The heavy-duty work trucks operate differently in the world than most vehicles. They fall somewhere between commercial trucks like dump trucks and big rigs and the regular full-size trucks like an F-150 or Chevy Silverado. The Ram 2500 is one such heavy-duty work truck. They are meant for heavy lifting and towing and less so going to the grocery store. As a result, to review them properly, you can’t just go on a road trip or commute for a week; it requires doing work. To test something like the 2020 Ram 2500 Laramie 4×4 Cummins, you gotta do a lot of work.
The 2020 Ram 2500 Laramie 4×4 Cummins means business
As the name might suggest, the Ram 2500 Laramie 4×4 Cummins, in fact, has a Cummins-built 6.7-liter turbodiesel inline-six, paired to an in-house six-speed automatic gearbox. In case you didn’t know, Cummins is one of the most respected names in diesel engines. This big oil-burner makes 370 hp and an earth-moving 850 lb-ft of torque. This may sound like huge torque, and it is, but it’s still not as much as GM’s Duramax turbo-diesel or the Ford Power Stroke.
MotorTrend had a 2020 Ram 2500, named Guffman (after having to wait over six months for it to arrive) as a long-term tester. Frank Markus, the Ram’s pilot during this test, needed to add some beef to the sea wall surrounding his northern Michigan home.
According to Markus, the job would require 128 60-lb bags of concrete mix to rectify the sea-level issue. To put all that concrete into truck terms, it was two 3,840-lb pallets of concrete mix, which slightly exceeds the 6,000-lb rear-axle limit of the Ram 2500. As we know, truck owners aren’t always going to adhere to this weight limit, so things like this need to be done. Markus notes that the Ram handled the weight with ease.
While the loading was done via forklift, the unloading had to be done by human hands. Markus says that they added the $365 Mopar corner bed step because the bed option they had didn’t include it. For reference, the $745 Bed Utility Group does have it.
How did the Ram 2500 handle the maxed-out payload?
Markus says the heavy load smoothed the ride out a good bit. Part of the reason these trucks aren’t great for everyday driving is that the suspension is overbuilt to handle a heavy load. Without a load, the suspension is hard as rocks. This makes the ride pretty rough and bouncy. They are purpose-built and designed to have a load for the suspension to work well. Other than a light alerting Markus that heavy payload has limited the air suspension adjustment, the Ram didn’t put up any fuss. It did, however, require super low-speed corners to keep stable.
Did Guffman have any issues?
On one golf outing, Markus says that the exhaust fluid tank got alarmingly low. If you aren’t familiar with diesel vehicles, diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) may sound a bit like a mechanic trying to scam someone on blinker fluid, but DEF is real. Diesel engines run on oil-based fuel. As a result of its fuel, it makes a lot of nitrogen oxides. The EPA has made it mandatory that diesel vehicles mitigate these emissions by cleaning the exhaust. Through the use of science and DEF, diesel makers comply.
Seeing as how Markus was in a small town, he struggled to find the necessary fluid and had to get resourceful. He didn’t disclose what he had to do but said finding DEF in more populated places wasn’t a problem.
Overall, MotorTrend seems pretty happy with the work the Ram 2500 Laramie 4×4 Cummins was able to do. At the end of the day, that is what these are for, and anything else they do or don’t do is extra.