Ford announced massive capability and power numbers for the new 2023 Super Duty lineup of trucks this week. You may have thought that new heavy-duty pickup trucks are already at the absolute limit of capability for their classifications. Ford found a way to push capability even further. Here is how.
Maximum Payload – 8,000 Lbs!
First, let’s establish that we are discussing pickup truck segments with Gross Vehicle Weight Ratings (GVWR) of up to 14,000 lbs. This discussion extends to pickup trucks that have been traditionally called “1-ton” duallies. For the 2023 model year, Ford increased the maximum payload capacity for the 2023 Ford F-350 from 7,850 lbs to a class-leading 8,000 lbs. How is this possible? If the GVWR for this class of truck is 14,000 lbs and the payload is 8,000 lbs, then simple math says that the F-350 with this capability should weigh 6,000 lbs of curb weight.
Here is what Ford says.
“For 2023 Super Duty we leveraged our approach of reinvesting in capability by using an aluminum body & fully boxed High Strength Steel frame and developed an available Gas Heavy Payload Package for XL Regular Cab F350 (requires 4×2 and 6.8L engine). The Gas Heavy Payload Package (order code 68F), includes components that reduce the curb weight of the vehicle (mini-console and 6 aluminum wheels) to achieve the increase in payload capability. The 8K payload is achieved on the DRW version of the Gas Heavy Payload Package when no additional options or accessories are added to this configuration.“
This is a 2023 F-350 XL base model with a regular 2-door cab with an 8-foot bed. It’s equipped with the new 6.8L gas V8 engine and a 4.30 ratio limited-slip rear differential. If your life and/or job requires you to consistently carry heavy loads in the bed, then this is the configuration you need to consider.
Maximum Towing – 40,000 Lbs!
Now, what about maximum towing numbers? Ford increases 2023 F-350 dually maximum gooseneck trailer towing capacity to 38,000 lbs and 2023 F-450 maximum gooseneck trailer towing capacity to 40,000 lbs.
First, why are we discussing the Ford F-450 in the same discussion? Shouldn’t it be discussed along with other “class 4” 4500-series pickup trucks? Ford introduces a “consumer” version of the F-450 pickup truck several years ago with a 14,000 lbs GVWR. Hence, it still qualifies for this discussion as a “1-ton” dually truck. Although, this F-450 uses 10-lug axles with a wider track front axle that also allows for a better turning radius.
Ford introduces a new High Output (H.O.) version of the Power Stroke turbo-diesel V8 engine for 2023. It now has a rating of 500 horsepower and 1,200 lb-ft of torque. We will discuss specific engine improvements at a later time. All 2023 Super Duty engine options are backed up by various versions of their heavy-duty 10-speed automatic transmission.
Here is the 40,000 Lbs configuration description.
All tow ratings comply with rigorous testing procedures, but 38K-40K towing capacities are getting into a category that is very difficult to confirm and test. While regulations vary from state to state and county, most regions require the driver of the truck to hold a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) for trailers with a trailer GVWR of over 10,000 lbs. Next, if you aim to tow a gooseneck trailer with a loaded weight of over 25,000 lbs – then you need a 3-inch gooseneck ball and a 3-inch gooseneck receiver with a proper weight rating. This is what we have to do on the Ike Gauntlet™ – the world’s toughest towing test when we tow near or over 30,000 lbs of trailer weight.
Next, the trailer itself must have axles capable of carrying those weights and be equipped with proper brakes. The new H.O. diesel is plenty powerful to move 40,000 lbs, but you must be able to stop that load safely. Next, the trailer wheels and tires must be able to handle the weight. It usually means that gooseneck trailer tires must be inflated to the proper pressure for the maximum load (this pressure is usually 100-120 PSI).
The truck itself must be as stable as possible. This is why I always recommend getting a crew cab 4×4 dually for ultimate towing capability. This way the tow vehicle is as heavy as possible. The longer wheelbase of the crew cab makes it a bit more stable as well.
In the end, if you are buying a luxurious version of these new heavy-duty trucks – you need to check the specific payload and towing capacity of the specific truck you are buying. Payload and towing capacities will vary greatly.
Here is a video of Mr. Truck and I towing 30,000 lbs with a 2020 Ford F-450 crew cab dually.
Here is a closer look at the 2023 Ford Super Duty pricing and how we would configure our SD truck.