New 2017 Ford Super Duty Lifts the Bar

Payload, towing, and engine performance levels take a hike.

2017 Ford F-350 Lariat Crew Cab 4×4
2017 Ford F-350 Lariat Crew Cab 4×4.

The Ford Super Duty is the heavy duty version of the Ford F-Series, the best-selling pickup truck line in America. Along with the F-150, the Super Duty has enabled Ford to maintain its leadership in the segment for nearly four decades.

The F-150 was overhauled in 2015 and two years later the Super Duty gets its turn. The all-new model goes on sale this fall and Ford says that it will leave its competitors behind. Those competitors are comprised of the Ram 2500/3500, Chevrolet Silverado HD, and the GMC Sierra HD. Toyota and Nissan have full-size trucks too, but they’re absent from the heavy-duty market.

2017 Ford Super Duty

Like the current-generation F-150, the 2017 Ford Super Duty is outfitted with high-strength, military-grade, aluminum alloy as well as high-strength steel. The transition to the current metals means Ford was able to reduce vehicle weight by up to 350 pounds, an effort that allows the truck maker to enjoy benefits elsewhere.

Ford says the truck’s neoteric fully boxed frame is composed of more than 95 percent high-strength steel and is up to 24 times stiffer than the previous model. As a result, the 2017 Super Duty will see marked improvements in towing and hauling capacities.

Topping the Towing Charts

For Super Duty trucks powered by the 6.7-liter, Power Stroke V-8 Turbo Diesel engine, gooseneck towing rises to 32,500 pounds up from 31,200 pounds for the 2016 model.

Fifth-wheel towing capacity is now 27,500 pounds, up from 26,500 pounds. Conventional towing climbs to 21,000 pounds, up from 19,000 pounds. The maximum payload capacity is now rated at up 7,630 pounds, providing a significant boost over the previous 7,050-pound limit.

Other changes can be found in engine performance. The turbo diesel makes 440 horsepower and 925 foot-pounds of torque (previously 860 lb.-ft.). The 6.2-liter, gasoline V-8 also gets a performance upgrade and will make 385 horsepower and 440 foot-pounds of torque (previously 405 lb.-ft.). Each of these numbers applies to the F-450.

With the all-new model, Ford claims leadership in a number of categories. Without naming its competitors, Ford says the 2017 Super Duty now claims a gooseneck towing edge of 1,290 pounds over the next closest model. Further, the Ford has a 2,500-pound lead in fifth-wheel towing and a 1,000-pound edge in conventional towing.

As for F-250 and F-350 Super Duty models, the maximum conventional towing with the F-250 equipped with an all-new trailer tow package and the F-350 with a single-rear-wheel tops out at a class-leading 18,000 pounds.

New Safety Technologies

On the technology front, the 2017 Super Duty becomes the first truck to offer adaptive cruise control and collision warning with brake support for heavy trailers, a technology the company says enables truckers to negotiate steep mountain grades while sustaining speeds even when trailering 32,500 pounds.

The Super Duty also offers a center high-mounted stop lamp camera, what provides visibility into the cargo box. This feature is particularly beneficial when connecting both gooseneck and fifth-wheel trailers. The “Ultimate Trailer Tow Camera System” is composed of four digital, high-definition cameras to provide the driver with a 360-degree bird’s-eye view surrounding their Super Duty.

Also, “Trailer Reverse Guidance” supplies visual cues and tips to help ease backing up a trailer. Moreover, a first-ever factory-available trailer camera can also be custom-placed on a trailer to improve visibility while backing up.

Light or Heavy Duty Truck

Ford is on pace to sell 800,000 F-Series this year as sales are up by more than 10 percent in a segment where sales are up just over 7 percent. An all-new Super Duty should help matters, enabling Ford to put more distance between the F-150 and Chevy’s Silverado, and extend its sales streak to 40 years.

Further Reading

Ford: All-New 3.5-Liter, V-6 Engine Offers Significant Power Boost

Aluminum Super Duty: 2017 Ford F-350 Platinum 4WD

Photo copyright the Ford Motor Company.

Author: Matthew Keegan
Matt Keegan has maintained his love for cars ever since his father taught him kicking tires can be one way to uncover a problem with a vehicle’s suspension system. He since moved on to learn a few things about coefficient of drag, G-forces, toe-heel shifting, and how to work the crazy infotainment system in some random weekly driver. Matt is a member of the Washington Automotive Press Association and is a contributor to various print and online media sources.