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How Many Turkeys Can a Modern Heavy-Duty Truck Haul? A Turk-Load

See how the Ford Super Duty, Chevrolet Silverado HD, and Ram Heavy Duty rank on this festive (and useless) challenge.

Thanksgiving Day, one of the most awaited holidays of the year is finally upon us. If you’ve planned properly, you should be within hours of sinking your teeth into a warm, juicy, and perfectly carved piece of turkey. However, have you ever wondered how your turkey got from its farm to the store? The answer isn’t just post-mortem, but also a truck.

While most large-scale farming operations will undoubtedly use semi trucks to distribute their products to retail stores across the country, many medium and small farms rely on the modern-day pickup truck to get the job done. Some of these trucks may be smaller in size compared to the commercial behemoths, but they’re not necessarily unqualified for the job—far from it.

As a result, we’ve decided to find out how many average-sized thanksgiving turkeys the Big Three’s heavy-duty pickup trucks could haul. And in case you’re wondering, the University of Illinois claims that the average turkey purchased for Thanksgiving feast purposes weighs 15 pounds (and contains 70 percent white meat and 30 percent dark).

Remember, this festive research was performed purely for fun, so keep in mind that in real life the total number of turkeys could vary depending on a truck’s cab size, drivetrain, bed length, axle specs, and many other variables.

Ford F-450 Super Duty DRW: 2,267 Turkeys

  • Engine: 6.7-liter Power Stroke V8 Turbodiesel
  • Horsepower and Torque: 450 and 935 pound-feet
  • Maximum Trailer Towing Capacity: 34,000 pounds
  • Starting Price: $56,680 plus destination (XLT)

The Ford F-450 Super Duty rules with an aluminum fist over lesser beings on the road, which given its outrageous capabilities it’s basically every vehicle not designed to tow airplanes or haul raw materials around mines. With a capacity to tow over 2,200 turkeys (not counting trailer weight), the F-450 isn’t just an intimidating vehicle to see traveling down the road, but also a heavy-duty work tool that a large chunk of America’s farmers rely on every single day.

Ram 3500 Heavy Duty DRW: 2,081 Turkeys

  • Engine: 6.7-liter Cummins V8 High-Output Turbodiesel
  • Horsepower and Torque: 385 and 900 pound-feet
  • Maximum Trailer Towing Capacity: 31,210 pounds
  • Starting Price: $56,385 plus destination (Big Horn)

Ram’s big boy comes in a close second with the ability to haul 2,081 turkeys (not counting trailer weight) from their place of residence to the grocery store or butcher shop. Much like the $100,000 Ford Super Duty Limited, the swanky Ram 3500 Heavy Duty Limited dually can be had with a spacious Mega Cab and several over-the-top features. After all, what’s $70,000+ to an affluent turkey farmer?

Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD DRW: 1,487 Turkeys

  • Engine: 6.6-liter Duramax V8 Turbodiesel
  • Horsepower and Torque: 445 and 910 pound-feet
  • Maximum Trailer Towing Capacity: 22,300 pounds
  • Starting Price: $55,795 plus destination (LTZ)

Organic or low-volume turkey farmers will find the Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD’s ability to tow 1,487 turkeys rather fitting for their niche business. After all, a decent argument can be made for focusing on quality over quantity—whether you apply that to the Silverado’s towing capacity or turkey’s quality—that’s up to you. In the end, and if the photo above is accurate, any pickup truck that can tow a darn bulldozer is a mighty capable machine.

Happy Thanksgiving.