Ford has revealed its 2017 Super Duty pickup was so powerful that the company was forced to develop a new dynamometer sled to properly test the model.
Designed to simulate steep grades, the new dynamometer sled has a brake limiter which consists of a "series of electric coils wired together that are energized, acting like a large magnet." This provides pull against the vehicle which mimics the effects of gravity while driving up an incline.
Ford has been using the same dynamometer sled for over 25 years, but the new dyno has a maximum drawbar pull of 5,620 pounds which is substantially higher than the previous dyno which was rated at 2,000 pounds. This enables the new sled to simulate grades up to 30 percent.
The sled enabled engineers to test the 2017 Super Duty on a variety of demanding roads without ever having to leave the Arizona Proving Grounds. Testers simply had to upload a profile of the hill and the rig would then automatically simulate the course. This enable engineers to test the truck on a simulated version of the Davis Dam which is described as an ideal location to test towing capability as it has a 3,000 foot elevation change in just 11.2 miles.