Whether heading to a demanding job site or a relaxing day at the lake, 2011 Ford F-Series Super Duty customers can take advantage of segment-first technologies and conveniences to tow like a pro.
With vacation season approaching, more Super Duty customers will start towing boats, horse trailers and campers, all of which are among the top items towed by F-250 and F-350 customers. The ability to tow a camper, fifth-wheel, RV or bigger camper also rates highest among both conventional and fifth-wheel towers in terms of reasons for wanting maximum towing capacity.
The 2011 Super Duty delivers not only with best-in-class capability, but also with more confidence-enhancing towing features, helping Super Duty customers tow a wide variety of loads – for work or for fun – with greater peace of mind.
“The 2011 Ford F-Series Super Duty has class-leading capability, but the key is putting it to work in a way that is easy and seamless for the customer,” said Doug Scott, Truck Group marketing manager. “About 95 percent of our Super Duty customers tow. The wide array of standard and available technology in the 2011 Super Duty can help customers tow with more confidence.”
Nearly 72 percent of Super Duty customers consider towing capability as “extremely important.” The ability of the 2011 Ford Super Duty to tow maximum loads for work and recreation allows customers to work the truck hard during the week and on the weekend.
“The towing customer is the Super Duty customer,” said Scott. “That’s why it’s so important to provide the 2011 Super Duty customer not only the most capability, but also the right technology to tow more confidently.”
Trailer Sway Control added for 2011
Leading these new technologies is Trailer Sway Control, which uses Ford’s AdvanceTrac® with RSC (Roll Stability Control™) to provide an additional level of confidence and control while towing. Ford’s system – standard on all single-rear wheel models and dual-rear wheel pickups – uses sensors to measure wheel speed, throttle position, steering wheel angle, yaw rate and lateral acceleration as well as an exclusive gyroscopic roll-rate sensor.
The roll-rate sensor is key to the Ford system. Unlike competitors’ systems, TSC uses real-time input instead of calculations to take countermeasures.
When the system detects the trailer yawing in one direction, it applies selective brake pressure on the tow vehicle’s opposite side – called asymmetric braking. This helps reduce the sway. TSC also can reduce engine power as part of the trailer-sway mitigation strategy. TSC:
* Is designed to work even when trailers have no braking systems
* Requires no hardware to be added or adapted to the trailer
* Works with multiple trailer brake configurations
* Can assist when trailer sway occurs due to operation in gusty wind conditions or emergency evasive maneuvers
For further peace of mind, an available integrated trailer brake controller, factory-installed and covered by Ford’s factory warranty, offers smooth and safe operation due to its ability to interface with multiple vehicle systems.
Normal braking is proportional to driver brake pressure for smooth stops at all speeds. If the vehicle’s Anti-lock Brake System (ABS) is engaged, the special trailer brake algorithm kicks in to minimize the potential for trailer wheel lockup. When towing trailers with electric brakes, Super Duty trucks equipped with the trailer brake controller can apply the brakes during a sway event to help stabilize it.
The 2011 Ford F-Series Super Duty also is the first full-size pickup truck to offer a factory-installed trailer brake controller that is compatible with most aftermarket electric-over-hydraulic trailer brake systems. Electric-over-hydraulic trailer brake systems use an electric signal to actuate the hydraulic or “surge” brakes in the trailer. These systems are gaining in popularity among boat trailer manufacturers because they can be operated in a wet environment.
New engine and transmission deliver class-leading capability with control
The all-new Ford-designed, engineered and built 6.7-liter V-8 turbocharged diesel engine for the 2011 F-Series Super Duty not only has best-in-class horsepower, torque and fuel economy, it’s also an enabler to the increased control towing customers will experience. The new 6.7-liter Power Stroke® V-8 turbocharged diesel engine’s integrated exhaust brake increases engine exhaust back pressure when needed to help slow the vehicle and trailer while in tow/haul mode.
There’s no button to push; the diesel powertrain calibration automatically increases the engine exhaust back pressure when needed, making it seamless to the customer.
The all-new 6R140 heavy-duty TorqShift® six-speed automatic transmission has SelectShift capability and several enhanced customer-driven features, like Progressive Range Select, Manual Mode and tow/haul mode, that are useful when towing.
Progressive Range Select allows a customer, through a toggle on the shift lever, to reduce the range of gears while in Drive. When the customer “taps” down into Range Select mode by pressing the toggle switch on the shift lever, the display shows the gears available for the transmission to shift to, and also continuously updates the current transmission gear.
Customers also can switch to Manual Mode and use the same shift toggle to select the gear desired. The torque converter aggressively locks up while in this manual mode and holds the gear to provide manual transmission-like control, yet is smart enough to downshift if the driver comes to a stop and forgets to downshift.
The enhanced tow/haul mode provides better control when hauling a heavy trailer load, especially when going down grades. The improved system uses an array of sophisticated electronic sensors that better predict the driver’s need for a downshift to provide engine braking and enhanced control. Manual Mode delivers greater control when low gears are needed, like pulling a trailer out of a boat ramp.
Another significant control strategy is Hill Start Assist, which is a sensor-based system that will hold the brakes for up to 2.5 seconds to prevent rollback when stopping or starting from rest on an incline. The system employs a digital accelerometer to measure slope incline and activates automatically when the incline exceeds 3 percent.
New productivity screen can aid towing novices
Helping customers of the 2011 Ford F-Series Super Duty take full advantage of this leading capability is the class-exclusive available 4.2-inch LCD productivity screen. The menu is navigated through a five-way button on the steering wheel. Of particular use to towing customers are screens that allow trailer tow customers to:
* Name and delete trailers; log mileage for guess-free maintenance intervals. It also tracks mileage and remembers the gain settings for multiple trailers
* Access information on features such as Trailer Brake Controller (TBC), tow/haul mode and electric-over-hydraulic brakes
* Select the type of trailer connection and view a checklist of conventional, fifth-wheel and gooseneck options
Three distinct checklists can be accessed, and include the following prompts:
* Ball coupler connected and locked?
* Tongue jack raised?
* Mirrors adjusted?
* Electrical wiring connected?
* Lights functioning correctly (running lights, left/right turn and brake lights)?
* TBC gain setting adjusted?
* Wheel chocks removed?
* Safety chains connected?
More ready-to-tow conveniences added; more towing options from inside the bed
The 2011 F-Series Super Duty also offers customers more ready-to-tow options from within the cargo box with an available factory-installed class-exclusive fifth-wheel/gooseneck hitch prep package. This package is warranted by Ford and includes an integrated, patent-pending under-bed frame-mounted crossmember for added strength. It is compatible with either type of hitch accessory kit through Ford Custom Accessories. It’s available for $370 MSRP, significantly less than many aftermarket installations.
Five laser-cut holes in the pickup box provide access to the fifth-wheel and gooseneck hitch attachment points. The attachment points are finished with trim bezels and closeout covers to maintain a flat cargo bed. A seven-pin connector is integrated to the pickup bed inner wall on the driver’s side to allow for a clean installation.
Additional driver aids and conveniences
Conventional trailer hookups are made easier with the rearview camera option. After shifting into reverse, a full-color image from the tailgate-mounted camera is displayed in the rearview mirror or on the available navigation system’s 6.5-inch screen.
Also available are class-exclusive PowerScope™ trailer tow mirrors that adjust, fold and telescope almost 3 inches at the touch of a switch; this option includes integrated clearance lights and turn signals, plus heated glass with manually adjustable spotter mirrors.
“The 2011 Ford F-Series Super Duty delivers class-leading towing capability that the customer can manage seamlessly and confidently, which is a combination our competitors can’t match,” said Scott.