Heavy-Duty Truck Comparison: Five Heaviest Holiday Haulers

The Best Rigs To Haul Big Boy Toys This Season

Dec 18, 2012
It doesn't matter if you hail from Massachusetts, Texas, California, or Minnesota. Fans of heavy-duty trucks span from coast to coast. And what's not to like? There's not much these big beasts can't do. Short of holding a commercial or Class 8 license, you won't find more capable haulers.
So for this holiday season, we rounded up the top-rated HD trucks by fifth-wheel towing, conventional towing, and payload, as well as picking out three of guys' favorite things for our weight benchmarks: Motorcycles, side-by-sides, and beer. For our motorcycle, we selected the iconic Harley-Davidson Fatboy, the Polaris Ranger RZR 900 for our side-by-side, and the standard 15.5-gallon beer keg. To keep things at least remotely realistic, the numbers count only whole products. If the capacity is 5.75 Fat Boys, we count it as 5.
Photo 2/20   |   5th Wheel 01 Ford F 450 Crew Cab Dual Rear Wheel 4x4 Rear
Obviously, some of these capacities are hypothetical, as you can only carry one RZR in the bed of a pickup, regardless of payload capacity, and no more than two Fat Boys. But we've listed the capacities by weight regardless for some fun armchair bench-racing.
We've listed the trucks' capacity using each of these benchmarks for three things we wouldn't mind seeing under the tree or in the driveway this season. And for you gals who like big toys too, this one's for you.
Weight Benchmarks:
Harley-Davidson Fatboy - 728 lb (Ready to Ride)
Polaris Ranger RZR 900 - 1190 lb (Dry)
15.5-Gallon Beer Keg, Full - 160 lb

Towing (Fifth Wheel)
Our fifth-wheel towing comparison showed the greatest diversity of brands. Ford took the top spot with its F-450, with the Silverado/Sierra coming in a strong second, Ford taking third place once again with the F-350, and Ram rounding out fourth and fifth. The F-450 could haul 33 Harley Fat Boys, 20 RZRs, and 154 kegs. All the rest could handle 31 Fat Boys, 19 RZRs, and between 141 and 144 kegs. Whichever way you cut it, it sounds like one heck of a good time.
1) Ford F-450 Crew Cab Dual-Rear-Wheel 4x4 - 24,700 lb
Engine: 6.7-liter V-8 Turbodiesel
Transmission/Axle Ratio: Six-Speed Automatic, 4.30
Photo 6/20   |   5th Wheel 01 Ford F 450 Crew Cab Dual Rear Wheel 4x4 Front 02
Capacity:
Fat Boys: 33
RZRs: 20
Kegs: 154
2) Chevrolet Silverado/GMC Sierra Regular Cab, Long Bed, Dual-Rear-Wheel 3500 HD 4WD - 23,100 lb
Engine: 6.6-liter V-8 Turbodiesel
Transmission/Axle Ratio: Six-Speed Automatic, 3.73
Photo 7/20   |   5th Wheel 02 Chevrolet Silverado Cab Long Bed Dual Rear Wheel 3500 HD 4WD
Capacity:
Fat Boys: 31
RZRs: 19
Kegs: 144
3) Ford F-350 Regular Cab Dual-Rear-Wheel 4x2 - 22,800 lb
Engine: 6.7-liter V-8 Turbodiesel
Transmission/Axle Ratio: Six-Speed Automatic, 3.73
Photo 8/20   |   5th Wheel 03 Ford F 350 Regular Cab Dual Rear Wheel 4x2
Capacity:
Fat Boys: 31
RZRs: 19
Kegs: 142
4) Ram 3500 Regular Cab Dual-Rear-Wheel 2WD Long Bed ST - 22,750 lb
Engine: 6.7-liter I-6 Turbodiesel
Transmission/Axle Ratio: Six-Speed Automatic, 4.10
Photo 9/20   |   5th Wheel 04 Ram 3500 Regular Cab
Capacity:
Fat Boys: 31
RZRs: 19
Kegs: 142
5) Ram 3500 Regular Cab Dual-Rear-Wheel 2WD Long Bed SLT - 22,700 lb
Engine: 6.7-liter I-6 Turbodiesel
Transmission/Axle Ratio: Six-Speed Automatic, 4.10
Photo 10/20   |   5th Wheel 05 Ram 3500 Regular Cab Dual Rear Wheel 2WD Long Bed SLT
Capacity:
Fat Boys: 31
RZRs: 19
Kegs: 141

Towing (Conventional)
The top conventional towing capacity for 2012 Ram HD models is 12,500 lb. Figures have not yet been announced for the 2013 Ram HDs. Consequently, the conventional towing category was dominated by GM and Ford. The Silverado Sierra 3500 Dually 4WD came out on top with a capacity of 24 Fat Boys, 15 RZRs and 112 kegs.
1) Chevrolet Silverado/GMC Sierra Extended Cab, Long Bed, Dual-Rear-Wheel 3500 HD 4WD - 18,000 lb
Engine: 6.6-liter V-8 Turbodiesel
Transmission/Axle Ratio: Six-Speed Automatic, 3.73
Photo 11/20   |   Towing 01 Chevrolet Silverado Extended Cab Long Bed Dual Rear Wheel 3500 HD 4WD
Capacity:
Fat Boys: 24
RZRs: 15
Kegs: 112
2) Ford F-350 Crew Cab Dual-Rear-Wheel 4x2 - 17,500 lb
Engine: 6.7-liter V-8 Turbodiesel
Transmission/Axle Ratio: Six-Speed Automatic, 3.73
Photo 12/20   |   Towing 02 Ford F 350 Crew Cab Dual Rear Wheel 4x2
Capacity:
Fat Boys: 24
RZRs: 14
Kegs: 109
3) Chevrolet Silverado/GMC Sierra Extended Cab, Long Bed, Dual-Rear-Wheel 3500 HD 2WD - 16,500 lb
Engine: 6.6-liter V-8 Turbodiesel
Transmission/Axle Ratio: Six-Speed Automatic, 3.73
Photo 13/20   |   Towing 03 Chevrolet Silverado Extended Cab Long Bed Dual Rear Wheel 3500 HD 2WD
Capacity:
Fat Boys: 22
RZRs: 13
Kegs: 103
4) Chevrolet Silverado/GMC Sierra Regular Cab, Long Bed, Dual-Rear-Wheel 3500 HD 4WD - 16,000
Engine: 6.6-liter V-8 Turbodiesel
Transmission/Axle Ratio: Six-Speed Automatic, 3.73
Photo 14/20   |   Towing 04 Chevrolet Silverado Regular Cab Long Bed Dual Rear Wheel 3500 HD 4WD
Capacity:
Fat Boys: 21
RZRs: 13
Kegs: 100
5) Ford F-350 Regular/Super Cab Dual-Rear-Wheel 4x4 - 15,000 lb
Engine: 6.7-liter V-8 Turbodiesel
Transmission/Axle Ratio: Six-Speed Automatic, 3.73
Photo 15/20   |   Towing 05 Ford F350 Reg Cab Dual Rear Wheel 4x4
Capacity:
Fat Boys: 20
RZRs: 12
Kegs: 93

Payload
This is where this comparison goes off into the realm of fantasy, since, regardless of weight capacity, truck beds only have so much dimension and volume. But just for the heck of it, we listed the hypothetical capacity by weight of our three favorite items. All our candidates comfortably supported the weight of 9 Fat Boys, 6 RZRs, and between 44 and 45 kegs of beer. Ford completely swept the payload category, having the five highest-rated payloads, all of them F-350s.
1) Ford F-350 Regular Cab Dual-Rear-Wheel 4x2 - 7260 lb (13,500 GVWR Rating)
Engine: 6.7-liter V-8 Turbodiesel
Transmission/Axle Ratio: Six-Speed Automatic, 3.73
Photo 16/20   |   Payload 01 Ford F350 Reg Cab Dual Rear Wheel 4x2
Hypothetical Capacity:
Fat Boys: 9
RZRs: 6
Kegs: 45
2) Ford F-350 Super Cab Dual-Rear-Wheel 4x2 - 7210 lb
Engine: 6.7-liter V-8 Turbodiesel
Transmission/Axle Ratio: Six-Speed Automatic, 3.73
Photo 17/20   |   Payload 02 Ford F 350 Super Cab Dual Rear Wheel 4x2
Hypothetical Capacity:
Fat Boys: 9
RZRs: 6
Kegs: 45
3) Ford F-350 Regular Cab Dual-Rear-Wheel 4x4 - 7090 lb
Engine: 6.7-liter V-8 Turbodiesel
Transmission/Axle Ratio: Six-Speed Automatic, 3.73
Photo 18/20   |   Payload 03 Ford F 350 Super Cab Dual Rear Wheel 4x4
Hypothetical Capacity:
Fat Boys: 9
RZRs: 5
Kegs: 44
4) Ford F-350 Crew Cab Dual-Rear-Wheel 4x2 - 7080 lb
Engine: 6.7-liter V-8 Turbodiesel
Transmission/Axle Ratio: Six-Speed Automatic, 3.73
Photo 19/20   |   Payload 04 Ford F350 Crew Cab Dual Rear Wheel 4x2
Hypothetical Capacity:
Fat Boys: 9
RZRs: 5
Kegs: 44
5) Ford F-350 Regular Cab Dual-Rear-Wheel 4x2 - 7070 lb (14,000 GVWR Rating)
Engine: 6.7-liter V-8 Turbodiesel
Transmission/Axle Ratio: Six-Speed Automatic, 3.73
Photo 20/20   |   Payload 05 Ford F 350 Reg Cab Dual Rear Wheel 4x2
Hypothetical Capacity:
Fat Boys: 9
RZRs: 5
Kegs: 44

MOST POPULAR

POPULAR TRUCKS

Subscribe Today and Save up to 83%!

Subscribe Truck Trend Magazine

Subscribe to:

Truck Trend
Magazine

PRINT DIGITAL
Subscribe Diesel Power Magazine

Subscribe to:

Diesel Power
Magazine

PRINT DIGITAL
Subscribe Truckin Magazine

Subscribe to:

Truckin
Magazine

PRINT DIGITAL
SUBSCRIBE TO A MAGAZINE
TO TOP