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Ram 1500 Tradesman Trim Debuts for 2019

The all-new Ram 1500 finally has its full lineup of trim levels.

Ram has debuted its work-truck grade Tradesman trim at the 2018 National Truck Equipment Association's "Work Truck Show." The trim offers the best bang-for-the-buck in terms of capability and functionality crossed with pricing that's friendly to companies' bottom lines.

The 2019 Ram 1500 Tradesman starts at $33,340, including Ram's $1,645 destination charge. For that, the truck comes as a Quad Cab with the six-foot, four-inch bed powered by Ram's new 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 with the eTorque mild hybrid system. It's accompanied by an eight-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive. (Check out Ram's full pricing here.)

Ram also offers a Crew Cab version with both a five-foot, seven-inch bed and the six-foot, four-inch bed. Four-wheel drive is optional, as is the venerable 5.7-liter Hemi V-8. Customers choosing the V-8 can stick with the conventional engine or opt for a version with the new eTorque system.

The eTorque system works by supplying extra rotational force to the engine's crankshaft via an electric motor and belt drive. At lower revs, this electric assist helps give the engine more grunt off the line. It also acts as the starter motor in conjunction with the Hemi's new auto stop/start system. At higher revs, the eTorque system recharges its small battery pack. It does not aid at these speeds, either, or provide any extra peak horsepower or torque.

Making the Tradesman what it is, the trim comes ready to work with a Class III trailer hitch and both four- and seven-pin wiring connectors. Configured correctly, the truck can haul 2,300 pounds and tow up to 12,750 pounds.

The Ram 1500 Tradesman comes with black-painted bumpers, steel wheels, a monochromatic paint scheme, and a basic interior - at least by today's standards. The front seat is a 40/20/40-split bench with a folding center console. Both front and rear bench seats will seat three across for a total of six passengers. Vinyl upholstery and flooring are standard, but cloth and carpet are offered. Colors include black or Diesel Gray, regardless of seating material.

Impressively, the Ram Tradesman comes standard with Ram's 5.0-inch touchscreen Uconnect infotainment system, power windows, power locks, three USB ports, a 12-volt power outlet, SiriusXM Radio connectivity, and keyless entry. Other creature comforts include a rearview camera, a tilt and telescoping steering column, and a dampened, locking tailgate.

Customers looking to do real work will be happy to see an available 3.92 final axle ratio, an optional anti-spin rear differential, an electronically locking rear differential, and an off-road package that includes skid plates and a minor suspension lift. For highway driving, the stock 3.21 final drive ratio will help fuel economy. An integrated trailer brake controller is also available.

Fleet managers should appreciate Ram's five-year, 60,000-mile powertrain warranty.

Ram already has the 2019 1500 on its "Build & Price" website. Potential customers can completely customize a truck to their specific needs and even begin the ordering process. The trucks will begin arriving in showrooms toward the beginning of the spring.