It’s generally true that even modestly powered pickup trucks can haul surprising amounts of cargo over unbelievably rugged terrain, but there are many cases where demanding work roles are best tackled with as much power as possible.
It’s for customers with such needs that Ford has been building its Super Duty trucks for many years. After an end-to-end rebuild for 2017, the 2018 version was recently announced with a claim that the truck offers best-in-class horsepower and torque from a newly-upgraded 7.7-litre Power Stroke V-8 diesel engine. Certainly, diesel engines offer remarkable torque and many buyers in this class wouldn’t have it any other way.
Although the main target market is likely to be buyers who simply can’t tackle tough work roles with a standard pickup, there’s also a big demand for products like this from people who haul large travel trailers and fifth wheel RVs. Just about any user with rugged work scenarios to deal with will agree that there’s nothing wrong with having a little more power available than you need. The truck comes in F-250, F-350 and F-450 configurations.
Ford’s 6.7-litre Power Stroke includes redesigned cylinder heads to add strength under higher loads. Optimal fuel and turbo boost calibrations take advantage of increased cylinder head capacity and use it to upgrade horsepower and torque. The modified powerplant develops 450-horsepower (10 over the 2017 model) and a whopping 945 ft. lb. of torque. Power like this makes the new Super Duty a “stump puller” of the first order.
Another benefit of the power upgrade is a maximum towing capacity, with the appropriate equipment package, of no less than 34,000 lbs. This is 1,500 lbs more than last year’s
equivalent truck, so those cylinder head modifications have really made a difference. Ford is in the happy position of manufacturing its own diesel engine and transmission combination, not common among truckmakers, and has thus been able to focus on engineering the best possible engine match for its big truck. The maximum payload, incidentally, is 7,360 lbs.
Like other Ford pickups, the rig is built with a high-strength steel box frame and a military-grade aluminum alloy body to provide maximum strength and light weight. Ford is offering 4X2 and 4X4 models and there many trim packages available. For extra-tough roles, rear dual wheels are available. As with many competing trucks, it’s a good idea for a prospective buyer to discuss exact demands with the dealership’s truck specialist as there are many ways of spec’ing out a rig like this.
Although these trucks can be bought with fairly basic trim and creature comforts, many buyers want all the goodies they can get and in these cases the truck cab ends up looking more like a luxury SUV than a work vehicle. Crew Cab options are the best bet for family use or to haul teams of people to the jobsite.
SPECS AT A GLANCE…
BODY STYLE: Heavy duty pickup truck
ENGINE: 6.7-litre Power Stroke diesel (Plus other options)
TRANSMISSION: 6-speed automatic
TOWING CAPACITY: 34,000 lbs
FUEL ECONOMY: Not yet available
PRICE: MSRPs range from $49,349 to $92,299