Another towing boon is the steering. At 4.2 turns lock-to-lock, it’s super slow and tiresome for parking-lot maneuvers, but it keeps small oscillations of the trailer from constantly jiggling the steering wheel. That’s how we’ve arrived at trucks with four-ton curb weights, three-ton payload capacities, and 12-ton towing capabilities. There’s even a little feedback—unusual in a truck this size—but the rack feels wobbly over particularly rough surfaces as the front wheels dance around. Add a few hundred pounds in the bed—tools, spare tires, and other equipment for the weekend—and the 6.7-liter was unfazed.
The King Ranch package nets exceptionally comfortable and supple leather chairs and two-tone paint—as well as a host of other exterior enhancements—plus remote start, heated and cooled front seats, a rearview camera that makes hitching a trailer a snap, and power-adjustable pedals. Even without the King Ranch interior, this truck tops a comparably equipped Ram or Silverado by several grand. It’s one helluva hauler, but unless your “bigger is better” approach extends to sticker price as well, you can find a comparable truck for less. The New Power Stroke Before we get into the nitty-gritty of our experience with the F-250, let’s take a closer look at that brute under its hood. Despite the (ever so slightly) lighter-duty underpinnings, this F-250 suffers from the same chassis quivers over rough terrain that we found in an F-350. It’s surprising how carlike these giants have become, but hit a rough patch, and the tremors take you back to pickups of another decade.
Whatever its output rating, the diesel is remarkably quiet. Our biggest complaint concerns the occasionally unsettling ride. Spec Miata aboard, our trailer tipped the scales at about 4000 pounds—light work compared with the truck’s maximum tow rating of 14,000 pounds, or 15,700 with a fifth wheel. The results, not surprisingly, suggest that this is primarily a marketing war, as this more-powerful truck, 120 pounds (or 1.5 percent) lighter than the first, was barely able to improve on the pre-updated truck’s acceleration times. After just three stops from 70, the brake pedal sank to the floor. The end result of the new tech was 390 hp and an asphalt-destroying 735 lb-ft of torque, but then the 2011 Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra debuted with a new Duramax diesel that trumped the Ford with 397 hp and 765 lb-ft.