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Ford's heavy-duty trucks are set to be even more capable in 2020

Whether it's the standard live power takeoff or the new 7.3-liter V8, these are some quality upgrades.

I bet that 7.3-liter V8 sounds pretty great when you're out stumpin'.

The world of heavy-duty trucks is just a little different than that of light-duty trucks and passenger cars. With a near-total focus on work and productivity, upgrades in this arena tend to make life easier for those at work, not those at play. To that end, two new upgrades for Ford's 2020 F-Series Super Duty should help the workforce get through the day a little easier.

7.3-liter V8

One major update for the 2020 F-Series Super Duty is the inclusion of a new 7.3-liter gas V8. According to Ford, this engine offers best-in-class output for gas V8s with 430 horsepower and 475 pound-feet of torque. Nearly all Super Duty trucks will see the engine mated to a new heavy-duty 10-speed automatic transmission, except for the F-650 and F-750, which will still use the old (but still beefy) six-speed automatic.

To get things moving more quickly, this overhead-valve V8 produces over 400 lb-ft of its max torque at just 1,500 rpm, with the peak arriving at 4,000 rpm. To aid durability, there's a forged steel crankshaft with "extra-large" main bearings, and there are cooling jets for the pistons to help keep temperatures kosher under heavy load.

The 7.3-liter will first be available on F-250 and F-350 Super Duty pickup trucks. Eventually, it will expand (albeit in a slightly lower output, 350 hp and 468 lb-ft) to become standard on the F-450 chassis cab, F-550, F-600, F-650 and F-750. It'll also show up on the F-53 and F-59 stripped chassis models, as well as the E-Series cutaway. Eventually, Ford will also introduce a different engine calibration that keeps fuel economy in mind, but the automaker didn't say when that would happen.

Don't worry, those cutaway holes are only for show. Ford doesn't give you the engine like that.


Standard power takeoff

If you're wondering how truck-chassis dumpers or snowplows get their power, it's from a device called the power takeoff, which connects to the powertrain to provide mechanical or hydraulic power to accessories like cranes, boom lifts or the aforementioned.

Ford's second heavy-duty announcement is the addition of a standard power takeoff unit, which produces up to 300 pound-feet of stationary torque. It won't be standard on every model, though. It's limited to the F-Series Super Duty chassis cab with the 6.7-liter diesel V8, but it's still available as an option for Super Duty pickups and chassis cabs with the new 7.3-liter V8. It should also appear on F-650 and F-750 models with the six-speed automatic, but Ford will announce more info to that end at a later date.

Whereas some power takeoff systems only work when the engine is stationary, the one bolted to Ford's heavy-duty 10-speed automatic is a "live" setup, which means it can be used while the vehicle is in motion. A snowplow isn't very useful if it can't push snow around, after all. 

Ford didn't supply any pictures of the power takeoff unit, so here's a shot of the heavy-duty 10-speed automatic, instead.