TROIS-RIVIÈRES, QUÉBEC – Ford has captured, and maintains, more than 40% of the HD pickup market in Canada. It also has the best-selling lineup of commercial vehicles in the country.
At the heart of that success is the F-Series Super Duty, which has been extensively updated for 2023.
If you tow or carry big loads, the engineering and technical teams at Ford have come up with a series of slick features that make the all-new Super Duty the truck for you.
More than 90% of Super Duty customers use their truck to tow.
Using the experience of a vast customer base, Ford has developed a number of innovative features to make the towing experience easier, from hook-up and loading, to driving and finding the safest route. They may be standard or available depending on trim level and option package.
ONBOARD SCALES – No more guessing how much weight you are putting in the bed of your truck.
On top trim levels, a payload indicator is built into the Smart tailgate that measures the weight of the load in the bed, up to the equivalent of 100 eighty-pound bags of cement. That number is displayed in the cab on the infotainment screen or on your smartphone through the FordPass app.
On Limited trim levels, a payload indicator is built into the taillights. Four lights show in sequence as you approach the payload limit.
SMART HITCH – Another slick weight-related feature is the ability to measure and adjust the tongue weight of the trailer.
Among the most common problems with towing, and causes of incidents, is incorrect tongue weight.
The Smart Hitch allows the driver to monitor the weight on the hitch on the info screen, or through unique lights built into the Smart taillights or on your smartphone through an app. The load can be adjusted by moving the weight of or in the trailer fore/aft.
Too far forward, with too much weight on the hitch? A light at the top blinks. Too far back? The bottom light blinks,. No blinks? The trailer is properly balanced.
REAR PARK AID SENSORS
Speaking of backing up to a loading dock… Sensors provide both visual and audible warnings, as you approach an object, even with the tailgate down.
TAILGATE DOWN CAMERA
With the tailgate in the lowered position, the view on the infotainment screen automatically changes.
Cameras and sensors built into the top of the tailgate replace those used to show the view with the tailgate in the raised position. Backing up to a loading dock, or to align the hitch on a gooseneck or fifth wheel trailer just got a whole lot easier!
BLIS WITH TRAILER COVERAGE
Sensors warn of another vehicle in the blind spot of the truck or trailer.
PRO TRAILER HITCH ASSIST
A button on the instrument panel, using information from a rear camera and radars units on the rear quarters, automatically aligns the conventional hitch ball to the trailer tongue receiver. The system can locate your trailer, and control the speed, brakes and steering, to place the ball directly beneath the receiver.
PRO TRAILER BACKUP ASSIST – Stressed about backing a trailer into a spot?
Take your hands off the steering wheel and use the dash-mounted control.
Press the button in the centre and turn the surrounding control knob clockwise or counter-clockwise in the direction you want the trailer to go. The system will operate the steering as you back up.
TRAIL CONTROL – Think of this as offroad cruise control.
Part of the Tremor package, it controls throttle and brakes to maintain a set speed.
TRAIL TURN ASSIST
Also part of the Tremor package, it applies the brakes on the inside rear wheel to cut the turn radius to 180 degrees, allowing the truck to make a very tight turn at low speed offroad. I found this to be very violent in use, but certainly effective!
Takes into consideration the size and weight of the trailer, customizing the route to avoid issues with tight turns, and low bridges.
360 DEGREE CAMERA SYSTEM
Makes it much easier to maneuvering in tight spaces. The series of cameras provides a birds-eye view of the truck, cargo box and trailer, eliminating blind spots.
TRAILER THEFT SECURITY
Sends an alert to your smart phone or other mobile device if your trailer is unexpectedly unhooked while the truck is locked.
HEAD UP DISPLAY
Multi-purpose display changes based on the drive mode.
PRO POWER ONBOARD
Provides up to 2.0 kilowatts of exportable power on the jobsite, or at the campground from outlets in the cab or cargo box.
An embedded 5G modem provides WiFi access for as many as 10 devices. The high speed connectivity allows the truck to receive over-the-air software updates and a suite of business-related software and services.
Carrying or towing big numbers and doing so reliably over high mileage requires a complete engineering package from wheels, tires and brakes, to suspension and cooling systems able to accommodate not only the load, but the conditions.
But the big factor is power.
Watching the competition in the HD pickup class try to one-up each other can be more entertaining than almost any form of sports competition.
Whether power, payload or towing, the top dog changes almost monthly. As this was being written, the F-Series Super Duty wears the crown in each of these areas.
Depending on equipment and trim levels, it can use a class-leading 500 horsepower and 1,200 ft. lbs of torque to carry up to 8,000 lbs, and tow up to 40,000 lbs.
- 6.8-litre gas V8, 405-horsepower, 445 lb. ft. of torque
- 7.3-litre gas V8, 430-horsepower, 485 lb. ft. of torque
- 6.7-litre Power Stroke V8 diesel, 475-horsepower, 1,050 lb. ft. of torque
- New high output 6.7-litre Power Stroke diesel, with upgraded turbocharger – 500 hp, 1,200 lb.ft. of torque
Regardless of which engine, power is delivered through a 10-speed automatic transmission.
Ford’s Super Duty line of workhorse pickups benefits from a series of updates for 2023. Ford has added a raft of features that the vast majority of owners who will use it for towing will certainly appreciate.