5 powerful pickups built for work, play

When the topics of conversation turn power and towing capacity, the pickup market is loaded with capable hauling machines. To show you what we’re talking about, here’s a look at five pickups that are anything but your grandad’s trusty ol’ work truck. Each is powerful, capable and well worth owning, and each will haul ass as well as a load of lumber.

2015 Ford F-450

The list of standard features on this baby reads like a power addict’s Christmas wish list. A 400-horsepower 6.7-liter Powerstroke turbodiesel seems to fit nicely. Meanwhile, a six-speed trans, four-wheel drive, onboard systems monitor, and 17” forged aluminum wheels make it a beauty to both look at and drive. You might go looking for heavy loads to haul just as an excuse to see what this behemoth can do.

2014 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD

Chevy pulled out all the stops when they designed this one. With a Vortec 6.0L, 360-hp V8 under its hood, it’s unlikely you’ll find a job too big for this truck too handle. If you’ve ever wanted to drive tractor-trailers for a living, then this may be your chance. The 2500HD also comes with one of the best towing capabilities around.

2014 Toyota Tundra

Japanese trucks used to be known for their small size and soft bodies; no more. This hefty import sports a 5.7 L, 381hp V8 mated to a six-speed overdrive trans. And let it be known, the Tundra is the only truck in its class to be SAE J2807 certified for towing. How do you like them apples, Ford?

2014 RAM 3500 Heavy Duty

My dad drove Dodge pickups all his life, but none like this one. The 3500 boasts a 5.7 L V8 with 383 hp tied to a six-speed automatic trans with overdrive. Maybe it’s a family thing, but of all the trucks in this article this one is my favorite. Now if I can only talk the wife into it…

1970 Chevy El Camino SS

We thought we’d wrap up this look at tough “trucks” with a blast from the past. The ‘70 El Camino was as much a pickup truck as muscle car. The SS396 had a 350 hp engine under its hood, along with Turbo-HydraMatic 400 auto trans with three speeds. Dual pipes gave the SS3-96 a strong, throaty sound that let everyone know it was coming down the road. One very cool option was the cold air flapper near the hood’s edge that snapped open under full throttle.