The 2017 Ford Super Duty will be the first heavy-duty pickup in the U.S. to get adaptive steering, making it easier for drivers to maneuver the truck, especially in tight spaces.

Ford’s patented adaptive steering technology boosts efficiency by continually adjusting the ratio between the driver’s steering wheel input and the rotation of the front wheels. Housed inside the truck’s steering wheel, the adaptive steering system uses an electric motor, a small computer and a gear unit to amplify the steering wheel’s rotation based on its angle.

The steering technology means less “arm twisting” for the driver, said Ed Kim, vice president of industry analysis at AutoPacific, an industry consulting firm.

“Pickups do everything from cruising down highways carrying loads to backing up to a trailer,” Kim said. “An adaptive steering system can help reduce the workload to the driver by tightening up the steering ratio in tight situations.”

Developed with German automotive supplier TKAG, adaptive steering provides up to 30 percent more steering input, making it easier for the vehicle to maneuver, park, and tow. Depending upon speed and driver input, changing the truck’s steering ratio can reduce up to one steering wheel rotation, requiring less force from the driver.

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“At high speeds, the ratio is changed in such a way that vehicle response is more relaxed, more precise, and smoother than without the system,” Lodewijk Wijffels, Ford adaptive steering technical specialist, said in a statement Wednesday.

Adaptive steering will be standard on the Super Duty’s Platinum trim. It will be offered as a $685 standalone option on the XLT and higher trims for Ford’s F-250, F-350 and F-450 heavy duty pickups.

The F-Series Super Duty pickup will be the second vehicle in Ford’s U.S. lineup to get the steering technology when the 2017 model reaches showrooms this fall. The Ford Edge SUV received adaptive steering last year.

About The Author

Jaclyn Trop is an award-winning journalist and automotive reporter, deciphering the world of sheet metal for the masses. Her byline has appeared in The New York Times, The New Yorker, Fortune, Glamour, Newsweek, Fast Company, Marie Claire, Men’s Health, Rolling Stone, and Refinery 29 among others. She can be found on Twitter: @jaclyntrop.

16 Responses

      • MadDog

        Jerome is correct, the F150 is built in Dearborn, but also built in Kansas City. Richard is correct too. However, there are two plants in Louisville. Kentucky Truck builds the Super Duty and Louisville Assembly builds the Escape.

  1. James R Price

    Now Super Duty owners can know how Focus owners feel when the steering assist faults out.

    Reply
    • Wayne

      Don’t know why Chevy quit. Was told too many issues but I still own my 2004 2500 Quad Steer and have driven 100K miles with zero problems with the Quad Steer and absolutely love the truck. Backing a trailer and negotiating into parking spaces is the big plus. Will not trade this beauty until wheels fall off!!

      Reply
  2. Mark

    First off this is the 5 th F-250 that I’ve owned in 11 years all were good trucks but I just purchased 2017 ford F250 King Ranch, the adaptive steering is giving me problems when making a U-turn it sounds like the front end is coming out of the truck. there is a loud popping noise coming from the front end also there is a noise coming from steering wheel that sounds like a transistor radio that has lost its station “very irritating ” Ford mechanic road with me as did service manager and listened to it and basically had the same reaction as me “sounds like front end getting ready to fall out” dealership says there are no bulletins or other complaints about this problem and have contacted Ford engineers two weeks ago and as of now know report back so basically they telling me they don’t know😳 What it could be. Is anyone out there having any issues? Please let me know.

    Reply
    • brandon

      I have the same problem with the adaptive steering 2017 f350, I also have a service advance track light that comes on the first start up of the day. My steering only makes the squealing noise when turning left slowly, it sounds more like a water faucet halfway open. The pooping noise was there as well. I ended up lifting the truck the pooping noise went away but the steering wheel noise and that service advancetrac have not left and in some cases gets verry annoying.

      Reply
    • Rick

      2017 explorer XLT V6 4X4. Front transmission/steering noise that was confirmed by service manager. Left SUV for 1 week only to be notified they were waiting for parts. Returned 3 wks later as parts arrived and subsequent diagnostics and repairs completed via direct phone communications with Ford. Seemed OK but had to return the next day with a severe hydraulic leak. Scheduled another service due to steering squeak at low speeds. Missed the appointment (30 miles each way).

      Reply

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