When you have something you need to haul, you need one of the best heavy duty trucks on the market. But weighing the pros and cons as well as features and interior make it challenging to find the best one to meet your needs.
Let’s take a look at the top 5 best heavy duty truck options with a complete analysis of what makes them outstanding vehicles for hauling.
Quicklook: Best New and Used Heavy Duty Trucks
- Best For All Around Heavy Duty Trucks: Ford Super Duty F-250
- Best For Interior Features: Ram 2500
- Best For Ease of Loading the Bed: GMC Sierra 2500HD
- Best For HD Truck with Trailer Assistance System: Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD
- Best For Drivable Truck with Increased Hauling Capacity: Nissan Titan XD
5 Best New and Used Heavy Duty Trucks Options
Americans have purchased the Ford F-150 more than any other vehicle in the last 40 years. And while the F-150 isn’t a heavy duty truck, its popularity demonstrates that trucks are certainly a staple in this country for a variety of use cases, including both personal and commercial purposes. Keep reading to get deep insights into the leading new and used heavy-duty trucks with key selling features.
Ford Super Duty F-250
Ford is simply good at making trucks. The Ford Super Duty F-250 provides outstanding ground clearance, interior comfort, heavy towing capacity, long fuel range and more. The truck’s torque makes it enjoyable to drive even when hauling and lands it at the top of the list for strong trucks.
Best For: All around heavy duty trucks
MPG: 15 MPG highway
Max. Towing: 37,000 pounds
Engine Type: 6.2L V8, 7.3L V8, 6.7L V8 Turbo Diesel
Edmunds Rating: 7.7/10
- Equipped with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
- New exterior design features more chrome than previous models
- Standard 4-wheel drive on King Ranch and Platinum models
- Best towing and payload capacity in its class
- Powerful with plenty of torque
- Lighter than other trucks, making it more efficient
- Spacious cab
- Not as enjoyable to drive at highway speeds as other models
- Interior features are not as fancy as others in its class
- Higher ground clearance makes the truck more challenging to get in and out of
- Getting added features will make this truck extremely expensive
New Cost: Starting at $39,690
Used Cost: $16,999.00 to $94,000
With an excellent maximum towing capacity and inside comfort features, the Ram 2500 is a great heavy duty truck. You can get it in a regular, crew or mega cab option to add interior storage space and extra legroom if you need it.
You’ll have to pay extra for the Cummins diesel option to get the increased max towing capacity if you’ll be doing serious hauling. But it’s all worth it for the luxurious ride and interior features that come with the truck.
Best For: Interior features
- 12 city
- 18 highway
- 15 combined
Max. Towing: 10,520 to 15,220 lbs depending on features
Engine Type: 6.4L V8 or 6.7L 6-cylinder diesel
Edmunds Rating: 7.9/10
- Impressive infotainment system standard on most models
- Modern trailering technology and improved lighting
- Off-road capacity and drivability are top-notch
- Optional exterior storage bins
- Mega cab option
- High-tech cabin options
- Comfortable seats
- Surprisingly quiet cabin for vehicles in this size class
- Comfortably seats 5 people, with a sixth seat when necessary
- The diesel version is loud and exhibits the classic chatter from a diesel engine
- Torque is lower than its competitors
- Adding options to outfit this truck for heavier hauling gets pricey
- Active-safety features cost extra
New Cost: $40,865
Used Cost: Starting at $11,400 to $119,998
GMC Sierra 2500HD
The GMC Sierra 2500HD is an impressive super-duty truck with tons of power and a spacious cab. Plus, it has an attractive exterior with a massive chrome grille. If you’re planning to haul extremely heavy loads, you might want to look elsewhere though as its payload and towing capacity are lower than some other trucks in this category.
Best For: Ease of loading the bed
- 15 city
- 17 highway
- 16 combined
Max. Towing: 14,500 pounds
Engine Type: 6.6L V8 or 6.6L V8 diesel
Edmunds Rating: 7.5/10
- MulitPro tailgate is standard on all trim levels
- Towing camera system option
- Approachable infotainment interface
- Optional off-road package
- Leading safety feature add-ons
- 0-60 mph in 7.3 seconds
- Attractive design
- Poor, bouncy ride quality
- Limited visibility
- Less in-cab tech compared to other vehicles in its class
- Lower towing and payload capacity than other vehicles in its class
- Lack of adaptive cruise control option
New Cost: Starting at $42,295
Used Cost: $8,900 to $129,998
Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD
You’ll find impressive base tech inside the Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD, but you’ll trade that for lower payload and towing capacities compared to the three trucks listed above. The trailer assistance system is impressive and you won’t find anything better on the market. But the interior of the cab is not nearly as luxurious as its competitors.
Best For: HD truck with trailer assistance system
MPG: 14 MPG highway
Max. Towing: 14,500 pounds
Engine Type: V8 6.6L or Duramax 6.6L V-8 Turbo-Diesel
Edmunds Rating: 7.2/10
- 15-view camera system for towing
- Multi-flex tailgate comes standard on all models
- Wireless Apple CarPlay or Android Auto
- Bold exterior styling options
- Roomy cabin with best-in-class head and legroom
- Impressive safety feature options, and some standard safety features
- Includes modern driver-assist technology
- High-quality off-road capabilities on off-road model
- Interior design feels dated and cheap
- Higher hood limits visibility
- Lower towing and payload ratings
New Cost: Starting at $39,500
Used Cost: $23,500 to $84,407
Nissan Titan XD
The Nissan Titan XD is a lighter option for those seeking higher payload and towing capacity compared to a light-duty truck but want the feel of driving a smoother, lighter truck. So while this truck doesn’t compete head-on with the others on this list, it’s a good in-between truck for those looking for a mix between hauling capacity and comfort and drivability.
Best For: Drivable truck with increased hauling capacity
MPG: 18 MPG combined
Max. Towing: 9,730 to 10,920 pounds
Engine Type: 5.6L V-8
Edmunds Rating: 7.7/10
- Pedestrian detection
- Android Auto and Apple CarPlay
- Includes many safety features on standard models
- Refined outward appearance for heavy duty trucks
- Better ride compared to other super heavy duty truck options
- Roomy interior
- Comfortable seats
- Smother V8 engine compared to others in its class
- Lower hauling capacity
- More expensive than the competition
- Larger turning radius
- Lower fuel range due to smaller tank
New Cost: $46,380
Used Cost: $35,322 to $63,891
What Is a Heavy Duty Truck?
Heavy duty trucks have the designation 2,500 or 3,500 even though Ford used F-250 and F-350 instead. The larger the number, the greater the truck’s capabilities will be.
As the numbers increase, the trucks are more tailored toward commercial uses, which means you’ll see fewer interior features come standard. To get the nice-to-haves inside the truck, you’ll need to add options that could make these heavy duty trucks fairly expensive.
Regular cabs are challenging to find for heavy duty trucks since there’s such an emphasis on hauling and transporting capacity. You’re far more likely to see extended cab and crew-cab body styles on heavy duty trucks.
Heavy duty trucks can haul fifth-wheel trailers and trailers that require a hitch point in the center of the cargo bed. But let’s take a look at what else you should consider when buying a heavy duty truck.
What To Consider When Buying a Heavy Duty Truck
Heavy duty trucks have many interior, exterior and mechanical considerations. All trucks in this class are certainly not created equal. As you evaluate your options, consider these crucial aspects of a high-quality heavy duty truck.
Read up on reviews about how the truck handles. You’ll also want to know more about its braking speed and what to expect from the truck when towing or hauling. Review acceleration speeds based on how fast it goes from 0 to 60 MPH.
Understand the truck’s ride quality as well as its horsepower and torque. These are all important measurements that will tell you more about what the truck is capable of and how it will feel to drive it.
Comfort and Room
Heavy duty trucks come with variable cabin sizes as well as legroom and headroom. If you’ll be transporting teams to and from worksites and need a comfortable ride for 5 adults, make sure you’re selecting a truck that is rated for these activities.
Modern vehicles are equipped with outstanding safety features, including traction control, electronic stability control, brake assist, forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot warnings, rear-cross traffic alerts, lane-departure warning, lane-keep assistance, backup cameras, parking assist, automatic high beams, and more. With heavy duty trucks, these features often cost more or require a higher trim level.
The fuel economy mixed with the fuel capacity will dictate how often you have to stop and refuel as well as the total expense of driving the truck. Some trucks have a high mile-per-gallon rating but small fuel tanks, meaning you’ll still fuel up regularly. The combination of good MPG and fuel capacity will provide the greatest convenience when driving these trucks commercially.
Cargo Space and Storage
Even inside the cab, you’ll want to pay attention to how much cargo space the truck has. While you will likely put the majority of hauling items in the bed or a trailer, you might want to have greater security for items, such as tools or other valuables.
Work trucks still need safe, convenient cargo and storage space. The larger cabs will naturally have more interior storage options.
As you look at the cost of purchasing a truck, don’t forget to review maintenance expenses as well. Many people focus on the upfront expense of purchasing a truck and don’t consider the long-term expense. You’ll want a truck that will last for hundreds of thousands of miles with minimal maintenance requirements.
Review how you’ll be using the truck before purchasing. You might find that a lower payload and towing capacity will meet your needs.
If that’s the case, trucks with lower ratings generally have a smaller price tag. But you don’t want to find yourself hauling more than the truck is rated for as that will void your warranties and likely lead to costly repairs.
Towing and Hauling in a Pickup Truck
Heavy duty pickup trucks allow you to transport goods and serve commercial needs without the requirements of a CDL like an 18-wheeler would. Transporting goods using these trucks has many outstanding benefits. Plus, the drivability of these vehicles when not hauling is incredible. Consider how these trucks might be beneficial for your fleet.
The best heavy duty truck is the Ford F-250.
The Ram 2500 has the most power of any heavy duty truck.
The Ford F-450 Super Duty is the longest-lasting heavy duty truck based on used truck sales.
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