2017 Super Duty: Is The Additional Technology Worth the Investment?
One thing that I’ve personally talked about, and lauded, about the new 2017 Super Duty on these very digital pages is the new technology going into the truck. The new truck, which is a completely ground-up redesign, and the first since the launch in 1999, is full of technology to make the truck safer and to get more work done. Now that many of the reviews are in for the new truck, everyone seems to be impressed by the technology. But is it something you really need on your truck?
You, of course, will already have answered that question, but I think it’s worth exploring the topic a little deeper. You see, I like the technology. I don’t spend my days towing 30,000 lbs on a gooseneck trailer to a work site in the mountains. On the contrary, I sit at home in my underwear writing truck stories. From that perspective — not towing everyday — I find the technology quite useful.
My colleague Andrew over at Jalopnik agrees, saying, “The “925 lb-ft of torque” figure sounds badass but the driver-assistance options are the new Super Duty’s real value proposition.” And the Super Duty customers that were part of the “Insiders” program also agree, as I talked about earlier.
You can surely imagine how the technology would be useful. You might not need, or want, the trailer reverse guidance system for hooking up a trailer but having the extra cameras does make hooking up a gooseneck a one-person operation. The blind spot monitoring that covers the trailer is also useful, even if you do have your mirrors set up properly for towing. The technology just functions as an additional safety net in the event of human error — which does happen.
But one thing I found very interesting was riding around with the internet’s Mr. Truck. During the entire time we were towing the max payload of the F-450 dually, he did not once consult a camera. After some lousy direction-giving by myself, he had to execute some u-turns and didn’t once consult any of the 7 cameras the truck was equipped with.
So that leads me to two conclusions about the new technology in the Super Duty. If you are already a pro at towing you probably don’t need all the extra cameras and technology. You grew up without them, and don’t even think about using them on a truck that has them. In this case, I’d still recommend the blind spot monitoring and adaptive cruise control because it’s still useful, but I could see you skipping all the tech.
For the next-generation of truckers, the technology is more useful. At some point in your life you weren’t a seasoned pro and had to learn. For those in the learning process, the technology is beyond useful and really can make the job easier. Not only that, but many of the cameras and technology make the job site safer.
Ultimately, you make your own purchase decisions, but I can understand why you’d go either way with the new Super Duty. The benefit is that no matter which way you go, you still get the most-capable pickup truck you can buy.
What do you think? Let us know in the comments below or over in the forums!