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New Dyno Sled Allows Ford to Simulate 30 Percent Mountain Grades on Flat Surfaces

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Ford F-Series Super Duty dyno sled

Presumably, having to take test mules up the sides of mountains to test the abilities of pickup trucks would be a costly and dangerous proposition. Still, Ford understands that the F-Series Super Duty will no doubt be put to the test by the people who buy it going up and down steep mountain grades, and so the need to make sure that it holds up to the task is imperative.

To prevent having to drag a number of trucks up and down mountain sides, Ford engineers created a special dynamometer sled that is towed behind the new 2017 Super Duty and accurately simulates steep mountain climbs even on flat roads. By using a brake limiter to resist against the truck, Ford is able to virtually test its trucks on treacherous ground like Davis Tam and Townes Pass from the relative comfort of its Arizona Proving Grounds.

Watch: 2017 Super Duty Dyno Testing B-Roll Footage

“The new Super Duty is really impressive,” said Jim Sumner, Ford product development engineer. “In more than 25 years of doing this work, we used the same dyno, which did the job, but the new truck is so powerful we needed new equipment to test out its capability. The fact that even under full load, Super Duty didn’t have any trouble at all is a testament to just how capable this new truck is.”

“Any test engineer in North America knows about Davis Dam,” Sumner added. “It’s a demanding hill going from sea level to more than 3,000 feet in 11.2 miles, and is an ideal location to test towing capability. With this dyno, we can test the all-new Super Duty on that hill—but from right here on the level surface of our Arizona Proving Grounds.”

The dyno is able to create a maximum drawbar pull of 5,620 pounds, which is 181% more than the previous dyno sled, allowing for testing at a simulated 30% grade.