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One of the more popular GMC trucks for sale, a black 2024 GMC Canyon Denali, is shown driving.

Equipped for the Long Haul: A GMC Truck Towing Guide

The pickup truck might be the ultimate symbol of versatility, and the wide range of uses that drivers put it to makes it one of the most popular vehicles in the industry. Several variations and versions of the pickup have emerged in recent years, with some built for performance, luxury, and off-roading, but most drivers still rely on it for its original intended uses—towing and hauling. When it comes to trucks that encompass all of these attributes into one package, GMC has succeeded year after year in accomplishing this task. The brand’s reputation for blending the sophistication of Cadillac with the die-hard determination of Chevy is well established. GMC trucks for sale always have a certain aura about them that makes them stand out from their competition, and they have the capability to back that up. Today, we’re looking at the current fleet and how their towing game can ideally suit your needs.

2024 GMC Canyon

An upscale sibling of the Chevy Colorado, both vehicles prove that big things come in small packages. The Canyon—which competes against other compact offerings such as the Nissan Frontier and Ford Maverick—has proven to be one of General Motors’ most capable offerings. It is powered by a turbocharged 2.7L four-cylinder engine and puts 310 hp and 430 lb-ft of torque at your disposal. This engine is paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission for excellent performance both on and off the road. When it comes to towing, the Canyon is ideally suited for the off-roader who wants to take a quad to the trail or some ATVs to take to the track. Its class-leading towing capacity of 7,700 lbs surpasses most of its rivals, and getting to your destination is easier than ever, thanks to its AT4X and AT4X AEV trims, which give the vehicle an elevated ground clearance of over 12 inches and 35-inch tires. Even if you plan on using the Canyon at your work site, its payload maxes out at over 1,600 lbs, making it suitable for carrying that load of drywall or landscaping shrubs.

Our Verdict: Suitable for light towing and work duty, great for the off-roader who likes bringing some extra toys on their adventures.

A white 2024 GMC Sierra 1500 is shown parked off-road.

2024 GMC Sierra 1500

If you are impressed by the GMC Canyon but need just a little more towing power, you might want to consider the GMC Sierra 1500. The sibling of the widely-popular Chevy Silverado 1500, the Sierra can be outfitted for a wide array of uses and remains one of the most popular choices among truck enthusiasts. Much of this can be attributed to the various trims and powertrain options that make the Sierra 1500 capable of satisfying the needs of a wide variety of pickup drivers. Towing capacity varies with each engine:

TurboMax I-4

One noteworthy piece of news that coincides with the 2024 model year has been GMC and Chevy dubbing their turbocharged four-cylinder engine the “TurboMax.” With 310 hp and 430 lb-ft of torque, it packs a formidable punch. For those looking for payload capacity, two-wheel drive versions can haul 2,240 lbs. Trailering maxes out at 9,500 lbs, making it ideal for light and average towing tasks on the job site.

5.3L V-8

One of two eight-cylinder options available for the Sierra 1500, this engine puts out 355 hp and 383 lb-ft of torque and matches the payload capacity of the TurboMax—over a ton. Maximum towing capacity is 11,200 lbs, making it great for most towing and trailering jobs.

6.2L V-8

If horsepower and four-wheel drive are the traits you look for in a pickup, this is the engine you’ll want to take on the road with you. This is the only Sierra that’s four-wheel drive-exclusive, and it is packed with some serious gusto with 420 hp and the ability to generate 460 lb-ft of torque. When properly outfitted, this engine has a tow rating of 13,400 lbs, making any trailering activity easy and manageable. This is best suited for towing, as this powerful V8 sacrifices payload with a rating of 1,820 lbs.

Our Verdict: Great for most tasks that are related to towing or workplace uses. Depending on what jobs you need to get done, one of these engines can help you do it.

A black 2024 GMC Sierra 2500 HD is shown towing a camper van.

2024 GMC Sierra 2500 & 3500 HD

With these offerings, you could say we’ve reached the very top of the mountain as far as towing capacity is concerned. However, I’d prefer to think that we’ve reached the ability to move the mountain and change the direction of a few rivers along the way. This is the high end of heavy-duty pickups, and both models are made for the biggest jobs imaginable. While typically thought of strictly as workhorses, the big news in 2024 is the inclusion of the AT4 and AT4X trim levels to facilitate off-roading, while the Denali trim is there for those who place luxury at a premium.

These monsters of the GMC Sierra family come with two available powertrains, capable of conquering terrain and tasks simultaneously. The first of these takes the form of a gas-powered 6.6L V8. With 401 hp and the capacity to belt out 464 lb-ft of torque, there’s a lot to get excited about. For those who have to build the Roman Empire in one day, the 6.6L Duramax Diesel engine puts out an incredible 470 hp and generates 975 lb-ft of torque. Both engines are paired with a highly capable ten-speed automatic transmission and allow for results that are nothing short of remarkable.


The GMC Sierra 2500 HD has a maximum payload capacity of 4,178 lbs when powered by the Diesel engine and 3,862 with its gas-powered V8. As for the 3500 HD, its diesel engine allows for a 7,290 lbs payload, whereas the gas-powered engine offers 4,328.

Conventional Trailering

The 2500 HD might be the smaller of the two titans from GMC, but it still boasts trailing capabilities that are vastly superior to many of its competitors. The Regular Cab can pull 14,500 lbs with either engine; Double and Crew Cabs have an increased capacity that ranges from 16,000 with the gasoline-powered V8 and 17,900 to 20,000 with the diesel. The 3500 HD, when equipped with its extra set of wheels, extends its capability much further. When properly equipped, the gasoline engine pulls 18,800 lbs, whereas the Duramax pulls 20,000.

Fifth Wheel and Gooseneck Towing

This is where trailering capacity is at its most impressive. For those who have heavy hauling with a fifth wheel or require a gooseneck, you’ll be pleased to read about what we discovered. The 2500 HD can pull 18,700 with gasoline and 22,500 with diesel. The 3500 makes the impossible well within the realm of possibility, thanks to a maximum capacity of 36,000 with diesel and 18,800 with gasoline. These are numbers that don’t lie.

Our Verdict: For the jobs that require maximum power, this is where the rubber meets the road, and the hardest tasks get a little easier.

A Final Word on the Towing Power of GMC Trucks

The right truck should make work noticeably easier. It should save time and take less of a toll on the workers at its job site. GMC trucks are built specifically for the big jobs that need to be attended to. No matter what task you have in front of you, there’s a GMC truck that can haul you out of any situation that you might find yourself in.