Ford's Super Duty trucks were all redesigned for 2008, but just three years later the Blue Oval went back to the drawing board - releasing an all-new truck with new powertrains and styling cues. Though their model names suggest a close relationship with the smaller F-150 pickup, the F-250, F-350 and F-450 Super Duty trucks actually boast a unique, stronger chassis that allows for their Herculean payload and towing capabilities.
The mid-level position in the Super Duty lineup is held by the F-350.
Ford recently dropped the somewhat underpowered 5.4-liter V8 from the Super Duty line, with the new base engine being a 6.2-liter SOHC gas engine. This standard engine brings 385 horsepower and 405 lb-ft of torque to the F-250 - an improvement of 85 horsepower and 40 lb-ft of torque.
The optional engine is a "Scorpion" 6.7-liter turbocharged diesel V8. This range-topping engine produces 400 horsepower and 800 lb-ft of earth-moving torque - an improvement of 50 horsepower and 150 lb-ft of torque compared to the diesel engine it replaces.
Both engines shift through a six-speed automatic transmission. For the diesel model, Ford offers a unique line drive Power Take Off (PTO) feature. PTO allows for an output gear that is linked through the torque converter to the engine crankshaft. this will allow the transmission to power substantial auxiliary equipment such as snowplows, aerial lifts, tow truck lifts, cement mixers and dump truck beds.
The F-350 has a payload capacity of 4930 lbs. When properly equipped, conventional towing capacity checks in at 14,000 lbs, while adding a fifth wheel increases that figure to 16,700 lbs.
Switching to the F-350 dual-rear wheel setup will boost those figures across the board. Max payload jumps to 6,520 lbs, while standard and Fifth-wheel towing jumps to 18,500 and 22,300 lbs, respectively.
The standard cab has a seating capacity of three occupants abreast, and there is the SuperCab and Crew Cab as options, both of which offer five or six seats, depending on if the front bench seat is ordered. The latter obviously does it in more comfort, and features power windows that go all the way down into the door. Buyers also get a choice of 6.75- or 8-foot long boxes on all but the Regular Cab, which only gets the long box.
If one options up to the dualie model, they can only get it with an 8-foot box. Four wheel drive is optional across the range.
The latest model year marks the addition of Ford's SYNC connectivity system as a standard feature, which allows Super Duty drivers to connect compatible mobile phones and media players via Bluetooth or USB to make calls and play back music using voice control. Also new is the MyFord Touch connectivity and entertainment system, an optional feature that works through an eight-inch infotainment screen. Ford says that it modified the MyFord Touch setup to better accommodate the needs of pickup users. - changes include more redundant buttons for audio and climate controls that can be used with work gloves on.
The F-350 is available with Single Rear Wheels only: to get a dually, you need to move up to the F-350. Five trim levels exist: the XL, XLT, Lariat, King Ranch - and the all-new Platinum.
New Platinum Trim Level
For the latest model year, Ford has added a luxurious new Platinum trim level (available only on Crew Cab models) that sits atop the F-350 range.
There is be no mistaking a Platinum Super Duty for a lesser F-Series thanks to copious amounts of chrome adorning the door handles, mirror caps, running boards, exhaust tip and tow hook. Even more prominent are the changes to the Super Duty's semi-like grille, which include perforated mesh accents and a satin chrome surround. Unique 20-inch wheels complete the bold exterior treatment.
The cabin benefits from generous amounts of wood grain trim, premium leather seating and a long list of standard kit highlighted by a navigation system, rearview camera and heated steering wheel. The Platinum also gets a standard My Ford Touch system.
Though brand loyal buyers of heavy-duty, full-size pickups seldom cross-shop their preferred vehicle with its competitors, those looking at the F-350 can nonetheless compare the big truck with the Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD/GMC Sierra 3500HD twins and the Ram 3500.