The second largest US automaker is well known for its consistent command of the pickup truck segment as the F Series has been the top selling vehicle for decades.
And we all know that it’s usually harder to keep that first place than obtaining it – which is why Ford is constantly improving its models that make up a big chunk of its North American profit. You might see the 2017 Ford Super Duty and its all new dynamometer rig as a publicity stunt but it’s actually much more than that. For example, it has been developed and designed to simulate steep grades, with the dynamometer sled incorporating a brake limiter which consists of a “series of electric coils wired together that are energized, acting like a large magnet.” It can be used to deliver negative pull on the vehicle to mimic the effect of gravity while driving up an incline without actually driving up on it. Ford also tells us it has been using the same dynamometer rig for more than a quarter of a century – but it now needed a new dyno because the “classic” one can only drawbar pull 2,000 pounds. The new one in turn is able to reach a maximum drawbar pull of 5,620 pounds and can thus be used to simulate 30 percent incline grades.
The new rig was used against the 2017 Super Duty which was tested on a variety of demanding roads without actually leaving the confines of the Arizona Proving Grounds. Engineers simply uploaded the needed software to profile hills and the rig then automatically adjusted to simulate the given trajectory. For example they introduced the profile of the Davis Dam which is one of the ideal locations for towing capacity because of its 3,000 foot elevation change over the span of just 11.2 miles.