The Super Duty models are the brutes among Ford's pickups heavy-duty trucks designed for serious hauling and towing. The Super Duty line was redesigned for 1999, and though it is based on the F-150, it sports different styling, roomier interiors and stronger chassis and engines.
All Super Duty models are more than 8,500 pounds gross vehicle weight (the weight of the truck and what it can carry in passengers and payload). This means they are exempt from federal safety requirements for lighter-duty trucks and cars. However, a driver-side airbag is standard on all models and a passenger side-impact airbag that can be disabled by a dashboard switch is optional.
Styling differences from the F-150 are most pronounced in front, where a massive grille dominates the Super Duty's nose. Models include regular cabs; four-door SuperCabs with two conventional front doors and two rear-opening rear doors; and four-door crew cabs with conventional front-hinged doors. The F-350 crew cab is available with dual rear wheels, a style also known as a dualie.
The Super Duty lineup starts with the three-quarter-ton F-250 model (gross vehicle weight of 8,800 pounds) and ends with the F-550 (GVW of 19,000 pounds), a truck with a 6-ton payload.
Just because the Super Duty models are beasts of burden doesn't mean the interiors are all vinyl and steel. Cloth upholstery, leather captain's chairs and a power driver's seat are available to coddle front occupants. A split front bench seat includes a folding center armrest that's large enough to stow a laptop computer.
A folding three-place rear bench seat is standard or optional on SuperCab and crew-cab models.
Under the Hood
The biggest engine available in the F-150 is the smallest engine for the Super Duty models, a 5.4-liter V-8 with 260 horsepower. A 6.8-liter V-10 with 310 horsepower and a 7.3-liter diesel V-8 with 235 horsepower also are available.
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