1,000 Highway Miles Between Fill-ups in the 2017 Super Duty?

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By now you already know that the 2017 Super Duty will offer an optional 48 gallon fuel tank, which makes me quote that Andrew P. Collins from Jalopnik: “It’s a fuel tank big enough to breed orcas in,” because if there’s a better way to describe a 48 gallon fuel tank — I dare you to say it. There isn’t.

In typical press-release fashion, Ford mentioned that the new optional fuel tank is 2 percent larger than 37.5-gallon tank in the diesel-equipped 2016 Super Duty and 37 percent larger than 2016 gas-equipped truck’s 35-gallon tank, but what does that really mean in the real world? Besides a ton of money at the pump of course. Simple — more miles and more hours between fill ups.

Many journalist noted that during the 2017 Ford Super Duty press-introduction Ford displayed a map highlighting a route from Chicago to Denver, which according to Google Maps they’re about 1,000 miles apart. Does that lead us to believe that Ford has tested their 48 gallon tank on such route? Maybe, but we’re not sure, so I came up with another route, Indianapolis, IN to Tampa, FL — 1,019 miles in little under 15 hours. Why? I live in Indianapolis, and my wife has family in Florida. Do I want to actually perform this test? You betcha.

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Will Ford allow me to put that many miles into a press truck? I don’t know, probably not, but it’s definitely worth asking. Until then, all I can say is that if Ford believes you can travel 1,000 miles on a 48 gallon tank of fuel, that means an average fuel consumption of 20.8 highway miles per gallon is realistic. It’s definitely a lot to ask for from a small building on wheels, but who knows.

That leads me to another issue. I understand that most of these trucks are designed for work, as “Ford Trucks Own Work” and all, but driving nearly 15 hours without stopping would be nearly impossible, (specially with my kids), so I don’t know that there is an added highway value to such a massive fuel tank. Unless you really hate fuel fill ups, which you should, and you will even more when they cost you over $130 bucks a pop. (Average of $2.50 per gallon of diesel)

I get it, none of this makes sense and it’s all hypothetical, but until Ford and all other manufacturers are forced to, or voluntarily publish MPG figures for trucks with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 8,500 pounds, we will have to get really creative to figure these metrics out.

Chime in with your thoughts on the forum. >>

Jerry Perez is a regular contributor to Ford Truck Enthusiasts, Corvette Forum, and 6SpeedOnline, among other auto sites.

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