2020 RAM Truck 3500HD brings 16-tonne towing capacity down under…

The 'Dually'!

Some of the biggest dual-cab utes on the Australian market boast a rather impressive towing capacity of a touch less than seven tonnes. They’ve pushed these numbers up from the industry standard of 3.5 tonnes for two reasons. One, because tri-axle 36-foot fifth wheeler caravans are a thing, and two, because ‘Murica! But just hold onto your horses, as the brand new 2020 RAM Truck 3500HD brings 16-tonne towing capacity down under, with a payload of an astonishing 3400kg.

That does actually look pretty darn good!

Just announced at the 2019 Detroit Motor Show, Edward Rowe, RAM Australia spokesperson, has confirmed that we will get both the new 2500 and 3500 models in 2020. Despite three engine options being available in the US, Australia will only see the 6.7-litre Cummins in-line six turbo-diesel. The engine, with a few tweaks over the current generation, will put down a respectable 298kW at 2800rpm and 1356Nm of torque from 1800rpm. This offers 34kW less, but 122Nm more, over the HSV Silverado’s legendary Duramax 6.6-litre V8. Indeed, it is the dual-tyre rear end, in no small part, that has increased towing capacities as the RAM Truck 3500HD brings 16-tonne towing capacity to our shores.

The ‘Dually’!

Six-speed automatics will be standard across the range, with the top tier model offering a 12-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. There is also the 17-speaker, 750W Harman Kardon audio system mated up to the infotainment system, which makes a lot of sense; how else are you going to be able to hear the stereo in a cabin you could fit 30 people in? The interior also offers five USB ports and three 12V sockets for charging, as well as leather wrapping as far as the eye can see. Push-button start will be standard, and the column shifter will be changed out for a more upmarket rotary gear dial. The cabin also offers up active noise cancellation (like some rather upmarket headphones offer) and acoustic glass to reduce ambient cabin noise by up to 10 decibels. A 7-inch digital trip computer is now set between speedo and tacho cluster, with 360-degree parking camera and cargo/trailer camera options.

Toolbox? Or epic esky?

Safety features such as Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB), adaptive cruise control and forward collision warnings will be standard among all models, as the RAM chases the somewhat elusive 5-star ANCAP rating. Something worth keeping in mind, is that with the current models, a pintle hitch is required for the near 7-tonne towing capacity, so expect to see a very similar set-up on the back of the new 3500 RAM Truck.

Now that the RAM Truck 3500HD brings 16-tonne towing capacity to the playing field, would you ever actually need it? Indeed, there are few things you could want to tow that would be upwards of 16 tonnes… Let us know in the comments below what you can dream up to tow behind a 3500HD.

Leather and wood… the greatest match since Lennon and McCartney… or Ben & Jerry!


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  • Time to change Australian regulations to bring them in line with the USA, change the towing regs, the lighting regs, damn, lets just go left hand drive! I wont change out of my Chevy Silverado anytime soon.

    300 million Americans seem to drive with their regulations without the world coming to an end, I’m sure we can too.

  • Just love these trucks. I’ve owned one since 2012. To be fair I have driven landcruisers since 1970 and just love the quality and reliability of Toyota but I just cant see us going back to anything other than another Ram. That is provided I can ever wear this one out.
    We just completed the big lap around Oz pulling a 4t rig with an all up weight of 8t. Cant find a landcruiser that could do this anyway – legally! Would have to downsize our caravan! But then what about the fuel economy they all cry. Well how about an average for the trip of 19 litres per 100km sitting on a leisurely 90Km/hour with the engine purring along at 1470 rpm. How could you wear out an engine doing these revs.
    There is no doubt a niche market for these vehicles in Australia is developing with people who own big Caravans, boats and horse floats so the sales of them will continue to grow.
    Why would anyone ever consider driving a so called (3.5t) tow rig again.

  • Despite people thinking these utes are Yankee overkill , they sell well because they fit a niche. I see big US utes towing big rigs and big horse floats going past our property all the time. Our home is on the Goulburn Valley Hwy which becomes the Newell , the route north to outback NSW and on to Qld . A lot of our friends and neighbours follow the horse scene, the show jumping , dressage etc , and one friend who has a big fifth wheeler for herself and her horses loves her big RAM..So much better than an old truck with seating for two and rough as guts. We just need better licensing and driver training for driving big rigs. I see old arthritic men who upon retirement buy a Landcruiser and a huge caravan, load it up with half their household belongings, and head off to the Tanami or the Cape , after years of only ever driving a Camry around the suburbs . They have no idea !

  • It’s black, too much chrome, too much ‘luxury seating’ and a bit over the top for my way of thinking.
    Lots of grunt no doubt, and a pretty ugly beast. I wonder if RAM is the right name for it……
    After all is said and done, it’s a Ute with a big motor and ideal for towing stuff that weighs a lot. All the chrome and fancy embellishments only puts the price up.

  • With this type of money being spent, I wonder if we can get all the options available as in the states and build our own truck with packages, better gearboxes, bigger wheels and so on. The main problem we have here in Australia is when there is a problem with the truck our dealer mechanics have no idea on fixing or understanding the issues associated with the truck your better off taking the truck to a specialise person dealing with that specific problem. We have two vehicles in our fleet and primary are used for towing purposes only. Keep up with the general maintenances with gearbox, diffs, and services and you will be better off. Happy motoring and safe travels.

  • They’re an awesome bit of gear to watch when all that power and weight is needed.
    We saw one in the states towing a broken down Semi…with a trailer!

  • These trucks can’t come quick enough guys !! Even at 180k that is a reasonable proposition , I have a current model dual cab cruiser with all the bits and pieces and it owes me 120k !!
    I do a lot of heavy long distance towing , and after doing a gearbox ,I could quite easily justify one of these beasts.
    There certainly is a place in society for these big rockets !!
    It’s just a pity we have to pay so much for them , I would love to know what they are worth for the average Joe in the states !
    All the joys of living in oz with insane taxes and import duties !!

  • 16 tonne – you would need a truck licence so the current ute toy boys will have to stick to the 3.5 (claimed) tonne vehicles. Be interested in the price wouldn’t expect any change out of $180k+ & the payload includes passengers and their gear as well so the 3400kg drops a bit with 5 in the cab

  • Again the legitimate users are in favour supported by the rational thinkers. The nay sayers have no use for, no interest in and no hope of getting a specialised unit such as this so, “ if I can’t have one nobody should”. Envy can be a bugger.

  • Driving a Yaris to and fro work does not provide the skills for driving a vehicle of this capacity and towing a large hose float or one of the bigger 5th wheelers. Breaking distances, turning, manoeuvring etc is a learnt skill not one gained an an annual 4 week holiday. When will a government insist on on other licensing tier or at least a course to endorse a towing criteria for this size of combination. Motorhome’s need a MR or HR license these combinations need less if weight downgraded or a MR at best.

  • Love the aerodynamic shape of the phallic symbol battering RAM. What would you need to pull it out of a bog? It should have a big silver middle finger stuck on the bonnet, sorry hood.

  • I’d laugh at this trying park in our tiny carparks, but most of all go 4wding in places where the normal size cars would do with ease. Huh picture in head of ram stuck in gunshot up at the Cape. Too big. How about just make us a car with a reasonable donk and a chassis that can actually handle the weight they say they can carry and that’s not an oversized penis extension

    • Horses for courses. Lets see you tow a 10 tonne gooseneck horsefloat with your cute little landcruiser or patrol. Nope,you cant. So why draw a stupid comparison.

  • These USA rigs can’t come quick enough. So much safer than the piss ant Utes trying to tow 3.5t. Now if they could just be RHD direct from the factory I might be able to afford one and drop the added conversion costs!

    • That’s an ignorant statement if I’ve ever seen one.You may not have a need but there are a lot of people in the horse industry that use them for 8-10 tone gooseneck horesfloats.

  • These trucks can pull a mountain, even though you may not use the 16 tonnes towing your safety margin is far better, they stop, go up hills and carry a big load with ease, unlike people trying to tow big things with the Hilux and a Ranger. When I wee these people pulling a gooseneck full of horses with a Ranger I cross my fingers for them. Love my 2500. My only complaint is people trying to ream you on servicing and parts.

  • Ahh the good old fashioned American penis extension eh … and they’ve got even bigger now with this one. Well done America, in a time when everyone is wanting a greener, smaller , lighter, eco friendly mode of transport, you guys have thumbed your nose at the world and keep launching these monstrous hideous big penis compensaters to a market not really needed. And make sure you keep calling them a “truck” too and not a dual cab ute, that will help you sell to the masses here who are obsessed with calling utes – trucks ! What a wank on wheels !

    • I love the dark humour G. But it takes all kinds…. I like the idea of one day repurposing these cummins engines into a flex suspension earth cruiser….after selling the house and going off grid….You can keep the luxuries, I’ll have the reliability.

    • You know they’ve been building these big Utes/trucks for decades. If you’re only hearing about them now then you’re not a car enthusiast.
      They are designed for the American market not ours!
      I’m guessing to you all sports cars are penis extensions and only driven by wankers too.
      The only people buying eco friendly, electric or rice bubble on wheels only drive a 10km radius from home and are not car people.
      If you gotta tow more than 3tonne regularly then you are going to need one of these big yank tanks.
      Why buy a vehicle that you’re going to work hard towing when you can get a Ram ,Silverado or ford’s F series truck that will make lite work of it? Like anything, if you work it to its max all the time then it’s going to have a short life.

    • Why the fixation on male appendages? All the negative comments linking this important tool for business with other tools suggests some of those commenting maybe feel a bit inadequate in some way – I say bring these utes in as quickly as possible in large numbers to address a hole in the market – they are safe and a much better alternative to the puny landcruiser and Hulu’s options – maybe it is the Toyota owners brigade feeling the most threatened here!

      • Hell yes, I just wish that I could afford one, mate has one and with the computer chipped he is getting better economy towing 4 tonnes than a hi lux empty.

    • Grant, Everyone does not want a greener, smaller, lighter or eco friendly vehicle so for you to say so is telling lies, plain and simple. For vehicles you say are not really needed, there are millions of people in the US and beyond, including plenty here in Australia who would disagree with you, once again you demonstrate ignorance of the Australian market. When you need to move heavy loads safely and I assume you agree with that, you need heavy equipment and the fare we are served with in Australia are barely up to the task. I will go further and say, some tow vehicles and their claimed capabilities are downright dangerous because the are not big enough for the job, a situation remedied by the larger American vehicles. Saying they are not trucks but twin cab utes is infantile, but then again so was your whole post.

  • What is the transmission box in it ?
    Still the crapy RF-68 ?
    It want last with this sort of towing weight ☝️
    I only done 62000 km on mine Ram Longhorn & RF-68 has completely failed ? still under the warenty but I had to pay extra on top to get the heavy duty towing package put in which I believe shut have in as an standard from Dodge Ram in 1st place ☝️?

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