2017 Ford Super Duty Towing and Hauling First Impressions
The 2017 Ford Super Duty represents a significant leap forward in the pickup truck marketplace. It’s the first time the series of trucks have seen a ground-up upgrade and brings new technology, capability, and performance to the heavy duty truck landscape. But is it any good? I flew out to Denver to find out.
Ford invited me out to Denver to experience the new Super Duty in one of the more challenging places in the country. Why so challenging? Because the testing grounds Ford set up for everyone is 5,280 ft above sea level. When you are a mile in the sky, the lack of oxygen affects engine performance. Those conditions clearly didn’t concern Ford because many Super Duty customers will use their trucks in much more extreme environments.
During my two days in Denver I drove the entire Super Duty lineup, including the 6.2L V8 version and the monster 6.7L Power Stroke diesel. I drove the trucks without a load, hauling a literal ton of water, towing a 10,000 lb trailer, and riding along with a max-tow 30,000 lb trailer.
When properly ordered and equipped, the 2017 Super Duty can tow up to 32,500 pounds. That’s made possible thanks to a revised 6.7L Power Stroke diesel making 925 lb-ft of torque and 440 horsepower. That’s all well-and-good, but what’s really impressive about the new Super Duty is the technology that makes towing a load that large easier.
Up to 7 cameras come on the Super Duty to assist the driver in hooking up a trailer, hauling that trailer, and maneuvering around obstacles. The truck’s blind spot monitoring has been designed to cover the entire length of the trailer and not just the truck. The adaptive cruise control works in conjunction with the exhaust brake, transmission, and physical brakes to work when attached to a max-load trailer.
The technology frees up the driver to focus on the road and on staying safe.
Putting your foot down in the Power Stroke gets you a moment or two of turbo lag before the torque kicks in. Once you’re moving the truck briskly accelerates with a trailer attached. It’s all quite controlled, and you almost forget your towing a trailer behind you (at least in the case of the 10,000 lb trailer we were towing). Several times I found myself above the speed limit because the power and torque make you feel like the truck isn’t working hard.
Anytime you haul water, you can feel the shifting of weight around the bed of the truck when you take corners. But with the 2017 Super Duty it doesn’t feel like you’re going to lose control of the truck. Body roll is surprisingly well-controlled, and the adaptive steering — which I’ll break down in a separate post — makes steering a breeze. There may have been a time in history when hauling heavy items in the bed was nerve-wracking, but it’s not in this truck.
The word that comes to mind when working with the new Super Duty is confidence. For the pros, they feel confident in the truck’s capability. For novices, they feel confident that the technology will help them get the job done.
What do you think? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below or over in our forums!