Quite possibly one of the most underrated cool automotive experiences is rowing the boat yourself in a burly heavy-duty dually pickup truck. But if you live in the United States, or Canada, that experience was slowly taken from you as manufacturers phased out the manual transmission from their HD truck options. The choice finally disappeared from the Canadian and US markets in 2019 once Ram decided to follow suit and ditch the manual.
But that doesn’t mean the company stopped building heavy-duty pickup trucks with manual transmissions.
Check out this manual-equipped Ram 4000 chassis cab available to shoppers in Mexico. It’s kind of like a workhouse tweener that fits between the Ram 3500 HD and Ram 4500 HD and is set up specifically for the needs of the Mexican market.
Ram offers the truck in single- or crew-cab configurations with a bare chassis at the back. It can be optioned with either 60 inches between the cab and rear axle, or a longer “PL” chassis with an 84-inch gap.
All two-door trucks are powered by a 383-horsepower 5.7-liter Hemi, which Canadian and American consumers will recognize as no longer being available in Ram heavy-duty models in those markets. The longer and larger four-door models get the beefier 6.4-liter Hemi which makes 410 hp and 429 pound-feet of torque, and that’s it, there’s no 6.7-liter Cummins inline-six diesel option.
Unfortunately, though, the Tremec TR4050 five-speed manual is not available when you choose the 6.4L V8. Four-wheel drive is also available on either configuration.
Aside from the power train, the truck is pretty plain jane. It gets a cloth bench seat, and AM/FM radio is optional. Ram has incorporated a Vehicle System Interface Module (VSIM) which allows upfitters to more easily integrate controls for whatever chassis-mounted equipment is being installed.
Without the Cummins, the Ram 4000 can’t come anywhere near the 3500’s towing max of 37,100 pounds. Still, the 4000 can tow 10,388 pounds via trailer or handle 7,713 pounds in the bed with the 5.7-liter, manual powertrain. For comparison, an automatic-equipped 6.4-liter V8 can manage 14,969 pounds of towing and 6,402 pounds of payload.
In terms of cost, the base price on a Ram 4000 works out to just $32,020 USD, based on today’s exchange rate, with the longer 4000 PL is a tad more expensive at $32,571.
Between the Ram 4000 HD and the Ram 700, how did America get excluded from such cool trucks?
– By Michael Accardi