sliding window in the rear.

Console Storage

Most work trucks can seat five to six, but they are lacking in significant storage space in the cab. Ram does it better. It offers a lot of special storage areas for your stuff. If you fold the middle seat down, you gain two cup holders and a surprising bit of space in the center console. There’s a bin too beneath the trailer brake controls that’s a great place for storing a smartphone while you’re working.

Hauling and Towing

To test this out, the crew at MotorTrend loaded the truck with 1,800 pounds of sand, exceeding its payload capacity of 1,773 pounds. They towed almost 3,400 pounds and found the truck performed exceptionally well. It had solid body control, torque, and stopping power. Its towing capacity of 7,280 pounds puts it in the middle of the top three trucks. Still, when put to the test, MotorTrend was most impressed with the Ram 1500 Tradesman.

Engine

The Tradesman offers a mild hybrid 3.6-liter V6 eTorque engine which is impressive for a base model. It gets 305 hp with 269 lb-ft of torque. It’s a hardy powertrain that’s paired with an eight-speed transmission. 

Nice Cloth Seats

Replace the vinyl seats with the optional cloth versions and it takes the interior to a new level. With a texture similar to denim, the seats can make you forget that you’re riding in a work truck. The staff at MotorTrend was impressed with the level of comfort that the Ram offered.

RamBoxes

2020 Ram 1500 Tradesman
2020 Ram 1500 Tradesman | Ram

These are neat little secret storage spaces that you’ll find under the second-row seats. Standard RamBoxes not only allow you to store things securely, but they also allow you to separate items or tools that need to be cleaned before returning them to the toolbox or storage with unused items.

For many on the job, that’s a neat a little feature. With a bin on each side of the truck, it’s easy to sort items however you like. There are also ruler markings on the top edge of each RamBox, so if you forget yours, you’ve got a backup plan for measurements. You have to admire how the designers made use of every inch of space in this truck.

Standard features

The Ram 1500 Tradesman is feature-rich with great standard features like automatic headlights, a push-start button, and a telescoping and tilting wheel. While the cost of the base crew cab with 4WD is pricey at just under $40,000, the number of standard features justifies the cost.

Tow Mirrors

MotorTrend’s team found the trailer-tow mirrors, part of the Tradesman towing package, to be a standout feature when comparing the different trucks. The mirrors feature large spotter mirrors which enhanced their usability according to a staffer who commuted in the truck.

USB Ports

In this age of technology, having ways to charge your devices and stay connected is super important. The Ram 1500 Tradesman ruled this category by offering four USB ports. Chevy only offered one port in its WT trim and Ford has three. You can’t go wrong with four in the Ram. There are two regular ports and two Type C ports.