switch from a pickup

When Do You Need to Switch from a Pickup to a Heavy-Duty Truck?

It’s a major decision to switch from a pickup truck to a heavy-duty truck. Your truck is a big investment, one to which you’re committed for the next several years. Many people think of towing when moving to a bigger truck, but there are other factors to consider ensuring this is the right decision for you or your business.

Should you switch from a pickup to a heavy-duty truck?

Bring it along

Since towing is the primary reason for a lot of buyers to move up to a bigger truck, let’s discuss this factor first. Yes, most heavy-duty trucks can tow more than an average pickup. For instance, the 2022 RAM 1500 has the strength to tow up to 12,750 pounds with the proper engine.

Move up to the 2022 RAM 2500 and you get a towing capacity of 20,000 pounds with the diesel I6 engine. Take it to the max with the 2022 RAM 3500 with the turbo diesel engine, which provides a jaw-dropping 37,090 pounds of towing. This happens to be Best-in-Class for the truck. Ford models and other brands are similar to how much more the heavy-duty trucks can pull behind.

It’s not just how much you can tow, but how it impacts the truck. A smaller truck may be able to tow an RV or boat to a weekend getaway, but a larger truck is better equipped to haul heavy equipment to the job site on a daily basis. It won’t wear out as easily, especially if the trailer doesn’t weigh out at the top of the limits.

Fuel efficiency goes down  

Of course, to have this kind of strength, you have to make sacrifices somewhere. You can expect that those bigger, more powerful truck models are going to use more fuel when they’re pulling a heavy load.

You’ll be filling up more often with a heavy-duty truck, especially if you use it a lot to pull equipment and supplies. With these fuel tanks holding 30 gallons or more, you can easily spend more than $100 at the gas station every time.

Even the regular size pickup trucks are often less economical than SUVs or compact trucks. Expect to get less than 20 mpg in the city and barely more on the highway. However, the differences between regular truck mpg and the heavy-duty pickups can make quite a dent in your budget.

Amenities and options  

While strength and efficiency will probably play the biggest roles in your decision of whether to buy a standard pickup or a heavy-duty truck, other features may also have an influence. Because of who these trucks are designed for, their differences in options and amenities can be significant.

Heavy-duty trucks work great for commercial use. Landscapers, construction companies, electricians, and other trades may buy these trucks because they can pull a trailer with supplies and traverse all kinds of terrain. The special packages and options included with these models are geared towards enhancing your use.

You may get a trailer towing package or off-road package to help you be more productive in your day. No-nonsense vinyl upholstery and easy-clean flooring make these trucks more practical.

Regular trucks are more versatile. They may be used in a business or around the farm, but they often serve a second purpose as a family ride. They often include a few luxury features, such as leather upholstery and heated and ventilated seats. 

With the newest models, you’ll see fewer differences in which options are offered. You can certainly get wood trim and leather upholstery on a heavy-duty truck, but it’s usually on the higher-end trims. The base model is more spartan than what you will find on the regular size truck. If you want those luxury amenities, you’ll have to pay for the upper-end trim or add them as options.

Final thoughts on the switch from a pickup to a heavy-duty model

When deciding between a regular pickup and a heavy-duty model, it often comes down to what matters most to you. Not to mention, how much you’re willing to pay. It’s best to look at the big picture and choose the truck that best meets your needs. 


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Joyce Morse Farinella
Hello! My name’s Joyce Morse Farinella and I’m a full-time writer who loves to research interesting and strange topics and explain them to others. I also enjoy hanging out with my daughter and being a foster parent. I love to travel and hang out at home, getting writing inspiration from both."

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