The Ford Super Duty line features pickup trucks that are heavier, larger, and tougher than ordinary pickup trucks. These vehicles are designed for the biggest jobs and the toughest conditions that a driver is likely to encounter, and the Ford F-350 is one of the most popular trucks in the Super Duty lineup.
The Ford F-350 began as the F-3, one of eight trucks in the original 1948 F-Series, which ranged from half-ton pickups to conventional trucks. The F-3 was the heavy-duty ¾ ton model.
In 1953, the trucks currently known as the F-series line became exclusively pickup trucks, with the ½ ton model switching from the F-1 designation to the F-100 (and later the F-150), the F-2 becoming the ¾ ton F-250, and the F-3 becoming the heaviest of the line, the one-ton F-350.
In 1999, the heavier trucks on the line were separated from the popular F-150, and the F-350, along with the F-250, F-550, F-650, and F-750, were re-designated as Super Duty trucks.
The current edition of the Ford F-350 Super Duty is available as regular cab, crew cab, or super cab. It is available in two trim levels: XL and XLT. The standard engine is a 6.2-liter V-8 linked to a six-speed shiftable automatic transmission with rear-wheel drive (all-wheel drive is optional). This engine produces 385 horsepower and 405 lb-ft of torque. The regular cab seats three, with 40/20/40 split bench front seats and manual adjustable lumbar support for the driver. The 2013 F-350 features 17-inch painted steel wheels with all-season tires.
Convenience features include power steering, tilt and telescoping steering wheel, AM/FM stereo, and the available Ford SYNC system for navigation. The XLT trim upgrade includes features like audio and cruise controls on the steering wheel, additional speakers, CD and MP3 player, and USB/iPod connections.
Safety features include front and rear ventilated disc brakes with a four-wheel anti-lock braking system, dual front side-mounted airbags, stability and traction control, front seatbelt pretensioners, and tire pressure monitoring. Other optional packages are available to increase payload and towing capacity, enhance suspension, and include additional interior features.
The first version of the modern Ford F-350 Super Duty arrived on the scene in the 1999 model year. Prior to this, the Ford F-350 was twice as heavy as the Ford F-150. While the F-150 remains hugely popular, Ford decided to separate the Heavy Duties from the F-150 in appearance and mechanical design. Some of these changes included entirely new interior components, a raised hood, lower side windows, and more aggressive exterior styling, with a thinner, taller grille.
Drivers of this generation of F-350 could choose from a Standard Cab, Super Cab, or Crew Cab, with either a 6 ¾-foot bed or 8-foot bed (the 8-foot bed was only offered with the Standard Cab). The larger cab sizes could accommodate up to six passengers.
There were a wide variety of engines available with the Ford F-350, including a 5.4-liter V-8 that delivered 260 horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque, a 6.8-liter V-10 that offered 310 horsepower and 425 lb-ft of torque, and a 7.3-liter Power Stroke Turbodiesel that generated 235 horses and 500 lb-ft of torque. In 2003, another Power Stroke engine was added, a 6.0-liter Turbo V-8, which generated 325 horsepower and 560 lb-ft of torque. Also in 2003, Ford added a Torq shift, five-speed automatic transmission, with a hidden sixth gear for severe cold weather conditions. In 2005, the power on the V-10 was upgraded to 362 horsepower and 457 lb-ft of torque. Transmissions found on the Ford F-350 in this generation included a five-speed manual, six-speed manual, and four-speed automatic.
In 2005, the F-350 received some new styling, including an even taller grille; cosmetic changes to headlights, gauges and badges; a locking tailgate; greater hauling and towing capacity; larger anti-lock disc brakes; and more powerful engines.
The most significant change to the second generation of F-350 was the addition of a 6.4-liter, Power Stroke, Diesel V-8 engine, which replaced the old 6.0-liter Power Stroke. This engine generated 350 horsepower and 650 lb-ft of torque.
The current generation of F-350 has even more aggressive exterior styling, along with a thicker frame, and greater payload and towing capacity. The standard gas engine is a Flex-Fuel, 6.2-liter V-8 that delivers 385 horses and 405 lb-ft of torque, while the diesel engine is a 6.7-liter, Power Stroke V-8 that puts out 400 horsepower and 800 lb-ft of torque. Both are linked to a Torq Shift six-speed automatic transmission. The four-wheel-drive model has an available locking differential.