Part 5 - First Drive Review: 2010 Dodge Ram 3500 ST Regular Cab

First Drive Review: 2010 Dodge Ram 3500 ST Regular Cab

Part 1: Introduction and Specs
Part 2: 2010 Dodge Ram 3500 4x4 Crew Cab Dually Unloaded
Part 3: 2010 Dodge Ram 3500 4x4 Crew Cab Dually Towing 16,500 pounds
Part 4: 2010 Dodge Ram 2500 4x4 Power Wagon Off-Road
Part 5: 2010 Dodge Ram 3500 4x2 Regular Cab Dually Hauling 1,500 pounds
Part 6: Summary and Conclusions

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The last truck we drove was a regular cab two-wheel drive one-ton dually diesel spec’d out as an entry-level diesel work truck with vinyl floors and a 6-speed manual handshaker and 1,500 pounds of hay in the bed. It’s the polar opposite of the Power Wagon and it shows the depth and breadth of the Dodge Heavy Duty lineup.

There’s a reason that domestic truck makers excel in full-size pickups, and this model is an example of their mastery over the segment.

With the Cummins I6 under the Ram’s hood it was difficult to tell there was any payload sitting behind the cab. The only thing that gave it away was that the rearview mirror was filled with a view of yellow straw instead of a clear picture of what was behind us.

GM no longer offers a manual transmission in its HD pickups and Ford will drop theirs from the Super Duty for 2011 but there’s a great sense of control that’s lost when you surrender your gear shifting to an automatic transmission. It’s reassuring to know that Dodge will continue to offer the manual cog swapper for at least another model year and perhaps longer.

2010 Dodge Ram 3500 ST Interior

The Ram’s 6-speed isn’t perfect – the throws are incredibly long, but then again so are the Super Duty's – but it’s easy to locate every shift gate except reverse. Reverse is about as far over to the left from first and second gears as El Paso is from Dallas and Houston.

The Ram 3500 ST tackled the road – dare I say it – lightly. It was very well-mannered and balanced. The extra weight settled the rear suspension right down. There are no hydromounts to help control beaming in this configuration.

Handling was very good, too. All two-wheel drive Ram HD pickups have a rack and pinion setup instead of the recirculating ball setup the four-wheel drive pickups have. Two-wheel drive Rams also feature independent front suspensions instead of solid front axles.

A long-term test would reveal how durable and capable this comfortable driving setup is but for the purposes of our quick drive, we walked away impressed. The short box manual shifting dually diesel is like a heavy-duty sports car that can carry home several thousand pounds.

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Part 1: Introduction and Specs
Part 2: 2010 Dodge Ram 3500 4x4 Crew Cab Dually Unloaded
Part 3: 2010 Dodge Ram 3500 4x4 Crew Cab Dually Towing 16,500 pounds
Part 4: 2010 Dodge Ram 2500 4x4 Power Wagon Off-Road
Part 5: 2010 Dodge Ram 3500 4x2 Regular Cab Dually Hauling 1,500 pounds
Part 6: Summary and Conclusions

Comments

gotta love that six-speed!!

Wait...you're complaining about reverse being far away the forward gears? Really?

@C: There's a difference between far enough away that I don't accidentally shift into it going into 2nd and being so far away I feel like I'm going to hit the steering wheel. I'm sure after driving the truck for a few days it would be second nature. You're getting my raw first impression.

......well boys, I DRIVE A 1992 CHEVY 1500 PICKUP WITH THE mighty -350 engine-. I haul round bales just like your 2010-Ram w/cummings 6 SPEED etc.etc. .....and it hauls that 1,500 lb. load just fine. WOW !!!!! now, WHAT say YOU ???

well if you think hauling a bale of hay around a little is something great, than you need to find some farmers and talk to them because up here in montana i've used my 1962 gmc k10 with a worn out stock 283 can move a bale through a muddy field just like your dodge there can. and if you want to talk about my 2007 duramax. well hek, you can see me consistantly hauling out to my cattle and horses with 1 bale in the bed and a trailer behind it that has 6 bales on it through snow and mud during spring. and you can talk till the cows come home about how chevy uses girly chassis and crap but it works in the fields day in and day out and i can even go huntin' in it when the time comes. I own 2 duramaxes a 01 2500hd and a 2007 3500hd. Love them both but my baby is my 1962 gmc which is more reliable than any duramax, psd, or dodge, yet the engine is wore out. And I've owned fords and dodges before too, one 1994 ford f250 powerstroke and one 1997 3500 dodge cummins. Hated them both. They rode hard, got stuck, front ends wore out, and my son made fun of me, he owned a 1979 1 ton gmc 4x4 and he had to get me unstuck time and time again.

Long live manual transmissions! Props to Dodge for keeping it available.

you're complaining about reverse being far away the forward gears? Really?

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