Ford Details its Super Duty “Ladder Test” Party Trick
Sixty Thousand Pounds of Truck, Suspended From a Super Duty Frame
Today, Ford gave us an inside look at what it took to hang 30 tons from the frame of a 2017 F-Series Super Duty in a stunt the company undertook when it revealed the new pickup. Keen to highlight the Super Duty’s fully boxed, high-strength steel frame, it hung something of a rope ladder comprised of other F-Series pickups from the all-new Super Duty’s backbone.
Using a heavy-construction crane, Ford suspended the frame of a 2017 Super Duty, then began hanging weight from the frame itself in the form of eight F-150 pickups and the F-750 Tonka concept. The total weight of the F-150s and Tonka, combined with the cables and rigging, hit 60,000 pounds.
As soon as the video hit YouTube, naysayers were quick to suggest the crane was bearing most of the load, not the Super Duty frame, but the behind-the-scenes video busts that myth. The Super Duty’s frame was suspended from the crane using brackets that simulated where the axles would attach, and a spreader bar above the frame kept the load the crane would experience evenly distributed.
But the F-150s and F-750 were suspended not from the crane’s attachment point, but from points on the Super Duty’s frame on either side of the axle. That meant that the frame bore the full load of the nine massive trucks, giving credibility to Ford’s high-strength steel boasting.
Now, obviously, there might have been more damage to the frame if the trucks were suspended from a single point, perhaps in the center of the setup. But that doesn’t discount the impressive feat of the frame carrying nearly four times the load it’s intended to endure (going off a Class 4 truck’s GVWR of 16,000 pounds).
The 2017 Super Duty will hit dealers later this year. Plan on seeing plenty of Ford promotional materials as the company drums up interest in its big, aluminum-bodied pickup.