After having fallen behind GM's brawniest pickup trucks for bragging rights in the critical realm of trailer towing capability, Ford has moved to regain primacy by making a number of functional upgrades to its best-selling F-250/F-350/F-450 Super Duty lineup. Higher-strength steel in a rear crossmember and a stouter hitch structure will now allow trucks fitted with the 6.7-liter Power Stroke V8 turbodiesel engine to tow an additional 1,500 pounds -- a nine-percent bump over the ratings they carried when introduced in April 2010.
From here on, the F-250/F-350 Super Duty single-rear-wheel pickups will be able to pull a 14,500-pound trailer while the F-350/F-450 "duallies" can pull a 17,500-pound load. Depending on configuration, those figures put them 500-1,000 pounds up on their Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra competitors. The F-350 SD 4x2 dually also saw its maximum payload rise to a class-leading 7,070 pounds and fifth-wheel tow capability move to an equally unequalled 22,600 pounds. Complementing the physical changes to these new Super Duty pickups is a software tweak to the Power Stroke's engine computer. While output remains at 400 horsepower and 800 lb-ft of torque, new electronic control mapping reportedly makes towing those megaloads a bit less taxing.