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When it comes to the classification of the heavy duty truck, the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) categorizes them into eight classes based on their gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR). While the government considers anything over 26,000 pounds “heavy-duty,” mainstream auto manufacturers use it as an advertising slogan for anything with a towing capacity more than a “half-ton” pickup—which has nothing to do with how much weight it can pull.

Regardless, most heavy-duty trucks now have the muscle to complete some herculean tasks. Here’s what True Car thinks are the five best heavy-duty trucks money can buy.

2022 Ram 3500 heavy duty truck: 37,100 pounds

A 2022 Ram 3500 Heavy Duty hauling a trailer
2022 Ram 3500 Heavy Duty Limited Crew Cab Dually | Stellantis

At the top of the list is the Ram 3500. Although it has a best-class towing capacity of 37,100 pounds, it’s not a one-trick pony. A comfortable ride and impressive infotainment system are backed by the Mega Cab option, which creates a vast cabin including 44.2 inches of rear leg room, good enough for best in class again, per Ram Trucks.

With six seats and the potential for six wheels with dual rear axles, the rubber can be burned despite the immense size via the 6.7-liter I6 High-Output Cummins turbodiesel with 420 hp and 1,075 lb-ft of torque, which is also the most in the segment. It has a starting MSRP of $46,315. The options list is very long, including access to driver assistance features; many Ram 3500s are bought far beyond the $70,000 mark.

2022 Ford Super Duty F-450: 37,000 pounds

Right behind the Ram is Ford’s most powerful and capable heavy-duty offering yet. The F-450 can pull 37,000 pounds with its 6.7-liter V8 Powerstroke turbodiesel putting down an asphalt-tearing 475 hp and 1,050 lb-ft of torque.

The grunt is matched with lavish grit in its premium trim levels like the western-themed King Ranch or the rhinestone cowboy-style Platinum trim, all featuring a 12-inch touchscreen infotainment system. The F-450 has an expensive starting MSRP of $57,420, but playing around on the Ford build website, you can spec this truck into the six-figure range.

2023 Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD: 36,000 pounds

Side view of a white 2023 Chevrolet Silverado ZR2 Bison in the woods
2023 Chevrolet Silverado ZR2 Bison | Chevrolet

With a spacious and comfortable cabin, the Chevy Silverado towing capacity of 36,000 pounds is easily accomplished. Bearing a 6.6-liter V8 Duramax turbodiesel mated to its Allison transmission, the pickup has 445 hp and 910 lb-ft of torque.

The most tech-forward of the bunch features a series of cameras to ensure you can always keep an eye on your trailer load. Chevrolet even offers an app that provides a step-by-step trailering guide and a pressure monitoring system for the trailer tires. The heavy-duty pickup has a starting MSRP of $43,495; with options added, you can have a very respectable rig in the low to mid $50,000 range.

2023 GMC Sierra 3500HD: 30,990 pounds

Seemingly identical to the Chevrolet, the GMC Sierra 3500HD is a five-seater heavy-duty hauler giving buyers five trim levels to choose from. The Sierra has the same 6.6-liter Duramax with the same 910 lb-ft of torque. But with the more luxurious offering from General Motors, the maximum towing capacity is more than two tons less at 30,990 pounds, per GMC.

Nevertheless, what it sacrifices in towing capacity, it gains in being a real cowboy Cadillac. True Car reports that nearly all owners give the pickup a top rating, especially for its safety technology supported by 15 camera views. The indulgence, however, comes with a hefty price tag. According to GMC, the Sierra 3500 HD starts at $72,100 and even mildly optioned models will send it into the $80,000 range.

2023 Nissan Titan XD: 11,060 pounds 

2023 Nissan Titan XD towing a trailer
2023 Nissan Titan XD | Nissan

As the only vehicle on the list without a diesel engine or optional dual rear wheels, the Nissan Titan XD was given heavier-duty leaf springs to be considered in the segment. The six-seater comes in four trim levels but only one engine option: the very capable 5.6-liter Endurance V8 with 400 hp and 413 lb-ft of torque.

Although the Titan lacks power, it makes up in cleverness. With its slew of intelligent, camera-laden trailer tech from Nissan, it acts as a driver’s own personal assistant to monitor everything about what you’re towing. While the Titan HD begins at an MSRP of $49,135, the most popular PRO-4X trim level will set you back $58,915.

Do you need a heavy-duty truck?

True Car lists just five examples. As impressive as heavy-duty trucks are, however, it’s best to decide if you really need all that torque.

If you’re consistently pulling horse trailers, car carriers, or a fifth-wheel camper, a heavy-duty pickup with a powerful diesel engine is your best bet. Yet, if what you’re towing doesn’t exceed the weight of the truck you’re driving, stick with a traditional half-ton pickup.


4 Great 2022 Heavy-Duty Pickup Trucks Under $43,000