2007 Ford F-350 Super Duty Turbo Diesel Dually Review

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Ford F-350 A Beast of Burden
By Steve Purdy
The Auto Channel.com
Detroit Bureau

When this one popped up on the test vehicle schedule I gasped. Just from the name I thought this must be one whale of a truck. I was right.

This is the pickup for the contactor with a heavy trailer, retirees with a fifth-wheel camper, the sportsman with a big fishing boat or the farmer hauling livestock. One could even mount a variety cargo bodies on the back instead of the pickup bed and haul, haul, haul anything in sight. With a towing capacity of 15,000 pounds and heavy-duty components everywhere we could do massive amounts of work with this truck, or we could have massive amounts of fun if that be our goal.

We can have the F-350 with any of three engines: a gasoline powered V8, a gasoline V10, or this 32-valve, 6-liter, PowerStroke turbo-diesel V8 with cast iron block and heads (no wimpy aluminum), making 325 horsepower and an awesome 570 lb.-ft. of torque. The EVRT (electronic variable response turbocharger) balances the thrust as needed for the job and maximizes efficiency at lower and higher rpms. At $5,000 extra the turbo-diesel is pricey but probably worth while for most intense applications. Without a load I found it quick and responsive on heavy throttle, though it sounded a bit thrashy. That would be expected with a big deisel. I’m sorry to say I didn’t get a chance to test it under full load this week. Perhaps I can get it another time when I have a load of cattle to haul to the auction.

Our test truck has the optional 5-speed automatic transmission. A 6-speed stick is standard. We have trailering and towing accessories galore showing on the sticker. A sophisticated adjustable Trailer Brake Controller (TBC) is integrated into the truck’s braking system and balances trailer braking for maximum efficiency and safety when hauling the big stuff.

This F-350 comes standard with a 38-gallon fuel tank. I managed almost 14 mpg on my limited, unloaded drives this week. EPA does not require this class of vehicle to publish fuel mileage numbers so Ford has not. The Website says “NA” and the sticker says, “fuel economy ratings not required on this vehicle.” OK then. I suppose those numbers aren’t as important since most of these vehicles will be used commercially and those who buy them purely for recreation might not be particularly concerned about a few extra bucks for fuel to haul the $50,000 fifth wheel apartment or that $100,000 big lake boat.

Everything about the Super Duty is heavy duty. Look into the wheel wells and you’ll see twin, mono-beam suspension in front with huge coil spring and a stabilizer bar (nearly) as big around as your wrist. Rear, of course, has a solid axle and sturdy leaf springs with another big stabilizer bar. Front and rear feature staggered heavy-duty, gas-pressurized shocks. Disk brakes all around with ABS are standard, and the stainless steel exhaust system will last a good long time. Yes, the ride is stiff and jittery without a load but fill up the 4-foot by 8-foot bed with 77.8 (bed capacity) cubic feet of gravel (that’s nearly three yards) and I’m sure the ride would be considerably different.

The cabin is surprisingly warm and comfortable. With the exception of some rather tacky plastic pieces the materials and design are not coarse or particularly truck-like. Our test truck has leather, sun roof and lots of extras so we feel like we’re in the lap of luxury, though sitting a bit high. The most noticeable bad plastic is the large dash panel housing the gauges and controls right in front of the driver. Raw edges and imitation seams are pretty tawdry-looking. And some of the plastic on the doors is almost as bad. But overall, to the less critical eye, the cabin is very nice for a work truck. In fact, those black leather bucket seats would be right at home in a sports car. Controls are good and in the right places.

According to the sticker the base price for the F-350 DRW Crew Cab is $36,940. A tad more than $15,000 worth of options adorn this one, starting with $5,000 for the 6.0-litre diesel motor and $1,500 for the 5-speed automatic transmission. The $1,275 Sport Package includes the leather, power sliding rear window, fog lamps and tinted glass. Another category on the sticker says “Other Optional Equipment . . . $1,030.” I wonder what that means. With all that extra stuff our test truck stickers out at $51,155.

Fifth-wheel towing is rated at 19,200 pounds. Payload is 5,800 pounds (that’s nearly three tons, folks). GVRC is 26,000 pounds. And GVWR is 13,000 pounds.

Basic warranty is 36-months/36,000-miles and 5 years/60,000-miles on the drivetrain.

Ford calls the F-350 a “Beast of Burden.” While it can certainly handle most any burden asked of it, I’d have to say it’s a pretty sophisticated beast.

Now that you’ve digested all these details on the ’07 F-350, let me say that Ford just previewed the new, revised Super Duty line at the Texas State Fair. More on that soon.

© Steve Purdy, Shunpiker Productions, All Rights Reserved

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