A variety of upgrades were made to Ford’s F-Series Super Duty chassis for this year, including beefed up towing and payload capacities and improvements to its braking system.

Those upgrades follow the introduction of a gasoline version of the F-650 Super Duty for the 2013 model year. The Ford Triton V10 gasoline-fueled engine is rated at 362 hp. at 4,750 rpm and 457 lbs.-ft. of torque at 3,250 rpm. It can also be configured to run on CNG and LNG as well, notes Todd Kaufman, F-Series marketing manager.

The gas F-650 features the “highly capable automatic transmission used in Super Duty models and will be available with or without a PTO [power take-off],” says Kaufman. The truck itself will be offered as either a ProLoader on 19.5-in. wheels or as a Dock Height model on 22.5-in. wheels. The gasoline-powered version is built as a straight truck only and carries a maximum GVW/GCW of 30,000/33,000 lbs. and will only come with hydraulic brakes, he points out.

This year, Ford raised the conventional towing capacity of its F-Series Super Duty to 18,500 lbs. while boosting payload capability to 7,260 lbs. These increases were largely due to the addition of bigger brakes to the vehicle, notes Michael Watkins, a Ford brake system engineer.

The OEM increased what’s known as “brake rotor swept area” by 16.4% in the Super Duty’s front wheel brakes and by 14.5% in the rear in part to help dissipate heat, especially on long downhill grades.

“We’ve really improved brake feel,” he says. “There’s refined modulation in the pedal; you really feel the stopping power. With a full load of cargo, drivers will notice strong, confidence-inspiring brakes.”

Those changes also support a 700-lb. increase in the maximum GVWR to 14,000 lbs. for the Super Duty, Watkins says. He also notes that Ford added a larger parking brake for its F-250 and F-350 models to help boost the maximum payload rating for both vehicles. Adding adjustable brake pedals also enhance customer comfort by personalizing the interface between driver and brake system.