Ford Motor Co. is beefing up the towing and payload capacities of its F-Series Super Duty trucks for the 2013 model year, along with improvements to its braking system.

For starters, Ford is raising the conventional towing capacity of the SuperDuty to 18,500 lbs., while boosting payload capability to 7,260 lbs. – increases largely due to the addition of bigger brakes to the vehicle, noted Michael Watkins, a Ford brake system engineer.

The OEM increased what’s known as “brake rotor swept area” by 16.4% in the SuperDuty’s front wheel brakes and by 14.5% in the rear in part to help dissipate heat, especially on long downhill grades. A larger parking brake for F-250 and F-350 models also allowed an increase in maximum payload rating, while adjustable pedals also enhance customer comfort by personalizing the interface between driver and brake system, Watkins noted.

"We've really improved brake feel," he said. "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-pound increase in the maximum Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) to 14,000 lbs. for the SuperDuty, Watkins added.