Heavy duty pickups are heavy-dutier than ever, a situation illustrated by the 2012 GMC Sierra 2500HD Denali diesel. With single rear wheels, this particular chassis setup is good for 14,700 pounds of towing. But the GMC's 6.6-liter Duramax V8 and Allison transmission (in their beefiest dual-rear wheel setup) can tow up to 22,600 pounds. Those are incredible numbers, so we decided to put the 2500 HD Denali to the test by towing a boat. While hauling a bed full of gravel. And, of course, propelling its own 7,456-pound self down the road.
With a total weight of roughly 15,000 pounds, you'd expect a certain sluggishness to prevail. But 765 lb-ft of torque is a great equalizer, and the GMC managed an informal 0-60 run in about 13 seconds. Which means that even while towing a boat and hauling thousands of pounds of rock, it's probably faster than many unburdened trucks from the 80s and 90s. And those didn't have air-conditioned leather seats.
If you don't require this kind of massive capability, then do yourself a favor and buy a half-ton truck. It'll ride better, get better mileage, cost less up front and still tow around 10,000 pounds. Plenty of people buy heavy-duty trucks not because they need them, but because they want a higher number on the badge. Please, don't do that. But if you can use the sort of truck that'll haul 8,000 pounds of stuff down the highway while barely breaking a sweat, then this is the one to have.