If there is one fundamental and basic American thing that hasn’t changed, it’s how pickup trucks get built. Since the dawn of time, pickup trucks have had the same configuration. While cars have moved into a future of unibody construction and independent suspension systems, the truck has been soldiering on with its old-school, body-on-frame and leaf-spring suspensions. Not anymore.
Dodge has done what is basically the unthinkable (in truck terms) and done away with one of those archaic features. While the Ram 1500 truck might still ride on frame rails, the rear suspension is now a coil-spring system. A set of gargantuan coil springs now supports the back half of the new Ram, improving ride and stability while still preserving the payload and towing capacity of the 2008 model.
Ever heard the expression "this thing rides like a truck?" Well that’s because trucks have become synonymous with harsh-riding suspension systems. Leaf-springs are cheap and easy to produce, plus they’re cheap to repair too. So it’s no wonder that for the last century that combination has endured. Dodge sees it differently though. They have come to realize that the truck is no longer just a work thing, it can also be a play thing. People use their trucks for everything and now they can be comfortable doing it. Heck, if technology and cost have reached a point where we can have a comfortable truck, then I’m all for it!
Consider this a warning to other truck makers. Evolve or die.