2017 Ford Super Duty Gets Heavy-Duty Testing Sled
New Truck’s Capabilities Surpass Previous Testing Equipment
The capabilities of HD trucks have continued to increase over the last several years to the point where some variations actually require a commercial license in some states to operate near their rated capabilities. Testing is especially critical on these trucks, as towing and hauling capability is the name of the game in the segment. Although Davis Dam is a commonly used test venue and is in fact mentioned by name in the new SAE J2807 tow test protocol, testing at the site is not always convenient or available. However, research and development is a 24-hour endeavor. To help simulate steep uphill climbs, Ford has developed dynamic brake sleds that use electric resistance to simulate driving up aggressive grades.
The brake sled used on former Super Duty models had a maximum drawbar pull -- the measurement of resistance-- of 2,000 pounds. The newly developed brake sled has a maximum drawbar pull capacity of 5,620 pounds, a 181 percent increase over its predecessor. The sled can simulate up to a 30 percent grade, compared to the common 7 percent test. Ford claims the new truck is “so powerful” that the test equipment used on previous generations of the Super Duty did not stress test the truck sufficiently. The current 6.7L Power Stroke turbodiesel V-8 is rated at 440 hp and 860 lb-ft. Official power ratings for the 2017 Super Duty have not yet been announced, but some believe it could be the first truck to come from the factory with a 1,000 lb-ft torque rating. The Ram 3500 with the 6.7L Cummins I-6 engine has a maximum torque rating of 900 lb-ft.