Trucks are hot right now, and manufacturers are happy to meet the demand. After all, truck customers are the most brand loyal, and the margins on trucks are much higher than those of cars. The pick up truck segment offers more choices than any car segment does. With the upturn in the U.S. economy, manufacturers are working furiously to get more people into trucks, and truck owners into newer models.
When it comes to trucks, bigger is always better and not just for testosterone fuelled bragging rights. Bigger trucks can do more. They can slog through tougher conditions, carry more weight and pull thousands of pounds behind them.
For those who simply need more truck, Ford has a line of Super Duty pickups, of which one is certain to get the job done.
Introduced in the 1999 model year, the Ford Super Duty line of trucks are bigger and heavier built. They are loaded with more powerful engines, heavy duty body on frame and steel ladder frames, springs, brakes and axels and boast much higher payload and towing capacities than Ford's more traditional truck line. Available in two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive models, these trucks are usually over 8,500 lbs. Even the smallest, most basic Super Duty is a 3 ton truck.
Super Dutys range in 100-increments from the F-250 to the beastly F-750. The current range up to the F-550 is built in the U.S. and the less often seen 650 & 750 are built in Mexico.
The current third generation of Super Duty trucks, were overhauled in 2011, given a bigger front end, a six speed automatic and a more powerful engine to compete with the Ram HD and the Silverado. Ford claimed in 2011 that these trucks had the thickest gauge steel frame of any truck on the market at that time. At that time they won awards such as Best Workhorse of 2011 (Popular Mechanics) and Topline Pulling Power from Truckin magazine.
The Ford Super Duty is offered in multiple trims ranging from basic commercial grade low budget work trucks to the luxe King Ranch and Lariot models. Those higher end versions offer most of the creature comforts and gadgets found in Ford's higher end cars. For independents needing efficiency, the Super Duty XL and XLT offer fast trailer hook-up, 4-wheel drive for getting in and out of a jobsite quickly, and an interior that can be quickly cleaned with compressed air. For fleets, Ford's Work Solutions will provide GPS linking, RFID tags for tools, 110-volt power in the cab and computer access. With Crew Chief software, owners know the real time location of their trucks as well as the driver's speed and fuel economy.
Available engines include the 6.2 litre Boss V8, the 6.8 litre Triton V10 (available in the F450 and F550 only) and the 6.7 litre Power Stroke Turbodiesel V8. The Turbodiesel offers an incredible 800 lbs-ft of torque and 400 horsepower.
Payload and tow ratings are so high that at the upper end of the range a commercial driver's licence is required. Parking should be lots of fun, the trucks are as big as 286 inches long and over 95 inches wide. It's not going to fit in your home garage, that's for sure.
By Linda Aylesworth - autoExpert.ca