Dallas, Texas – Sitting in the stands at the Texas State Fair, you know where the term “redneck” comes from. Everybody around me had one, and so did I after a half-hour of 90-degree Lone Star midday sun, waiting for the new 2017 Ford Super Duty F-250/350/450 to appear.
Eventually it did in spectacular fashion, but not before various Ford executives, along with enthusiastic owners and dealers were introduced and had their say, including one gentleman named Mr. Crappie and a couple of cable TV celebrities responsible for dangling a half-dozen or more Super Duties from a Super Duty chassis tethered to a crane.
Quite an impressive stunt, although I couldn’t help thinking that was one heck of a crane!
But the Texas State Fair annually welcomes three million visitors, many of whom presumably arrive in a pickup. It is, therefore, an obvious and favourite venue for a Ford truck unveiling. People love their trucks there, talk about them affectionately and use them for a wide range of work and recreational activities. The Super Duty, especially, is built for the extremes found in places like Texas… and Canada for that matter.
Introduced in 1997, the Ford Super Duty has emerged as the industry leader for commercial and fleet applications, and a vehicle of choice for those who require superior towing and payload capacity. Although the Super Duty has evolved over the years, the 2017 model represents an all-new generation featuring “more of everything,” according to Ford executives. Keeping in mind that 90 percent of Super Duty owners tow and 70 percent tow frequently, many of the new features are designed make the towing experience easier and safer.
The F-Series Super Duty consists of pickup truck and chassis cab segments. Pickup trucks are ordered fully built from the factory, but chassis cabs comprise the rolling chassis and are modified with bodies and equipment for specific applications like EMT trucks, heavy-duty tow trucks and telecommunications installation vehicles.
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For 2017, the F-250, F-350 and F-450 pickups are visually identical (although grille treatments and exterior may vary by trim). The difference between the vehicle designations resides in their capability to tow and haul.
They are big vehicles, the top of the cab a good 2.1 metres (about seven feet) from the ground. Approaching a Super Duty, big men meet their match; smaller folk clamber. The new Super Duty certainly has a stature commensurate with its prodigious capabilities. Not too sinister, though; more a friendly giant.