Just a few short years ago, Ram introduced the Ram Tradesman 1500 HD at the State Fair of Texas. The truck was skinned to look like a 1500 but had all 2500 HD suspension and chassis parts underneath. Ram certainly wasn't the first big truck-maker to use heavier-duty parts and pieces in order to offer half-ton (usually in name only) buyers a stronger choice. In fact, last year we wrote about how heavy-duty half-tons are familiar territory for all the big truck makers.
But the Ram 1500 Tradesman HD will not be part of the 2013 Ram 1500 lineup, and it may never come back, according to our sources. We suspect that attempting to continue the reskinning of a light-duty-looking but heavy-duty-underpinned Tradesmen model wasn't such a high priority, as the new half-tons are hitting their production stride next year and the Ram HD models are going through their own next-gen redesigns. (We have to believe the HD interiors will mimic what we've just seen on the light-duty versions.) I suppose we should be thankful we had the work-biased pickup for as long as we did.
Of course, there's nothing to prevent Ram from making an actual Ram 2500 HD Tradesman for those in the market for a stronger work truck. From what we're hearing about some of the changes coming on the 2014 Ram HDs, it wouldn't surprise us to see some new option packages that attempt to stretch some boundaries and definition yet again.