2009 Dodge Ram 1500: Towing In Comfort
November 24, 2009
A heated steering wheel. I daydreamed about such a wondrousunicorn during my formative years living in thebitingcold of central Massachusetts. Alas, it did not exist in those days.
Fast forward to today and BMWs and such have offered heated steering wheels for years now, but our 2009 Dodge Ram longtermer is the first pickup I've found myself in that had such a feature.
I can hear it already. "No self-respecting truck guy would EVER need such a sissy feature."
I towed about 4000 pounds exactly 1,101 miles over the past few days. Each morningnorth of Sacramentothe ambient temperature was in the high 30s-ish. And I clicked that button on every single time I climbed into the saddle (pardon the dust -- I hadn't yet cleaned the truck).
Ifliking aheated steering wheel in a truck makes me a sissy, then you can call me Ms Spacek.
In fact, I'd argue that heated steering wheels make even more sense in a pickup than in a luxury car. In a luxury car, once you're in, you're in. With the Ram, I would constantly climb into and out of the truck whilemixing short trips with various truck-related activities suchfilling fuel cans, packing equipment into the cab, handling grimy car parts andloading the bed, and then getting out again and unloading all this stuff in multiple steps.
I'd put on my mechanic's gloves for the dirty work but didn't want keep them on while driving because:
a. they'dgank up the steering wheel, and
b. wearing gloves while driving sucks. You lose tactility and gloves of the work variety are kinda slippery on the wheel. It's just plainsafer (and nicer) to drive sans gloves. That is, assuming the wheel is not ice cold or you're not in a racecar.
So, all of this is an elaborate way to say that I freaking love the heated steering wheel in our longterm Ram. Heats up quickly, too. Fifteen seconds and the surface is noticeably warm.
I'll have towing impressions for you ina followup post.
Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor @ 14,994 miles