History of the RAM 1500

When looking at the history of the RAM 1500, the first question that comes to mind for many is "What exactly does the 1500 mean?"

It's a little complicated.

To understand that, you'll need to delve a bit into the history of truck classification in the US. Although today's North American drivers are more familiar with the light duty, medium duty, and heavy classifications that are used in the US, trucks used to be classified by payload capacity, from ¼ ton to 1-ton. So under this system, the Chevrolet S-10 is a ¼ ton, the RAM 1500 a half-ton, and the RAM 2500 a ¾ ton. The numbers don't exactly match up, of course, but larger vehicles are denoted with higher numbers.

But even though cargo and towing capacity have increased steadily over the years, tonnage designations have stayed the same - and since these derivations of numbers have found their way into model names, this provides much-needed continuity between past models and their contemporary counterparts. Thus the RAM 1500, Ford F-150, and GMC Sierra 1500 are within the same relative size tier.

And speaking of cargo capacity, the RAM 1500 line has long since surpassed the ½-ton classification - in fact, it can tow up to 4,826 kg (over 5 tons) and carry up to 857 kg (.94 tons)!

1983 D150

So before it became the RAM 1500, the "½-ton" RAM was the 150 - and even in 1981, the line offered a variety of cab (Standard, "Club", and Crew) and truck bed options. Although as it turns out, the club cab would be reintroduced in 1991, and the 4-door Crew Cab wouldn't reappear until the second generation began in 1994. Today's RAM 1500 retains the same commitment to customization, giving you the opportunity to build the right truck for the job, with a whopping 8-foot bed available for Regular Cab models. Check out the full range of RAM options in our online inventory - it's only a click or tap away!

But one of the most important events in RAM 1500 history didn't happen until 2014 - the introduction of the 3.0L EcoDiesel V6. While the RAM 250 and 350 (the predecessors of the modern 2500 and 3500) received an optional 5.9L Cummins Diesel engine in 1989 (upgraded in 2010 to the 6.7 L Cummins Turbodiesel I6) to great fanfare, the 1500 made its diesel debut a little later in life.

RAM 1500 EcoDiesel

But as it turns out, it was worth it.

Because with the 3.0L EcoDiesel V6 under the hood, the RAM 1500 has taken home the gold in the grueling Canadian Truck King Challenge for two years in a row, beating out top-shelf selections from Ford and Chevrolet. Unbeatable torque and a longer between maintenance are only the beginning of the diesel advantage - learn more about what makes the RAM 1500 EcoDiesel the truck to beat at Campbell Dodge!

With the RAM experts at Campbell Dodge on your side, the purchase process couldn't be easier. Whether you're looking to take home a contemporary piece of RAM 1500 history or delve into our pre-owned inventory, we've got the experience and sharp customer focus to get you behind the wheel faster and more enjoyably than anyone else. Today's best light duty truck is closer than you think at Campbell Dodge!