Summer was made for blockbusters: big jobs tackled by game-changing trucks. When faced with seemingly insurmountable vocational tasks, Ford Trucks stacked the deck in its favor with the new 2017 F-Series Super Duty, which is poised to tackle even more difficult tasks than its namesake implies, thanks to a fully boxed frame comprised of more than 95% high-strength steel that is as much as 24 times stiffer than the previous generation. This enables the most towing and hauling capacity ever delivered by Super Duty.
“We look at vocations with a specific goal—to understand the customers and how their trucks impact every part of their day,” said Kevin Koester, Ford’s brand manager of the Super Duty fleet and medium truck. “With the 2017 Super Duty, we will continue to improve our service to these vocations, but we also maintain an eye on new and burgeoning industries that may be under-served.”
The Super Duty offers a 7,500-lb. front gross axle weight rating that lets it carry even larger, heavier upfits—everything from utility and municipality outfits to construction and forestry combinations. The upgraded frame, body and component strengthens the Super Duty, Koester explained, saving as much as 350 lbs. from the weight of the truck itself, which translates into increased towing and payload capacity.
“Ford’s high-strength, military-grade, aluminum alloy is a great material for producing strong, durable work trucks,” Koester said, “We are using aluminum alloys throughout the new Super Duty cab, to make it lighter, stronger and more resistant to dents and dings. It is also not subject to red rust corrosion like steel.”
Of course, towing is the Super Duty’s bread and butter, and the 2017 model is available with new technology that aims to inspire confidence when the truck is in reverse. As many as seven cameras help drivers see more angles and monitor conditions surrounding the truck.
“Trailer reverse guidance provides visual cues and tips to help ease backing up a trailer,” Koester explained. “A customer-placed trailer camera can be attached the back of a trailer to improve visibility backing up. Also, Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) with trailer tow is optimized for Super Duty to include the length of the trailer; BLIS uses radar sensors in the tail lamps to monitor areas that may not be visible to the driver.”
Additionally, the in-cab trailer tire pressure monitoring system keeps an eye on the tires when stopped or on the highway. Integration of technology into vocational vehicles continues to be an important factor for fleets.
“Technology that improves driver visibility helps reduce the likelihood of damage to the truck and its equipment,” Koester added. “Fleet managers will also appreciate that the technology is not only offered in high trim levels. There are six cameras available on the base XL pickup truck. Ford has put significant effort into offering technologically advanced features on the trucks that fleet managers want.”
That mantra extends to the Ford Telematics option, which is powered by Telogis; it provides real-time feedback on how a truck is being utilized. Detailed information—including jack-rabbit starts, hard braking, and high-idle time with no PTO utilization—can help fleet managers coach drivers to help improve the efficiency and durability of their vehicles.