2017 Ford F-Series Super Duty Chassis Cab
Ford adds more capability and power to these work-ready trucksby Mark McNabb, on
The2017 Ford Super Duty’s work-ready, vocational version recently debuted at the 2016 Work Truck Show in Indianapolis. The new Super Duty Chassis Cab sits atop the standard Super Duty truck line, acting as the base for aftermarket add-ons like dump beds, utility beds, wrecker service beds. The Chassis Cab option is offered on F-350 through F-550 platforms.
Ford has improved the Super Duty Chassis Cab to have best-in-class capabilities that outmatch even the mighty Ram 5500 HD. The front axle, for instance, now has a maximum gross axle weight rating of 7,500 pounds. That’s 250 pounds more than the nearest competitor. The additional weight capacity allows the Super Duty to carry heavier loads up front, like snowplows, utility buckets, and ambulance bodies.
What’s more, the trucks overall weight rating, called the gross combined weight rating, is now at 40,000 pounds. This includes the weight of the truck, its cargo and passengers, and trailer weight. Ford is quick to point out that GCWR of 40,000 pounds is half of that of an 18-wheeler. These are indeed big numbers.
The Super Duty Chassis Cab carries nearly all the updates and improvements as the standard F-250, F-350, and F-450 Super Duty pickups available to general consumers. That includes the all-aluminum body structure with a new appearance and a cabin that mimics the F-150’s interior. There are, however, a number of differences that make the Chassis Cab unique.
Obviously, the lack of a conventional cargo bed is the most noticeable. Second, the Chassis Cab’s frame is different. While it is formed from high-strength steel, only the front portion is fully boxed. The rear frame section past the cab is a C-channel, allowing for easy up-fits of aftermarket bed systems. Still, the fame is said to be eight times more ridged than before.
Perhaps the biggest difference, however, is the power ratings from the 6.7-liter Power Stroke. The turbodiesel V-8 is de-tuned to 330 horsepower and 750 pound-feet of torque. While this is a drastic drop from the conventional Super Duty’s 440 horsepower and 860 pound-feet, it does allow for a longer service life. Ford claims the engine can go 500,000 miles before its first major rebuild. That’s fantastic news for fleet operators. Despite the de-tune, the commercial-grade Power Stroke still gets a bump in power over the previous Super Duty Chassis Cab. The version in the 2017 Super Duty has 30 horsepower and 90 pound-feet of torque more than in the 2016 model year.
All these improvements help make the Ford Super Duty Chassis Cab a more competitive truck in the commercial sector as business owners look to smartly invest in worthwhile equipment.
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Why it matters
The Ford Super Duty Chassis Cab is a major part of Ford’s F-Series sales. Companies, government bodies, and even the military use chassis cab trucks as the basis for their work vehicles. With empty frame rails past the cab, the possibilities are nearly limitless as to what aftermarket up-fit companies can attach – from a roll-back wrecker to a 30-passenger party bus with everything in between.
The addition of heavier-duty axles and an available 40,000-pound GCWR allows these aftermarket up-fitters to offer larger options or fleet managers to fit trucks with more equipment. Imagine an ambulance that’s now able to carry more life-saving equipment that would have otherwise overloaded the truck.
Work trucks might not be the most glamorous vehicles on the road, but they certainly serve a major role in society. It’s nice to see advancement in this category, despite it being outside most consumers’ knowledge.