Super Duty Takes Back Max Towing Lead

Super Duty F-350 2013 II

In the never-ending pickup battle for Max Towing Supremacy, the Ford Super Duty reclaims the lead from GM after a quick announcement at the 2012 Texas Auto Writers Association's Truck Rodeo. (To see the full press release, click here.)

Ford has announced that the 2013 Super Duty F-350 dualie will have an increased maximum conventional towing capacity, now rated at 18,500 pounds, up from 17,000 pounds. Also, the same package will have a slightly larger maximum payload capacity of 7,260 pounds, up 100 pounds from the previous maximum payload number. 

Both the Super Duty's maximum payload and maximum conventional towing numbers are best-in-class ratings for the heavy-duty truck segment, for now. Astute readers will recall, it was just before our popular Heavy-Duty Hurt Locker multistate, multitruck max-tow test that GMC announced it was upping its maximum conventional towing number to lead the one-ton class. (we also included a good max-towing time line as well.)

We predicted then that it wouldn't take long before either Ford or Ram Truck responded. Clearly, this took longer than expected. The new 2013 Ram HD, which recently debuted at the 2012 State Fair of Texas, has yet to release its exact max towing or payload numbers for the significantly upgraded trucks; they'll do that at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January.

Ford fans are sure to point out that the F-450 Super Duty leads all personal-use pickups with a best-in-class fifth-wheel rated maximum towing number of 24,500 pounds. Of course, GM no longer has a Class IV or Class V medium-duty truck, and Ram Truck does not offer a personal-use Ram HD 4500 or 5500 model.

The obvious question here is whether or not the increased ratings were achieved with any chassis or mechanical changes, and the short answer is no. The springs, shocks and powertrain all remain exactly the same; however, the brakes have been improved by offering larger rotors and brake pads to all Super Duty pickups. (It should go without saying these are non-J2807 factory numbers because Ford has already said it won't use those SAE procedures for calculating maximum towing numbers until an all-new model of Super Duty comes out.)

Engineers increased the brake-rotor swept area by 16.4 percent in front and 14.5 percent in rear for maximum braking to help dissipate heat, especially on long downhill grades. Additionally, Ford engineers retuned the booster to improve the brake feel and included a larger parking brake for F-250 and F-350 models. 

“We’ve really improved brake feel,” said Michael Watkins, lead Super Duty brake system engineer. “There’s refined modulation in the pedal – you really feel the stopping power. With a full load of cargo, drivers will notice strong, confidence-inspiring brakes.”

Exact GVW and payload numbers for specific models are yet to come, but we'll report that info as soon as we get our hands on it.  

Super Duty F-350 SRW 2013 II

 

Comments

I would still buy RAM, if I am on the market for HD.
I am not sorry Ford.

BTW: That pulley of cables is empty in the picture.

More useless one upmanship.
Who really cares?
What next?
Rebadged class 8 commercial tractor units?
Why not?
1 obscure configuration with 1 obscure set of options that no-one buys just to gain bragging rights.
Where does it end?

When PUTC gets trucks like this for various testing and shoot outs, is it possible for you guys to try to simulate at least aspects of the J2807 standard? I know it is fairly involved, but the dam climb and such are the main pieces that everyone likes to talk about. It would be nice if someone would hold the automakers to task. If there is a big discrepancy between their published numbers and your test numbers maybe you could shame them into actually following the SAE standard.

I call bull pucky! Use the new SAE rating format and use THAT as marketing. The "mine is bigger than yours" is why we have unefficient over/supersized glorified grocery getters for XX% of the truck market. I even see 25X series being driven as daily drivers by soccer "parents" who do not even go on the occational trip to the hardware store as that may chip paint, nails ... etc.

Congrats ford. This will be one of the shortest held class leading claims ever. I have a feeling the 2013 Ram is going to be challenging the 450.

An all new Super Duty? When will that happen? I am still waiting for an all new Ranger..............

GREAT JOB FORD!

LIKE ALWAYS,BEST OF THE BEST!

Until all the manufacturers start following the J2807 procedure, I'm taking these numbers with a grain of salt. As it is, they can basically claim anything they want and no one could say otherwise.

What is with Ford trying to one up everybody without making any major changes from the previous year? I have to say I am surprised the Powerstroke didnt go up to 900lb ft without any changes for cooling or anything else.

I guess this is what they are trying to be.

http://imageocd.com/images/cars/international-pickup-pictures-and-wallpapers/international-pickup-pictures.jpg

And yet, try to find one with an 8 ft bed.

The brakes on the SD's were the weakest link for the truck. It sounds like they made some pretty nice improvements to the brakes, so it will be interesting to read the first tests to compare. If they improved their weakest point, then I can see why they would bump their max ratings.
The max numbers are all conservative, being more about risk and liability than physical capabilities. Look at the euro compact trucks that are rated at higher payload there than our HD trucks here. They are willing to gear down, take it easy, and carry/tow much heavier loads than we do because we all want to drag race for some reason.

only gullibies like "built ford cough".... i meant "tough" buys into this stuff...

It seems as Chevy has gave up on trying to keep with a big boys (ford and ram) Ram still hasn't released there max towing so a Cummins with 850 torque it will be past 25,000 easy, and crazy how ford did no upgrades and bounced there towing up again?

Zviera, what does you picking a Ram HD if you were in the market have anything to do with this article? We all know you don't like Ford and most of us don't care.

I wonder if Ford or any of the manufacturers, design and OVERbuild these trucks to future proof them alittle when the competition heats up??!!?? I am going to assume that Ford did that in this case just to maintain top dog at least on paper.

I will have to agree with paul810 that I would take this with a grain of salt since Ford won't use the new standard till the new truck comes out.. Why? Would the current SD really not be that high or top dog????!!!!

@DODGEGUY

Did you read the article? If Ford improved the brakes (which was the let down for the Ford's in all the recent tests) then how did they make no upgrades? As for the Ram having 25k towing, good luck.

I hope they fixed the engine brake issue by now? Coming down from Eisenhower tunnel with all that weight.......

This isn't fair. Ford should not be allowed to sandbag numbers like this. When they come out with a design they should be only allowed to publish the full maximum limits and not hold back some in case they need to boost them up later. It's simply unfair to compete against a company that operates this way.

Best in class towing, payload, brakes and fuel economy. All new Platinum. Good job Ford!

All the numbers for all the brands are suspect until everyone uses J2807.

While I'm a huge fan of Ford trucks, I gotta say this magical 500 lbs increase is a bit disconcerting. Either Ford wasn't giving us the REAL tow rating last year (which is unlikely), or some marketing person decided to just increase the limit 500 lbs because they didn't want to re-print brochures.

Either way, this is the kind of thing that undermines consumer confidence.

Besides, pretty sure that 18k is enough for most people...

@Ford850 - Actually, Superduty had the best brakes out there. It was their exhaust brake that led to their loss in the HD shootout.

That's only 500lbs more than gm conventional towing numbers. I think gm still has the max 5th wheel towing at 23,000lbs. I don't see the f350 surpassing that because the 450 only tows 24,500lbs

Good job Ford its time to kick some Ram A%% in 2013!!!!!

In the most recent hurt locker test up the hyw to the tunnel, it was not only the engine brake that made the Ford loose! the Chevy/GMC was at the top cooling off on the side of the road by the time the Ford made it to the top! and the Ram well they did not even include it! and what does that tell you? With the 3's that Ford gives us the Ford should have walked away with the test, but it was left in the Chevy's dust. and on the way down, the only dust was the brake dust on the Fords wheels! Oh and by the way I have found out by the Ford dealer, that I have to pay for the Ecco-Boost engines repair! I blew a head gasket while carrying a 1800lbs load of 3/4" blue stone, the truck has been at the dealers for 3 weeks now! and on top of that I am told because I put a C.A.I. on the truck from K&N they wont honor the warranty! I am fighting this !

sorry it should have been the #'s Ford give us!

Little bit off topic, but does anyone know if there is a global standard beeing used similar to SAE J2807 lets say in Australia, Europe, Asia or globally? All those little ute's tested couple of weeks ago by PUTC have higher payload than our halftons and similar or very close towing rating. Just wondering if they are playing the same marketing bs as Ford and others here (no offence, its true especially in the past when they did not even bother changing anything on the truck itself) or if they follow some sort of standard. If so it would be nice to compare it to J2807.

Well of course ford had to do this. After the torture test in which pickuptrucks.com stated coming down the mountain you could smell the ford brakes burning they had to do something. Even pickuptrucks.com who are without a doubt ford lovers noted the brake issue with ford trucks.

The Super Duty is not built to do what the GM HDs can do. Period. What Ford and Dodge understand, and what GM obviously doesn't, is that truck products need to be constantly refreshed and options must be plentiful. Ram will likely pass Chevy in the next two years for number two. Perhaps the GM boys actually do get it. I suspect that when our government took control, they forced the majority of budget money to go to small cars, the silly Volt and green technologies. Unfortunately, they ignored their number one selling platform. That's the problem with government intervention when it comes to business decisions. I'm fine with reasonable regulation, but the government "suggesting" business course is a recipe for disaster. Thus, GM has an incredibly capable vehicle that's painfully boring.

This is just another case of Ford inflating their numbers to look good for all of their chest pounding Kool Aid drinking GIRLY GIRL fans.

The Ford is way behind in towing. The Tundra just pulled over 300,000 lbs! No need for 3/4 or 1 ton trucks. Tundra does it all LOL.

Actually the F-450 civilian 'medium-duty' is gone and is now 'all-badge'. It's now just an F-350 with F-450 emblems and what was an F-350 with the Tow Boss Package.

You'll have to start with a commercial F-450/550 cab-n-chassis and add a bed or buy the conversion.

To many 'truckers' complained about the '08 to '10 F-450 pickup's 75 mph governor (because of the commercial tire's speed-rating), poor fuel economy and buckboard ride. They had no business in a 'true' medium duty just because it had a pickup bed.

Ford had to withdraw the 'real' F-450 pickup because of complaint and dealers that failed warn buyers.

I have heard that the 2012 Super Duty had a hard time pulling loads up a hill, now they are increasing the tow rating with out any modifications other than brakes! Typical Ford, someone kicks their ass, then they half ass their truck to look better on paper.

I'll bet a 2wd dually with 4.88 gears is the rig that those numbers are achieved on....what a joke. This stuff is ridiculous. Does anybody really buy a truck because it has 100lbs more tow capacity than the other guy?

Ford fans for yours and everyone else's safety be aware of electrical fires. Class action law suite.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iuA442fKjcA

@Dave, Best brakes but not best exhaust brake!

GUTS
GLORY
BEST EXHAUST BRAKE IN THE BUSINESS
RAM!!!

Ford 850 stole the words out of my mouth. The brakes are one of the weakest points of the ford, and certainly should have an effect on max towing figures. The weakest link is definitely not the frame, suspension, engine, or transmission. That said I never really pay attention to the actual numbers because they can make them whatever they want. Having towed large loads with the big three trucks the super duty definitely seems to be most in control to me. I am amazed how big a load I can have that barely seems like it is there. I haven't towed down steep grades with all of the recent trucks though. The ford may not have the fastest 0 to 60 time towing a load, but it's more than adequate and very comparable to the chevy and dodge under normal conditions. Chevy was impressive during the hurt locker test but that was as extreme as you are ever going to get and the Ford did very well other than braking. I don't know where cameron gets off saying the Ford wasn't built to do what the chevy can do. And when you consider the overall package Ford easily has the highest quality truck in my opinion. I am regretting my half ton dodge purchase three years ago and I won't make the same mistake when I upgrade my 3/4 ton truck in the next few years. I haven't been the slightest bit tempted to purchase a chevy in the last 5 years. One thing is for sure though, all of these trucks are more than adequate for 99 percent of truck buyers.

FEARLESS
INDESTRUCTABLE
SUPERIOR RELIABILITY
OUT TOWS ANY BRAND BY TOWING THE SHUTTLE
TUNDRA

I say, TEST THEM AT MAX LOAD! See how they actually do! Stopping, accelerating, no need for an autocross, but drive them down a windy road.

Heck, run them in the hottest envirement you can find and see if they puke! See what the mileage is while doing it, for comparison.

This one upmanship is crazy!

Put the stopwatch down. In the real world the Ford tows like a dream and is quieter than the whiney and loud Chevy.

Gas trucks don't have exhaust brakes. I don't need a diesel. The Hemi doesn't have an exhaust brake either.

How can it take the lead when playing under different rules?

These... toys have replaced the purpose-built medium-duty trucks that used to be much larger and much more capable in every environment. These things aren't meant to be used by everyday consumers, but rather by construction crews of all types for hauling oversized and overweight loads. Because a pickup's bed is so small (and getting smaller, it seems) they can no longer haul four or five cable spools ON the truck, they have to use a trailer instead. They can no longer haul 10' or 15' corrugated pipe ON the truck, they have to use a trailer instead, which only adds cost and wear to a too-light frame.

The only tasks where these trucks offer an advantage are in the agricultural industries where you have seasonal loads of hay or animals (or other materials) and over-the-road hauling where they offer better gas mileage than conventional tractors for those smaller, 20' trailer or half-load runs still have the conventional tractor getting 5- to 7-mpg with now visibly more expensive fuel. With limited exceptions, diesel costs about 50 cents more per gallon than gasoline in the US, where once it ran about half the price of gas.

So I end up having to ask, Who cares that the thing has the highest towing, carrying capacity? Who is really going to use to it enough to garner any real economy out of purchasing one? Very few of us, I promise you.

Flashback:
The new Power Stroke certainly packs a wallop, but at the track, the Super Duty ran a truck length or two behind the GMC in just about every speed contest. Yet away from the stopwatch, the two feel more evenly matched than the numbers suggest. The Ford's throttle response is razor sharp and the torque is nearly instant on. Better still, the Ford's diesel was the quietest of the three at full throttle, at idle or on the highway. Trailer in tow, we evaluated each pickup on a 15 percent hill gradient test. The Ford maintained a higher speed at the crest of that hill than any truck here. And on our towing fuel-economy loop, the Ford was thriftiest too.

- Popular Mechanics

Flashback to Ward's test:

"With the trailer attached, the Duramax feels (and sounds) like it needs to work harder than the Power Stroke to do the same job. Under heavy acceleration, the Duramax sounds downright shrill.

In one back-to-back test, the Duramax needs about 2,000 rpm to tow the trailer up a moderate grade. The Power Stroke in the Super Duty conquers the same grade at the same speed at about 1,300 rpm. The Ford engine feels like it is barely working at all."

A lighter screaming truck doesn't mean the others are having trouble towing. It appears the Silverado is the one who has trouble as it can't tow without loud whining.

Flashback to Ward's test:

"With the trailer attached, the Duramax feels (and sounds) like it needs to work harder than the Power Stroke to do the same job. Under heavy acceleration, the Duramax sounds downright shrill.

In one back-to-back test, the Duramax needs about 2,000 rpm to tow the trailer up a moderate grade. The Power Stroke in the Super Duty conquers the same grade at the same speed at about 1,300 rpm. The Ford engine feels like it is barely working at all."

A lighter screaming truck doesn't mean the others are having trouble towing. It appears the Silverado is the one who has trouble as it can't tow without high-pitched screeching.

Put the stopwatch down. In the real world the Ford tows like a dream and is quieter than the whiney and loud Chevy.

Gas trucks don't have exhaust brakes. I don't need a diesel. The Hemi doesn't have an exhaust brake either.

Posted by: Dave | Oct 19, 2012 11:34:32 AM

The 6.7 POWERCHOKE sounds like a gas engine. No wonder it is quieter that a Duramax or Cummins powered truck. I guess Ford needed to quiet down the new engine for its GIRLY GIRL FAN BASE!!

Put the stopwatch down. In the real world the Ford tows like a dream and is quieter than the whiney and loud Chevy.

Gas trucks don't have exhaust brakes. I don't need a diesel. The Hemi doesn't have an exhaust brake either.

Posted by: Dave | Oct 19, 2012 11:34:32 AM

The 6.7 POWERCHOKE sounds like a gas engine. No wonder it is quieter that a Duramax or Cummins powered truck. I guess Ford needed to quiet down the new engine for its GIRLY GIRL FAN BASE!!

Well, Bob, it depends on what you want.

If you want an all new quieter engine that tows like a dream, go with the Ford.

If you want an old stretched out rubberband that tows well but sounds like Screech from Saved By The Bell, go with the GM.

"It should go without saying these are non-J2807 factory numbers because Ford has already said it won't use those SAE procedures for calculating maximum towing numbers until an all-new model of Super Duty comes out."

I bet the number will stay the same when they introduce the new SD with J2807 standards. The truck will be built stronger and the other manufacturers will be left with their pants down, again.

The same weak frame and Ford increases their ratings. They will post anything even without proof that they are true ratings. The same with their horsepower and torque ratings being higher but getting blown away in pull off. Ford you are a true joke for a truck company!



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