I’ll be the first in line to say that trucks of the last two decades are both leaps and bounds over their older forms, and yet somehow are worse in many, many regards. We certainly are not going to knock the power increases, reliability improvements, or better materials used one bit…that’s progress. But the combination of needless luxuries that make no sense for anyone except those who love the one-upmanship game or non-truck types who have fallen madly in love with owning the biggest thing out there, and the growth of full-size pickups have turned us off on them. Sure, you can go out and pick up a truck that has 1,000 ft/lbs of torque at the ready that will work it’s ass off for you all day long, but when the basic half-ton model with the smallest engine is over $30K and overloaded duallies that give Cadillacs and Lincolns a run for their money are now pushing six figures, there is no doubt that something got lost along the way.
What better way to visually explain that than to have a comparison between a new Ram 3500 dually and the prototype Cummins Ram, the very first Dodge D350 to sport a 6BT engine underneath the hood? Dodge wanted a diesel pickup, even after a failed attempt in 1978 using Mitsubishi diesels. The Cummins mill proved to be a wise choice, because from the moment it debuted in 1989 for sale, the diesel Ram had a reputation for strength and durability, for power and proven capability, and for an image. A Cummins-powered Ram was a tool, a worker’s choice. You saw them at construction sites, working with road crews, and every other place where the pickup truck is a tool and not the family car. Now, you’re just as likely to find a diesel Ram parked at any store, at any event, or on any road. It’s a status symbol, just of a different type.