2013 Ram 1500 Tradesman Reg Cab 4X2 (963)


This week we’re looking at the 2013 Ram 1500 standard pickup truck. And you know what, there is no way to tell it was made in Mexico. Fact is we should ship more jobs south of the boarder to reduce illegal immigration that costs us way more to the entire society. We can also have some of those US jobs back that have been taken by illegal’s.

When we were kids that we’d put things together with bailing wire and chewing gum as we’d say in those days to describe the cheapest way to hold something together… like our cars.

Well back in those days crap was made in Japan and it took a lot of time for the consumer in America to get over that perception. Today that distinction goes to China and other 3rd world countries. As for Mexico, back then we’d go over the border to have great “Tuck and Roll” upholstery installed in our cars and rods that was actually affordable to youth with very little money to pay for such things. We also knew great “Wrought Iron” stuff could be purchased in Mexico as well.

And today the most popular long haul trucks are made in Mexico. Yep, Freightliner (a Daimler Mercedes-Benz company) is made in Mexico after the union drove them out of Oregon. Well, so is this Ram 1500 made in Mexico. The good news is that the majority of the parts are made in the US.

General Information:

Parts from the US / Canada 67%, Mexico 22%, engine and transmission is from the USA. It is assembled in Saltillo, Mexico. Classification is Standard Truck. Cars from Ram: 1500, 2500, 3500, Cargo Van & Dakota.

Handling & Performance:

This thing drives like a truck… oh, it is a truck. That would be a good thing. Kidding aside, this is a truck that is primarily used for work, and if you want a chick ride, get a Buick. But you’ll have trouble hauling big awkward stuff that is usually heavy too. So now that we have that straight you are going to be happy with 310 horsepower to pull a load.

Empty trucks tend to ride poorly on the freeway but they level out really nice with a load. Even empty the ride is not so bad that you need a kidney belt but on a cement surface you get that bounce bounce bounce in a rhythm determined by your speed. I can never find that one speed that eliminates the bounce. Can’t be done. But when you are on black top there is no bounce.


Ram has always been a tough looking truck. A man’s truck. I have a couple of trucks – an ‘85 Chevrolet Silverado with a 4” lift kit and all the trick stuff but my work truck is a Ford F350 Super Duty Diesel Crew Cab to haul a 5th wheel. I sold my Ram 3500 Dualee since I didn’t need to haul tons of hay any longer. All trucks look cool and were utility vehicles long before SUV’s captured the hearts of men and woman alike.

Fit and Finish:

Solid and tough and a bit more than basic, except for the manual window cranks and seat adjustments.


Basic pricing for a basic work truck.

Conveniences and comfort:

These days basic generally applies only to work trucks. This is basic in the sense it has manual roll up windows – you know the kind you crank. It reminds me of a rotary dial phone but many have never seen one of those. But I had more difficulty getting used to the manual door locks and less problem with manual seat adjusters since you seldom use them once the seat is set. But every time you get in and out of the truck you find yourself reaching across the truck to let a passenger in or securing the doors when parking. Then when you walk away from the truck and remember you don’t have a remote you gain more appreciation for that convenient feature.

Consumer Recommendation:

Real men drive trucks because they have to. They wear work gloves and operate heavy equipment or wrestle with chain saws. On the other hand, some guys drive trucks because they want to look tough.

My first serious work vehicle was a 1946 Chevrolet ½ ton pick up and the very next one was a 1955 Ford ½ ton pickup. I have to be totally truthful, I just thought trucks were really cool and in the late 1950s it was cool to drive one. But, I had a car route delivering 420 LA Times papers 7 days a week. Ever try to put 420 Sunday LA Times papers in anything but a truck? Or did you ever have to haul your Harley somewhere?

Recognized Competition:

Ram 1500 $23,000, Chevrolet Avalanche $36,000, Chevrolet Silverado 1500 $24,000, Ford F 150 $24,000, GMC Sierra 1500 $24,000, Honda Ridgeline $29,000, Nissan Titan $29,000, Toyota Tundra $25,000.

Good News:

Well priced, great array of features, heavy duty, confident truck capability and very powerful.

Bad News:

Manual stuff that is more basic than it needs to be.

Standard Equipment:

4.7 liter 310 horsepower V8 engine, heavy duty engine cooling, 6-speed automatic transmission with heavy duty oil cooler, 32-gallon fuel tank, front and side curtain airbags, electronic stability control, 4-wheel anti-lock brakes, cruise control, sentry key theft deterrent system, locking tailgate, manual door locks, manual windows, trailer tow with 4 pin connector wiring, 7 pin wiring harness, 40/20/40 split bench seat, spray in bed-liner, Class IV Receiver hitch, air conditioning, AM/FM audio with 6-speakers, tilt steering column, 12 volt aux. power outlet, halogen quad headlights, 17” X 7” steel wheels, full size spare, manual 6” X 9” mirrors, auto headlights, tinted glass, black bumpers and door handles and black grill.

Gas Stats:

$4.25 / Gal avg.  March 3, 2013


For more information.

14 City and 20 Highway MPG


MSRP $22,975.

Your comments are welcomed. My e-mail is joe@atthewheel.com

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