Lighter, Yet More Powerful: 2017 Ford Super Duty

By Matthew Keegan

Ford’s F-Series rolled out in 1948 and over the past 40 years, it has been the top-selling pickup truck nameplate in the world. The F-100 followed the initial F-1 and then the F-150 along with F-250, F-350, F-450, and F-550 models were woven in.

Although most F-Series models sold are F-150s, Ford’s F-250 through F-550 lines are in demand — prized by families, outdoorsmen, and fleet buyers alike. Beginning in 1999, Ford began marketing the four F-250 and greater sub-models under the “Super Duty” umbrella to distinguish these from the F-150.

Other defining characteristics of every Super Duty model is an oversized grille, gas and diesel V8 engines (a V10 gas engine is also available in some grades), a heavy-duty chassis, upgraded suspensions, an optional locking rear differential, and an available dual-wheel (dually) configuration. F-250 and F-250 models are available in regular, double and crew cab arrangements; the F-450 is a crew cab-only dually, while the F-550 comes as a chassis cab dually only.

The pickup truck world is aware that Ford released the current-generation F-150 in 2015, then waited the customary two years for the Super Duty’s release. Both models feature steel frames and aluminum-intensive bodies, the latter a first for a pickup truck.

2017 Ford F-350 Super Duty

Driven: 2017 Ford F-350 Super Duty

A 2017 Ford F-350 Platinum Super Duty Crew Cab 4WD model found its way to me and as I always do, I put my pickup trucks through the paces. But with one caveat: without the benefit of having something to tow, that’s one area I wasn’t able to review. Nonetheless, I’m very familiar with the extraordinary towing power of heavy-duty pickup trucks and have towed with them at manufacturer-sponsored media previews.

And towing is the big draw of the Super Duty as it offers a 21,000-pound standard trailering capacity — better than the Ram 3500 and the Chevrolet Silverado HD. But the towing limit doesn’t stop there — you get 27,500 pounds for fifth-wheel towing and 32,500 for the gooseneck. With fifth-wheel the installed coupling is in the truck’s bed, while the gooseneck utilizes a ball hitch in the bed.

Keep in mind these numbers are for F350 diesel with a dual rear axle. Check out the numbers in the chart for my test model — they’re significantly less, but still noteworthy.

Add in upwards of 7,630 of payload capacity (cabin + bed weight) and you have an amazingly robust piece of equipment on your hands.

2017 Ford F-350 Super Duty

An All-New Super Duty

We already touched on the key differences between F-150 and Super Duty models. So, what are the generational changes within the Super Duty line alone? In short: plenty.

The first three generations (1999-2016) represented incremental changes with the same frame used throughout, while the 2017 model is a full redesign from the ground up. This means Ford replaced nearly everything, although the two engine choices and the automatic transmission are the same as before.

The changes for the 2017 Super Duty are evident Go to the full article.

Source:: Business 2 Community

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