Commercial trucks are big business in the United States. Knowing which truck to purchase and for what purpose can become a challenge all by itself: do you go with a pickup for towing and trailering? Do you go with a cutaway for custom upfits? Do you stick with a prefabricated cargo build for hauling and delivery? There are a lot of options when it comes to the line-up of 2021 Ford commercial vehicles, but in this article, we’ll take a look at how the 2021 F-150 and Ford Super Duty trucks might fit what you’re looking for.
2021 Ford F-150 Light Duty Pickup
Ford has a series of commercial vehicles explicitly made for work and utility purposes, such as the E-Series Cutaway for various emergency, delivery, and recreational solutions, or the Transit for transportation, shuttling, and cargo carrying. However, the basic Ford F-150 has long been a go-to pickup for contractors and workers due to its remarkable balance of capability and affordability. After all, not every job requires the most powerful truck available.
Thanks to having six different powertrain options for the 2021 F-150, Ford has enabled the pickup to conform to a wide variety of different tasks. The powertrain options include a base 3.3-liter V6 with variable cam timing that produces 290 hp and up to 265 lb-ft of torque. This particular powertrain setup has a maximum payload capacity of up to 1,985 lbs and a maximum towing capacity of 8,200 lbs, both depending on the configuration. This would be a good engine for general utility work such as light towing and moderate delivery runs for light cargoes
The 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 provides 325 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque, enabling it to give the F-150 up to 2,480 lbs of payload capacity in its best configuration. The maximum conventional towing capacity for the 2.7-liter EcoBoost tops out at 10,000 lbs for more confident towing. Perhaps just as importantly, the 2.7-liter EcoBoost also provides noticeably better fuel economy than the base V6 engine.
Next up is the 5.0-liter V8, which features 400 hp and 410 lb-ft of torque. This gives the F-150 a maximum payload capacity of 3,325 lbs and a max conventional towing capacity of 13,000 lbs when properly configured with the Max Trailering Package. This means the F-150 can tow many types of vehicles and equipment and is perfect for even some heavy-duty tasks.
Even though the 3.0-liter Power Stroke V6 turbo-diesel is smaller than the V8 and only has 250 hp, it produces a lot more torque at 440 lb-ft. The powertrain allows for a maximum payload capacity of 1,180 lbs and a maximum towing capacity of 12,100 lbs with the Max Trailering Package equipped. However, the diesel’s main advantage is its excellent fuel economy of 27 MPG on the highway.
For the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6, the larger engine and twin-turbocharged configuration ramps up the output to 400 hp and 500 lb-ft of torque. This translates into a maximum payload capacity of 3,250 lbs with the Heavy-Duty Payload Package equipped. The 3.5-liter V6 also has a max towing capacity of 14,000 lbs with the Max Trailering Package attached. If you need a pickup for hauling heavy trailers and do not want to upgrade to the F-250, this configuration would be perfect.
Finally, there is the 3.5-liter PowerBoost Full Hybrid V6. With this powertrain, the F-150 tops out at 430 hp with up to 570 lb-ft of torque. The twin-turbocharged engine affords the F-150 up to 2,120 lbs of payload capacity, and the PowerBoost Hybrid tops out with a maximum towing capacity of 12,700 lbs with the Max Trailering Package equipped. But while those figures are lower than the standard 3.5-liter EcoBoost, the hybrid makes 24 MPG combined and can even be used as a mobile generator.
Overall, the Ford F-150 can very easily transform into a work-ready pickup for some of the toughest challenges you can throw at it. This makes it a great choice if you don’t quite have the budget for a full-blown commercial truck configuration or if you are just looking to save some money and round out your fleet with a smaller vehicle type.
2021 Ford F-Series Super Duty Pickups
When the F-150 just doesn’t have enough oomph to get the job done, the 2021 Ford Super Duty line comes into play. The Ford Super Duty series comes in three different weight classes – the F-250, F-350, and F-450. It also offers six different trim configurations with three cab types, including a regular cab, a super cab, and a crew cab. The overall layout is available in formats that include a 6-foot bed or an 8-foot bed, as well as two different wheelbase lengths.
The F-250, F-350, and F-450 series provide a powerful suite of performance and utility functions, starting with a 6.2-liter 2-valve gas-powered V8 with 385 hp and 430 lb-ft of torque. The next step up is the 6.7-liter Power Stroke turbo-diesel engine that delivers up to 475 hp and a whopping 1,050 lb-ft of torque. Alternatively, you can make use of a 7.3-liter gasoline V8 that offers 430 hp and up to 475 lb-ft of torque. However, the top of the line F-450 is only available with the Power Stroke engine.
The F-250 Super Duty has a maximum cargo capacity of 4,260 lbs when paired with the 7.3-liter V8. The F-250 also has a max conventional tow rating of 15,000 lbs with all three engine options. But when equipped with a 5th-wheel or gooseneck trailering hitch, it is capable of trailering up to 22,800 lbs with the Power Stroke engine. The gasoline engines can pull up to 15,800 lbs for the 6.2-liter or 19,500 lbs for the 7.3-liter.
The F-350 Super Duty with its dual rear wheels has a maximum cargo capacity of up to 7,850 lbs. The 7.3-liter V8 engine affords the F-350 up to 21,200 lbs of towing capacity, while the Power Stroke increases that figure to 35,750 lbs. There are very few jobs that an F-350 cannot accomplish.
The F-450 Super Duty has a lower maximum payload capacity of 6,210 lbs because of its heavier weight. However, it outperforms the F-350 when it comes to towing, with its spectacular 37,000 lbs maximum tow rating. With such high trailer ratings, there’s almost no task too large for Ford’s Super Duty line of pickups, making them perfect for arduous towing or difficult cargo hauling.
Ford Super Duty Commercial Customization
Even though the Ford Super Duty series lacks some of the customization and upfitting options of Ford’s E-Series commercial trucks, they do compensate for that with lower prices and more manageable sizes. This makes them more convenient for storage and clearance compared to the larger F-550 through F-750 trucks. Moreover, even though the Super Duty series may not have available upfits for everything from school buses to emergency vehicles, the Super Duty Chassis Cab configurations still allow for customizing the trucks for utility and construction work, as well as for cargo hauling.
If you need commercial trucks, the Ford F-150 can still work just fine for some small and medium tasks. Upgrading to the Super Duty trucks can handle some fairly heavy hauls, as indicated with their max trailering capabilities that peak up to 37,000 lbs. The 2021 Ford commercial vehicles are surprisingly versatile, and they can very easily be adapted to various work tasks.
Your budget, your business, and whether you need upfitting should determine if you can stick with a basic F-Series truck for cargo hauling, towing, and trailering or if you need something a little more specific and tailored for the work. However, even the largest businesses can always find a use for the reliability and capability of a Ford pickup.