How Much Weight Can A Ram Truck Hold In The Bed?


Pickup trucks are exceptional utility vehicles. They have extraordinary ability to carry cargo in their bed and also tow more behind its back. 

The Ram 1500 and even the heavy-duty Ram trucks are some of the most capable trucks on the market today. 

But how much can these trucks carry in their bed?

How Much Weight Can A Ram Truck Hold In The Bed? 

The 2020 Ram 1500 can carry up to 2,300 pounds in its bed. The payload capacity was not always this high and has increased with time as the model advances in features. In 2017 and 2018, the model could only handle up to 1,880 pounds. 

The 2019 and 2020 models of the Ram 1500 can carry up to 2,300 pounds in their beds. 

If you need more payload capacity, you can go for the heavy duty Ram trucks; the Ram 2500 and Ram 3500. 

The 2021 Ram 2500 can carry up to 4,480 pounds up from the 4,010 pounds that the 2020 model could carry. 

The earlier model, the 2019 model, could carry up to 4,050 pounds. 

Both the 2017 and 2018 models can carry up to 3,990 pounds, which shows that the payload capacity has been going up over the years. 

Unless you need a truck for industrial uses, most people find Ram 1500 sufficient for everyday hauling and towing. 

The Ram 3500 is a more powerful option that can carry up to 7,680 pounds in its bed and cabin. 

The 2019, 2020, and 2021 models of the 3500 can carry up to 7,680 pounds while the 2017 and 2018 models can carry up to 7,390 pounds. 

How To Calculate the Maximum Bed Weight Capacity

Note that, while manufacturers note the maximum payload capacity, the most a truck can hold in its bed is the payload capacity minus the additional weight of the passengers and the cargo in the cabin. 

For instance, if a 2021 Ram 1500 has two passengers, each weighing 140 pounds, and you have some cargo in the cabin weighing 100 pounds, you need to subtract 380 pounds from the maximum payload.

In this case, the 2021 Ram 1500 can only carry up to 1,920 pounds. 

There are other physical factors that you have to consider, including weight distribution. In short, take the manufacturer’s recommended payload capacity and subtract the total weight of the passengers and that of existing cargo. 

Factors That Determine the Ram Truck Bed Capacity

Once you understand how to calculate the maximum load you can put in the bed of your truck, you should understand other technical concepts that determine truck bed capacity. 

The cab size determines how much weight your Ram truck has and how much it can carry.

When the cabin increases, the weight of the truck also increases and the bed size reduces. 

If you go for a smaller cab, your truck will weigh lighter, and this allows you to place the maximum cargo in the bed. 

For instance, the Quad Cab Big Horn can carry 280 pounds more than the Crew Cab variant of the Ram 1500. 

With 280 pounds, you can carry two more passengers in your Ram 1500. 

The length of the bed will also determine how much cargo you can bring on your Ram truck. 

While a longer bed is heavier, it allows you to distribute your cargo well, and you can carry more cargo. 

For instance, Classic Regular Cab Tradesman with an eight-foot bed carries 400 more pounds than the same truck with a 6.25-foot bed. 

However, in most cases, bed length doesn’t affect payload capacity in a huge way. 

The engine also determines how much your truck can carry in its bed. There are instances where a smaller engine allows you to haul a heavier load, and in other cases, the opposite is true. 

For instance, the 3.6-liter V6 engine in the Ram 1500 Big Horn carries 170 pounds more than the same model with a 5.7-liter V8 engine. 

In a separate case, the Ram 1500 Classic Tradesman has two engine options with the bigger engine having a higher payload capacity.

Besides the engine, the drive configuration can determine how much cargo you can put in your truck bed. 

The 4×2 drive configuration trucks offer a higher payload capacity than trucks with a 4×4 configuration when both are combined with a 3.6L V6 engine. 

In trucks with a 5.7L V8 engine, the 4×4 configuration allows more payload than 4×2 configuration.

Why You Should Never Overload Your Ram Truck

There are limitations on how much cargo you can put in the bed of your truck. 

If you exceed these limitations, you compromise the safety of all the passengers in the truck and that of other motorists on the road. 

Your truck’s handling characteristics degrade when you load it past the recommended limit. 

You will have less control of the truck, and this can cause accidents on the road. 

An overloaded truck will also have some undue stress on its suspension system. 

The stress can lead to damage to some components of the truck as it exacerbates wear and tear. 

To avoid accidents and protect your truck from unexpected wear and tear, you should ensure that you do not exceed the truck bed limitations. 

You can tell your truck is overloaded if it is sagging in its rear until the fenders are almost rubbing the tires.

Excessive sagging can also be due to poor weight distribution. If the weight is well distributed and there is still sagging, then it means your truck is overloaded. 

Pickup trucks have a lower nose end when they are empty. When on load, the rear and the front ends of the truck should look balanced, or it will slightly sag at the rear end. 

But if the pickup appears as if it sags too much, then it is probably overloaded. 

The best way to tell if your truck is overloaded is to do the math. 

Add the weight of the passengers to the weight of the cargo in the bed and any other cargo in the cabin and compare that with the recommended payload capacity of the truck. 

Another way to calculate the amount of cargo that you can put in the bed of your truck is by checking the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) and the curb weight of the truck. 

The weight of the cargo in the truck bed, the passengers and other loads in the cabin, and the curb weight of the truck should not exceed the GVWR of the truck. 

What is in a Ram Truck? 

The Ram 1500 is an advanced and top-rated full size truck. 

It will meet almost all your personal hauling and towing needs, and you can only ask for a more powerful heavy duty truck if you need industrial towing and hauling. 

Ram trucks have great suspension that provides a smooth ride and gives you control on the road.

The cabin of the truck is roomy and quiet and comes with useful storage and tech features. Ram is in competition with Ford F-150, both models that are engineered to handle more on and off the road. 

The 2021 Ram 1500 introduced the TRX version. It is a more powerful and faster model. This model features a supercharged 6.2-L V8 engine that makes 702 horses and 650 pound feet of torque. 

It can also accelerate from 0-60 mph in 4.5 seconds. 

The TRX has a high price tag and is not for everyone. 

Other models come in three engine options; a 3.6L V6, a 5.7L V8, and a diesel turbocharged 3.0L V6. 

The base model comes with a long list of standard features, including air conditioning, tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, and trailer sway damping. 

As you move up the trims, you will have better comfort, technology, safety, and driver assistance features. 

If you want the advanced features on the higher trims, you can get them as options in the lower trims. 

Ram also offers the Advanced Safety Group package, which adds adaptive cruise control, surround-view camera system, and lane keeping assist. 

Closing Thoughts

You can check the payload capacity, gross weight, curb weight, and other weight limits of your Ram truck on the user manual or the Ram website. 

With these numbers, you can calculate the bed weight limit of your Ram truck.

You should never exceed the weight limit of your truck as that puts you in danger and also increases the wear and tear of your truck.

Once you calculate the truck bed weight limit, you need to ensure you distribute the weight well for the best hauling experience. 

Most of the weight should be near the cabin of the truck. 

Placing the load near the rear can lead to sagging and damage to the suspension system of the truck. 

Ram trucks, whether you pick the full-size 1500 or the heavy duty trucks, offer great performance on and off the road. 

They are also surprisingly comfortable and have a long list of driver assistance and technology features.

Kern Campbell

I've had a passion for four-wheel-drive vehicles since I was a kid riding in the back seat of my Grandfather's Jeep Grand Wagoneer. I have owned a lot of vehicles over the years. They each have their pros and cons and I look forward to sharing my knowledge with you so you can find the vehicle that's just right for your needs.

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