INDIANAPOLIS—Responding to the need for more specialized, rugged and capable work trucks such as aerial lifts, field-service vehicles and medium-duty haulers, Ford Motor Co. is debuting a new chassis-cab model of its aluminum-bodied Super Duty trucks at this month’s Work Truck Show.

Employing a new, high-strength, aluminum-alloy cab and a higher-strength steel frame than the outgoing generation, the 2017 F-350, F-450 and F-550 chassis-cab lineup offers best-in-class capability, Ford claims, with a front gross-axle-weight rating of 7,500 lb. and a gross-combined weight rating of 40,000 lb.

“Commercial truck customers need tough, capable trucks the can haul heavy equipment to crush challenging jobs,” says Craig Schmatz, Ford Super Duty’s chief engineer. “The innovations our team has put into the next-generation Super Duty chassis-cab are paying off by delivering capability that surpasses the competition.”

When the box-off trucks go on sale this fall, they will be available in regular, extended and crew cab configurations. Pricing has not yet been announced.

Powering the new Super Duty chassis-cab line is Ford’s optional, second-generation Power Stroke turbodiesel V8 engine, which is upgraded with 30 more horsepower and 90 extra lb-ft of torque for a respective total of 330 hp and 750 lb-ft, which Ford claims is class leading. It comes mated to Ford’s 6R140 six-speed automatic transmission. Standard gasoline engines include Ford's 6.2-liter V8 for the F-350 and a 6.8-liter V10 for the F-450/550.

Ford says it is confident that durability of the new aluminum cab has been thoroughly addressed through thick-gauge material and extensive product testing. 

“Aluminum bodies are nothing new to heavy trucks,” Mike Levine, Ford truck spokesman, tells ENR. “They have been around a long, long time, on everything from big rigs to fire trucks.”

The Work Truck Show, which the trade group NTEA organizes, runs March 1-4 at the Indiana Convention Center and covers more than 500,000 sq ft of exhibit space.