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Best Dually Trucks: Which One Is the Ultimate Work Truck?

Best Dually Truck

Best Dually Truck

Dually trucks - those massive, heavy-duty pickups with two wheels per side in the rear - are the ultimate workhorses.

There are only four players in the heavy-duty, dual-rear-wheel pickup segment, and they all hail from Detroit.

To say each of these trucks are capable is an understatement. Let’s take a look, starting with the most refined of the bunch.

Check out all our picks for the best trucks >>

Read about how we rank our trucks >>

1. RAM 3500 HD

RAM 3500 Dually TrucksMake no mistake about it: this truck can tow just about anything. Even the gas 6.4-liter V-8, which makes a wimpy 429 lb-ft of torque, will still pull up to 18,210 pounds properly equipped. But the real power is put out by the 6.7-liter Cummins diesel. With six cylinders in a row and the help of a turbocharger, this engine churns out 370 horsepower and 850 lb-ft of torque.

The 3500 is also privy to an exclusive high-output version of the Cummins that makes 400 horsepower and a full 1,075 lb-ft of torque. So equipped, you can latch a best-in-class 37,100 pounds worth of gooseneck trailer to the 3500’s bed. You won’t find much tech aboard to help you handle that load, however. Trailering on the Ram is still largely done the old-fashioned way: driver knowhow.

RAM Dually TrucksThough the 3500 continues to use heavy-duty leaf springs and a solid rear axle for towing and hauling purposes, this is still one of the smoothest-riding dually pickups you can purchase.

The cabin of the 3500 is posher than ever. Base models are light on technology but employ quality materials that look carefully assembled; high-end trims add copious quantities of leather, wood, and screens. You can even get a touchscreen measuring a Tesla-like 12 inches on top models, symbolic of where the heavy-duty truck segment is heading.

Quibbles are few. We’re mainly concerned that the six-speed automatic in the Cummins is down a few cogs compared to competitors and that tow-assist technology is lacking. Otherwise, the Ram 3500 wins our hearts in a segment full of overachievers.

Pros

  • Best-in-class towing
  • Cummins diesel with up to 1,075 lb-ft
  • Classiest interior in its segment

Cons

  • Competitors offers more tow-assist tech
  • Six-speed auto in the Cummins is four gears shy of the competition

Current RAM 3500 Deals & Incentives

YearMakeModelCash Incentives (up to)Best Avail. APRLease OffersExpiration
2021RAMRam Pickup 35003.08%9/30/2021

You may qualify for additional deals and incentives, check out this month's RAM deals here.

2. Ford F-350

Ford F350 Dually TrucksFor us civilians, the Ford F-350 dually is as big and bad as you can go. It lacks the grace of the Ram and the showiness of the GM twins instead of adhering to a no-frills, function-over-form mentality.

The F-350 lets you choose from two: the base 6.2-liter V-8 making 385 horsepower and 430 lb-ft of torque, or a 7.3-liter V-8 with 430 horsepower and 475 lb-ft of torque. Both hook up to a 10-speed automatic that was co-developed with GM.

Diesel power comes courtesy of a 6.7-liter PowerStroke V-8. There is no low-output version here: all F-350s with diesel power make 475 horsepower and 1,050 lb-ft of torque.

Ford Dually TrucksTo help handle its 37,000 pounds, the F-350 offers the so-called Pro Trailer Backup Assist. This suite of cameras and features is headlined by a dial that you can use in lieu of the steering wheel to turn your truck and trailer while in reverse. The bundle also adds gridlines on the backup camera that adjust with steering wheel movement to show the anticipated direction of the truck and trailer.

The F-350 loses ground to the Ram in the cabin, where materials and design aren’t as elegant, and the appointments aren’t as lavish. That said, a loaded F-350 still feels mighty indulgent - and rightly so, considering one can cost as much as six figures.

Pros

  • Power stroke power
  • Two gas engine choices
  • 10-speed automatic across the board

Cons

  • Lackluster styling inside and out
  • Highest trims don't feel as luxurious

Current Ford F-350 Deals & Incentives

YearMakeModelCash Incentives (up to)Best Avail. APRLease OffersExpiration
2021FordSuper Duty3.90%10/4/2021
2022FordSuper Duty

You may qualify for additional deals and incentives, check out this month's Ford deals here.

3. GMC Sierra 3500HD

GMC Sierra Dually TrucksWhy the GMC in third place, and not the mechanically-identical Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD? When the style is about the only significant differentiator between two vehicles, you generally go with the more attractive.

The GMC kicks things off with a 6.6-liter gas V-8 making 401 horsepower and 464 lb-ft of torque, making it the next-most powerful gas-quaffing dually in the segment, behind the Ford’s 7.3-liter V-8. The outdated gearbox is probably holding down the V-8’s 16,530-pound towing capacity, which lags well behind the Ram 3500 (18,210 pounds) and the F-350 (21,000 pounds).

The Sierra’s 6.6-liter Duramax diesel, while renowned for its smoothness and refinement, lags behind its competitors in power output: its 445 horsepower and 910 lb-ft of torque are more than adequate for nearly all buyers, but lack the wow factor of the other two trucks and their four-figure torque ratings. It can still tow a substantial 36,000 pounds, though.

Where the Sierra leads is in technology. First off, it has a trick six-way tailgate that has now proliferated across most trim levels. There’s also a whopping 15 different camera views, a figure that embarrasses the other trucks here. Among those camera views is a particularly nifty one that can peer ‘through’ the trailer to the road behind it.

Other neat features include a jackknife alert, a rear camera mirror, and a 15-inch head-up display that is easily the largest in the segment. GMC also offers an in-truck trailering app that enables custom trailer profiles, monitoring of trailer tire pressure, maintenance reminders, and instantaneous efficiency figures. This data can also be viewed via a phone app as well.

All the tech can’t distract from the lower towing figures and - more significantly - the subpar interior quality that trails both Ford and Ram. GMC has done a great job using technology to make trailering easier than ever - now it just needs to design a smart-looking interior to match.

Pros

  • Abundant trailering tech
  • Refined Duramax diesel
  • Six-way tailgate

Cons

  • Disappointing interior
  • Lower trailering figures, especially for the gas engine
  • Diesel isn’t as powerful as the competition

Current GMC Sierra 3500HD Deals & Incentives

YearMakeModelCash Incentives (up to)Best Avail. APRLease OffersExpiration
2021GMCSierra 3500$2509/30/2021

You may qualify for additional deals and incentives, check out this month's GMC deals here.

4. Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD

Silverado 3500 HD Dually TrucksWe’ll be brief discussing the dually Chevy, not because it is a lesser truck - though it does rank last in our ranking - but because it is so similar to the GMC. Interior styling, powertrain specs, and many of the features are shared between these two pickups.

GMC has trended towards a more conservative look; Chevy goes right for the kisser with its bold, heavy-handed look. It is easily the loudest-styled, most polarizing truck of the bunch.

Under the hood, things are more familiar, with the same 6.6-liter gas and diesel V-8s used in the Sierra HD. The Silverado 3500HD dually tows and hauls the same max weight as its corporate sibling: up to 7,442 pounds of payload and 36,000 pounds of towing capacity.

Silverado Dually TrucksMuch of the same tech is shared, including the in-truck trailering app and the new jackknife alert. The multitude of camera views carries over as well.

So where do the trucks differ? Well, you won’t get the GMC’s six-way tailgate on the Chevy. The Silverado, meanwhile, offers a few exclusive special editions, such as the new-for-2021 Carhartt edition. It’s also the cheaper truck, but only by a few hundred dollars per trim - even the High Country trim, the most luxurious version, is nearly as much as a Sierra Denali HD.

In the end, our complaints with the Sierra carry over to the Silverado. It’s a good truck, but Ram and Ford have raised the bar. We can’t wait to see how GM reacts.

Current Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD Deals & Incentives

YearMakeModelCash Incentives (up to)Best Avail. APRLease OffersExpiration

You may qualify for additional deals and incentives, check out this month's Chevrolet deals here.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a dually truck?

A dually is slang for a dual-rear-wheel truck. It means that the truck has two rear wheels per side instead of the usual one. The extra pair of rear wheels is why these trucks can tow such prodigious weight. Only 3500-grade trucks offer dual rear wheels.

What’s the difference between a 2500 and 3500 truck?

Primarily the suspension and the frame strength. To tow the weight that they do, 3500-series trucks need some seriously heavy-duty upgrades so they don’t collapse under all the tonnage they can pull. Typically, this entails additional high-strength leaf springs in the heavy-duty leaf-spring rear suspension, a heavier, stronger frame, and other upgraded suspension components.

Which 3500 truck tows the most?

Currently, the Ram, which can tow up to 37,100 pounds when properly equipped. However, don’t expect that to last - Ford or GM will surely try to top that figure in the coming year.

Which 3500 truck has the highest payload?

The Ford Super Duty, with a payload rating of 7,850 pounds. The runner-up is the Ram at 7,680 pounds. The GM twins follow at 7,442 pounds.