How Does the 2017 Ford Super Duty F-450 Tow 30,000 Lbs Up a Mountain? – Video


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Truck – 2017 Ford Super Duty F-450

Ford is claiming seven class-leading specifications with the 2017 Ford Super Duty lineup. Maximum gooseneck trailer towing is a big part of it. Heavy Duty trucks are primarily used for towing and hauling, and carrying more weight can make you more money. Ford claims the 2017 F-450 is capable of towing 32,500 lbs on a gooseneck trailer, and the F-350 is rated at 32,000 lbs. We had to test the claims, and what better way to start than putting the new F-450 on the Super Ike Gauntlet?

Test – Ike Gauntlet

The Ike Gauntlet is an 8-mile stretch of I-70 just west of the Eisenhower/Johnson Memorial tunnels at the Continental Divide. This is the steepest section of the entire Interstate system in the country. The grade gets as steep as 7% and the maximum elevation is 11,158 feet above sea level. This is the perfect place to stress out the trucks and see what they are made of. The “Super” Ike Gauntlet means that we are maxing out the truck’s GVWR, GCWR, or both.

Here are some of the logistics details. This was an exclusive opportunity to be the first independent outlet along with to perform a real-world towing test with the new Super Duty. The schedule was so tight that we were given an opportunity to perform just one run, and we had to do it at night. We jumped at the chance. Ford provided the F-450 Platinum and the gooseneck trailer loaded to 30,000 lbs of landscaping rocks. Note: we had just enough time with the truck to drive to the test and back.


Test Results

We had two main goals with this Super Ike Gauntlet test. How does Ford’s new Adaptive Cruise Control perform on the downhill, when loaded to the max. How fast can the truck handle the uphill? After all – it has the 6.7L Power Stroke turbo-diesel V8 under the hood that is capable of 440 horsepower @ 2,800 lbs and 925 lb-ft of torque @ 1,800 rpm.

The Adaptive Cruise Control system is capable of maintaining preset speed and distance gap to the vehicle ahead up or down a grade and while towing. It performed as advertised. We started the descent at 50 mph coming out of the tunnel, and then quickly caught up to a truck that was going 35 mph down the mountain. The radar-based adaptive cruise system detected the slower truck ahead and promptly slowed us down to 35 mph without the driver (Mr. Truck) having to apply the brakes. The truck then maintained the speed all the way down by using a combination of engine exhaust brake, grade shifting transmission logic, truck’s brakes, and trailer’s brakes. The entire trip down the mountain was without issues, although we smelled hot brakes when we came to a stop in the town of Silverthorne, CO at the bottom of the run.

The run up the Ike Gauntlet was without any logistics issues until we hit tunnel lane closure and traffic at the top. When I stopped the timer on the way up, we were within 0.2 miles from the tunnel. The final time was 11 minutes 23 seconds. We have never towed 30,000 lbs up the Ike Gauntlet before, so we do not have a direct comparison. When we run other trucks with 30,000 lbs, we will stop the timer at the same place as with the F-450. Truck’s trip computer reported 2.3 MPG for the uphill.

Check all of the Super Ike Gauntlet (Ultimate Midnight edition) action in the video below.