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A blue 2021 Ram 2500 is shown from the side parked in a grass field at sunset.

Work Trucks: Buying the Right 2021 Ram 2500

Pickup trucks are extremely popular, ranking as some of the best-selling vehicles in America. However, not everyone buying a pickup truck is doing so to be “cool” or to make a statement. Most truck buyers legitimately need a heavy-duty pickup for work purposes. That being said, it’s important to be able to understand what kind of trim and features you need from a heavy-duty work truck like the 2021 Ram 2500.

For truck shoppers out there looking for the right Ram 2500, this buyer’s guide goes through the process of highlighting what you may be looking for out of a Ram truck when it comes to buying the right kind of pickup for your line of work. Do you need a truck for towing? How about a pickup for trailering? Are you regularly driving passengers around along with hauling heavy cargo? Do you need something for moving awkward loads? All of these questions determine what sort of 2021 Ram 2500 setup best suits your needs and your budget.

2021 Ram 2500 Models for Towing/Trailering

One of the biggest selling points of getting a heavy-duty pickup truck over a half-ton is the exceptional towing and trailering capability you can get. The 2021 Ram 2500 sports trims that can achieve up to 20,000 pounds worth of towing and trailering capability. This gives you quite a bit of leeway when it comes to finding the right kind of Ram for work purposes.

All model year iterations of the Ram 2500 that can tow/trailer up to 20,000 pounds are paired with the 6.7-liter Cummins turbo-diesel, which produces 850 pound-feet of torque and 370 horsepower. The powertrain comes matched with the 6-speed automatic transmission. All Rams capable of hitting that limit also need to be in rear-wheel drive with a standard bed size. You can, however, opt for either the Regular Cab or the Crew Cab without sacrificing the towing capabilities.

If you’re working on a tight budget but need to trailer up to 20,000 pounds, you can go with the 2021 Ram 2500 Tradesman trim with the Regular Cab. It gives you the towing capabilities perfect for work, but without any of the extras or accessories. If you did want the additional amenities, the Lone Star/Big Horn, Limited, and Laramie trims enable you to tow up to 20,000 pounds as well. So if you wanted a specific trim with specific features that may be more luxury-oriented, the Ram 2500 lets you scale up what you can get when it comes time for maximum towing capacity. You’re not simply restricted with only having the bare-bones Tradesman trim or the luxury Laramie trim when it comes to buying a Ram 2500 explicitly for towing purposes.

A black 2021 Ram 2500 is shown from the front at a low angle parked on cement.

2021 Ram 2500 for Off-Road Work

Some people might be thinking, “why do I need an off-road truck for work?” The simple answer is that when working on construction sites, in quarries, demolition sites, logging areas, and other similar environments, it’s not uncommon that a lot of the work takes place in the dirt, mud, or uneven, rocky terrain. While some trims are great for towing and trailering while on pavement, other variations of the Ram 2500 are designed specifically for doing a lot of the heavy lifting while off-road.

The perfect 2021 Ram 2500 model for work, play, and more off-road work is the Ram 2500 Power Wagon, which is available in a four-wheel drive format with an exclusively available 6.4-liter HEMI V8 with 410 horsepower and 429 pound-feet of torque. The Power Wagon is only available in the Crew Cab format with the 6’4” bed box. However, while it seems like its drivetrain and cab configurations are limited, it’s designed specifically to be a high-performance heavy-duty pickup for off-road work and travel. So if you regularly have to work in tough terrain, the Power Wagon is perfect for that.

It comes with a 12,000 WANE winch located in the front cavity of the reinforced bumper. The Power Wagon is capable of towing up to 10,520 pounds when properly equipped. You can also carry a maximum payload of up to 1,560 pounds. Given its off-road capabilities, the Power Wagon isn’t available with dual-rear-wheel drive. If you specifically need something to handle harsh environments with great towing and suspension capabilities, then the Power Wagon fills that role perfectly.

2021 Ram 2500 Models for Payload/Hauling

Not everyone’s work-related truck needs center around trailering or towing. Sometimes you need a truck specifically designed for high payload capacity. If you’re in the business of hauling large tonnage around and you need a truck that can handle the heavy-duty tasks of carrying up to a couple of tons worth of cargo, the 2021 Ram 2500 has several models you might find worth your while. In fact, there are several variations and configurations available with high-end payload capacity in the heavy-duty category.

While it might seem like the 6.7-liter Cummins turbo-diesel would be the perfect choice for cargo hauls and payload capacity, actually, it’s the 6.4-liter V8 heavy-duty Hemi that gives you the best payload capacity for the Ram 2500. In fact, when the 6.4-liter V8 is configured as a rear-wheel drive with the Regular Cab and a 4.10 axle ratio, you can expect to haul up to 4,010 pounds worth of cargo. Quite impressive, eh? This payload rating is also available across multiple trim variations.

Properly configuring the base Tradesman will net you the maximum 4,010 pounds in cargo capacity, but the Big Horn/Lone Star trim will also net you that rating. If you want the excellent payload capability, but need a trim that does a little bit better off the beaten path, then opt for a trim with a four-wheel drivetrain. However, even if you decide to stick with the diesel engine, you can still get a maximum payload capacity of 3,160 pounds to handle your workload.

A grey 2021 Ram 2500 is shwon parked on a desert mountain.

Buying the Right Ram 2500 at the Right Price

Let’s say that you don’t need a truck for payload, for trailering, or for off-road work. Maybe you need a heavy-duty truck for something else? Which one do you go with then? Well, the good part about the 2021 Ram 2500 series is that they’re highly customizable for whatever kind of truck needs you might have. Whether it be towing, trailering, hauling cargo, or just recreational power, there is a trim and a configuration that will have exactly what you need.

The powertrain options for the Ram 2500 are specifically tailored for a wide number of tasks. So if you were into plowing or shoveling and you needed a Ram 2500 for those purposes, then you don’t have to be selective about trim or cab configuration since the powertrains are designed for that kind of work. If pricing is an issue, you can stick with the Tradesman trim. If you want some additional amenities because you plan on using the truck for home life and running errands, then a Big Horn/Lone Star trim might be the better option. In short, the Ram 2500 has a lot of options available for those looking for a work truck, so you can use this guide to help you narrow down what you need and what you can afford.