Pickup truck sales are hot. And full-size, heavy-duty series pickup truck sales are blistering hot as these models now offer the driving aids, comfort, convenience, safety gear, and performance of their lighter, half-ton siblings. This week’s Tremor model of the Ford F-250 proved to be a great every-day workhorse, but also a much sought after version of the country’s top-selling lineup.

Our Rapid-Red colored CrewCab sample in Platinum trim tipped the scales north of $70,000 while featuring a panoramic sunroof, heated and cooled leather seating with memory, as well as a plethora of electronic driving aids meant to improve operating safety (blind-spot detection, forward braking assist, dynamic cruise, more) as well as operational convenience (trailer towing cameras, rear towing steering assist, rear LED lighting).

Buying a ¾-ton or one-ton heavy-duty pickup no longer means that you sacrifice ANY of the features that you will find on the latest half-ton pickups, let along the latest luxury sedans or crossovers in the market.

Featuring the latest 6.7-liter Powerstroke diesel engine, built by Ford now and mated to a brand new 10-speed automatic, this potent powertrain pumps out a turbo-aided 475-hp and over 1,000-pound/feet of trailer pulling torque. Our 21-foot SeaRay proved to be no challenge for the big Ford as a pull from Ellsworth to Rockland and back for a day at sea to Vinalhaven and Hurricane Islands didn’t even cause the Ford to break a sweat. We passed doodling traffic with an ease that half-ton pickup owners never enjoy, as the diesel just oozes power. The trip was relaxing instead of work—no worries about maintaining momentum for long grades; the big brakes and the diesel’s exhaust brake combine for ample stopping power; plus the Ford’s low-speed maneuverability is unparalleled at the boat ramp and twisting around the trees and poles at home to fit the boat back in the garage.

You needn’t look very hard to find the extra content that sets these big trucks apart, as the race to build better trucks has led to lots of innovation. Just examine the Ford’s Powerscope mirrors.

We’ve long had turn signal lamps in this real estate, as well as heating elements and auto-dimming capabilities. Ford has added dual panes, for two very different views (key for towing when you want to focus on those trailer tires), the mirrors extend for extra wide trailers, they fold for off-roading or to fit into tight parking spaces, there are down-view puddle lamps for entry/exit safety, there are bright side spot lamps for projects 90-degrees from the side of your truck, plus blind-spot detectors and cameras for driving safety and backing prowess previously never enjoyed. This is functional technology, all for our convenience now.

Tremor ($3,975) is Ford’s off-roading package for the Super Duty line. You get a two-inch lift over standard Super Duty models—which means the lowered tailgate is even higher (several inches over waist height here) plus the stiffer off-road chassis with twin-tube dampers, huge 35-inch Goodyear Wranglers on handsome 18-inch wheels, selectable Rock Crawl and Trail Control modes, as well as a limited slip front differential along with numerous skid plats. A behind the bumper front winch is optional, while the best-in-class running boards from the Raptor are standard.

The look of the Tremor package created visual lust for numerous Ford fans wherever the Super Duty visited. Several conversations started with “I want it”, while more than a few commentators begged to have the Ford’s tire and wheel package.

Inside, the Super Duty proved to no less appealing. The cabin is nicely finished, easy to enjoy, and full of amenities. Rear seat space is limousine-like, with a flat floor that aids cargo carrying as well as your foot comfort for all occupants. It is a big step up into the Tremor, and those custom running boards—no slip slotted surface—certainly are necessary.

In the working end, our sample truck featured the fifth-wheel tow package, with the bracing already attached to the truck’s frame under the aluminum bed, while a giant 3-inch receiver is fixed out back for other towing chores. Wire connectors are smartly placed above the bumper now, which any boater will tell you, saves a lot of aggravation.

Super Duty pricing starts at $34,035 for an XL regular cab trucks, sliding up the scale to $90,860 for an F-450 Crew Cab Dually Limited. Besides the Powerstroke, there is a new 430-hp 7.3-liter gas V-8 available once again.

Easy to drive, easy to live and work with, the latest Super Duty checks a lot of consumer boxes for work, play, recreation, and travel. It is an impressive performer.


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