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Ford's big year for trucks

Ford Super Duty F450 towing 29,000 lbs on a Load Trail goosneck
Ford Super Duty F450 towing 29,000 lbs on a Load Trail goosneck H. Kent Sundling

Ford 2015 trucks


It's a big year for Ford Trucks, last week I was in West Virginia driving new 2015 Super Duty's towing big trailers in the Appalachian mountains, this week I was in Detroit covering more news on the all new 2015 F150 that comes out closer to Thanksgiving. The new aluminum skin F150 also has a new engine, the 2.7L EcoBoost V-6. While shedding over 700 lbs on the F150, even with the same displacement engine as the Toyota midsize Tacoma, the F150 with the 2.7L V-6 is rated to tow 8500 lbs. Twin turbo 2.7L V6 EcoBoost with 325 horsepower and 375 lb. ft of torque, Auto Start-Stop shutting of the engine when you stop and starting again when you let off the brake and the first gas engine from Ford to use a compacted graphite iron cylinder block, as used in Ford's 6.7L Power Stroke diesel engine. Wow twin turbo's, engine block from the diesel and more power than Fords 3.5L V6 Ti- VCT engine! The other two engine options in the 2015 F150 are the famous 3.5L V6 EcoBoost the 5.0L V-8. That's three V6's and one V8 engine to choose from. Then when you move up to the Super Duty, you only get 2 choices, the 6.2L V8 gasser and the 6.7L V8 Power Stroke diesel.

Ford F450 best in class towing capacity H. Kent Sundling

My biggest gripe with Ford Super Duty Power Stroke since 2011, is the lack of an exhaust brake. No button to turn it on, and allot of folks thought the grade shifting was exhaust brake. We tested it on 7% grades with maximum capacity trailers and were very disappointed. Scroll ahead to this years 2015 diesel F250, F350 and F450 with a larger turbo and a dedicated "exhaust brake" button and it's night and day. It finally works and works well. New injectors and larger turbo give the Power Stroke more power with 40 more horsepower up to 440 now, and 60 more lb.-ft torque up to 860. This puts Ford above GM and Ram in the power category.

In 2013 HD 3500 4x2 regular cab Ram pulled ahead of everyone, towing almost 30,000 lbs, now the 2015 Ford F450 can tow 31,200 lbs in a crew cab 4x4. The reason we compare the Ram 3500 to Ford F450, is they both are 14,000 lb. GVW trucks rated the same.

Towing on the only straight piece of road in West Virginia on I-64, I drove a 2015 F450 towing a Load Trail gooseneck flatbed trailer loaded to 27,000 lbs and a Ram 3500 HD towing the same. GM HD 3500 wasn't in this part of the drive as they only are rated to tow 23,200 lbs.

On a 5 mile run up a 7% grade at 2765 ft above sea level, the Ford F450 won by about a minute. Then I did it again with another 2015 F450 towing a trailer weighing 2000 lbs more at 29,000 lbs and again I beat the 2014 Ram HD 3500 towing 27,000 lbs. The Ram was the only 2014 trucks as their 2015 isn't out yet, but no power train changes for 2015.

We also towed Montana 5th wheel RV trailers weighing 12,000 lbs. with GMC 3500's, Ram 3500's and Ford F350. All the trucks had 3.73 axle ratio's. Ford 6.7L Power Stroke, again the fastest time up the hill. Next where the F250, Ram 2500 and Chevrolet 2500 towing 8000 lb car trailers with the same results.

So it's Fords year for power, Ram had 2013-14, GM had 2011-2012, but the races are closer. Ford now has the edge with more towing, more power, finally a great exhaust brake and the F450 went back in time to 2010, with 10 lug 12 ply 19.5 tires again.

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