Friday, May 30, 2014

CV Show 2014 Interview - Rhino Products


On the Rhino Products stand at the 2014 CV Show, VansA2Z editor Neil McIntee spoke to Managing Director Steve Egerton and Clive Boult, Sales & Marketing Director. New products being launched at the show included SafeStep and TowBar and later in 2014 Rhino will be introducing the new aluminium LadderStow range. www.vansA2Z.com

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

BOLT Padlock




Featuring BOLT's Breakthrough One-Key Lock Technology, the BOLT Padlock works with your vehicle key!


For more information visit http://www.BOLTLock.com

Monday, May 26, 2014

Ford Motor Company Fund sending Cleveland-area war veterans to visit World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C.



  •     For the second year in a row, Ford Motor Company Fund is sponsoring an Honor Flight for 50 World War II veterans in the Cleveland area to visit the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C.
  •     This year is significant as it marks the 70th anniversary of D-Day (June 6, 1944)
  •     Ford Fund will sponsor three Honor Flights this year, adding to the six flights it has sponsored since 2011
For the second year in a row, Ford Motor Company Fund is sponsoring an Honor Flight to transport Cleveland-area veterans to the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. The World War II Honor Flight veterans – all in their eighties and nineties – will be greeted at the national memorial by members of Congress and Ford employees.

Ford Fund is covering the cost of the trip to Washington, D.C. for 50 World War II veterans from Cleveland and other parts of Ohio to experience national memorials dedicated in their honor. The trip was organized by Honor Flight Cleveland (www.honorflightcleveland.com), the northeast Ohio hub of the Honor Flight Network.

All veterans will be accompanied by a volunteer guardian who will be paying for their own trip. Frankie Lannaggi, former U.S. Marine and Process Coach at Ford’s Cleveland Engine Plant, is volunteering to be a guardian for Wednesday’s flight.

“As a U.S. Marine, I am honored to participate in this great program and give back to the men and women who have given so much to our country and paved the way for the freedoms we have today,” said Lannaggi, “I am proud to be part of the Ford family who are recognizing these local veterans for their sacrifice and dedication.”

In addition to the WWII Memorial, the veterans and their guardians are also visiting memorials dedicated to veterans of the Korean War, Vietnam War, Iwo Jima and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in the Arlington National Cemetery.

Ford Motor Company’s support for veterans started more than 90 years ago when Henry Ford led a cross-country caravan of 50 Ford Model T’s to transport disabled veterans to their convention. Since 1974, Ford Motor Company and Ford Motor Company Fund have provided more than $8 million to veteran organizations, including support for the National World War II Memorial. Ford Fund is sponsoring three Honor Flights this year, which will bring the total Ford-sponsored Honor Flights since 2011 to nine.

The Ford Veterans Network Group, one of the company’s corporately supported Employee Resource Groups, sponsors activities in support of its veterans, military personnel and their families. Ford employs more than 7,000 U.S. veterans along with hundreds of active military personnel and U.S. reservists and guardsmen.
About Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services

Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services works with community partners to advance driving safety, education and community life. The Ford Motor Company Fund has operated for more than 60 years with ongoing funding from Ford Motor Company. Ford Driving Skills for Life teaches new drivers through a variety of hands-on and interactive methods. Innovation in education is encouraged through programs that enhance high school learning and provide college scholarships and university grants. Through the Ford Volunteer Corps, more than 25,000 Ford employees and retirees each year work on projects that better their communities in 30 countries. For more information, visit community.ford.com.
About Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 183,000 employees and 65 plants worldwide, the company’s automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford and its products worldwide, please visit corporate.ford.com.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

New Ford Transit CV Show 2014 - Van Advisor


Signs of the commercial vehicle industry’s increasing self-confidence have been reflected at this year’s CV Show, which returned in spectacular form at Birmingham’s NEC arena.


For the first time in the UK, the complete Ford commercial vehicle range could be seen side-by-side. The Courier makes a return this summer after  a 12 year absence, adding a sixth vehicle into Ford’s LCV portfolio – more than any other manufacturer.


George Barrow of Van Advisor takes us outside the CV Show where Ford had a "See It, Try It, Buy It Experience and gets a tour of the newest features of Ford Van products from David Petts of Ford, and also gets some input from a Ford fleet customer. See more about Van Advisor at www.VanAdvisor.com

Thursday, May 22, 2014

2016 Ford F-650 and F-750 Get Three Power Levels



The next-generation medium-duty truck from Ford will offer customers three distinct power ratings from the newly upgraded 6.7-liter Power Stroke turbo-diesel V-8. The practice of offering multiple power ratings is not new and allows Ford's diverse customer base to tailor power to their needs.

The power ratings for the F-650 and F-750's are:
  •     270 horsepower and 675 pounds-feet of torque (best-in-class standard rating)
  •     300 hp and 700 pounds-feet of torque
  •     330 hp and 725 pounds-feet of torque
All rating levels will offer the same commercial-grade TorqShift six-speed transmission; the powertrains come with a five-year/250,000-mile limited warranty. The new Power Stroke will be offered for all new F-650/750 trucks along with the gasoline 6.8-liter V-10 option, which will continue to use the same TorqShift six-speed transmission.

All 2016 medium-duty trucks will be offered only in two-wheel drive but will come in regular, super and crew-cab configurations. They will be available in spring 2015. To read the full Ford press release, click here.




Manufacturer images; Cars.com images by Mark Williams

Sunday, May 18, 2014

2015 Ford F550 in Portland OR



At Northside Ford , our long-standing customers know us a dependable source of new vehicles, like this Ford F550 XL2 Door , conveniently located in Portland, Oregon . For the absolute best in service, selection, and value, please visit our website at http://commercial.northsidetrucks.com/ to learn more about this exceptional 2015 Ford F550

Northside Ford
6221 NE Columbia Blvd
Portland, OR 97218
We are open
Mon-Fri: 8:00am - 6:00pm
Saturday: 9:00am - 4:30pm
Sunday: Closed

Here at Northside Trucks in Portland Oregon we take pride in offering the best prices on Ford Commercial Trucks as well as New and Used cars, trucks, SUVs, and vans in Portland Oregon and the Pacific Northwest. We offer special prices on our website every day. We give our customers exactly what they are looking for - low prices, and a great experience on our lot.

We serve customers all over the greater Portland area including Tigard Beaverton Lake Oswego and other surrounding areas.

Northside Trucks has been selling Ford Commercial Trucks such as the Ford F-150, F-250, F-350, F-450, F-550, E Series and the Transit Connect for many years. We know how to get our customers that best price for their hard earned money. Our proffessional mechanics inspect each of our used cars and trucks for any issues and we perform preventitive maintenance on our vehicles.

Northside Trucks is here for all of our Portland Oregon customers. Whether you have good credit bad credit or no credit at all, we will find a way to get you financed for that Work Truck Car Van or SUV that you have had your eye on. Call Northside Trucks in Portland Oregon today and experience the difference with the Portland areas premiere Ford Commercial Truck dealership.

2015 Ford 2 Door XL2 Door


Engine: V8
Fuel: Diesel
Transmission: Automatic
Exterior Color: White
Stock #: 5111
VIN: 1FDUF5HT4FEA18911
Dual Rear Wheels, Turbo Diesel, Foldaway Mirrors, Power Brakes, Power Locks, Power Mirrors, Power Steering, Power Windows, Cruise Control, Heated Mirrors, Tachometer, Remote Keyless Entry, Dual Air Bags, Pass Depowered Air, Side Impact Airbags, 4 Wheel Disc Brakes, Anti-Lock Brakes, Tow/Haul Mode, Traction Control, Outside Temp Gauge, Digital Compass, AM/FM/CD, Air Conditioning, Bucket Seats, Vinyl Seats, Tilt Steering, Vinyl Flooring, Steering Wheel Radio, Bluetooth/Handsfree, iPod Capable, Microsoft Sync

Subject to prior sale

Friday, May 16, 2014

Oklahoma, Dallas Order 300-Plus CNG-Capable Ford F-150 Pickups As Demand Grows for Alternative Fuel Option


  •     The state of Oklahoma and its agencies to buy 256 Ford F-150 trucks prepped to run on compressed natural gas; Dallas orders 65 for its fleet
  •     2014 F-150 available with gaseous-fuel prep option on 3.7-liter V6 engine; can run on CNG or liquefied petroleum gas (also called propane autogas)
  •     By summer, Ford will offer eight vehicles that can run on clean-burning, affordable CNG; the company is on track to sell more than 15,000 such vehicles in 2014
The state of Oklahoma, its agencies and the city of Dallas have ordered a total of 321 Ford F-150 pickups that can run on compressed natural gas.

Since 2010, Ford CNG-prepped truck sales have increased more than 250 percent, said Jon Coleman, Ford fleet sales manager. Cumulative sales are expected to exceed 50,000 trucks by the end of the year, and Ford expects demand for CNG-prepped vehicles to continue growing as more fleet customers recognize the economic and environmental benefits of this clean-burning fuel.

CNG-powered trucks lower costs and offer emissions benefits, and the alternative fuel is domestically produced, Coleman explained. Operating costs can be as low as one third that of conventional vehicles. Typically, the fuel savings cover the cost of conversion within three years.

“For fleet customers in Oklahoma, Texas and other states, a CNG F-150 really makes sense,” Coleman said. “The fuel is more affordable and widely available, and it reduces greenhouse gases and pollutants that cause smog.”

The 2014 F-150 is available with a gaseous-fuel prep option for the 3.7-liter V6 that can run on CNG or liquefied petroleum gas. CNG/LPG engine prep from the factory costs $315. The customer then chooses a Ford Qualified Vehicle Modifier to supply fuel tanks, fuel lines and unique fuel injectors. Upfits run approximately $6,000 to $9,500, depending on tank capacity.

For fleet managers, CNG conversions can provide stability against fluctuating fuel prices, lower vehicle operating costs and reduce pollutants. CNG sells for a national average $2.11 per gallon of gasoline equivalent, and is as low as $1 in parts of the country. By comparison, the national average for unleaded regular gas is $3.67 per gallon.

Customers can also accelerate the payback period by taking advantage of a growing number of incentives issued by states such as Oklahoma.

CNG expansion
Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin is leading a coalition of 22 states seeking to use more CNG vehicles in their fleets. CNG is abundant in this country and reduces America’s dependence on foreign oil. CNG also lessens the environmental impact of greenhouse gas by 20 percent and reduces smog-producing pollutants up to 90 percent.

Fallin announced the CNG project at her inaugural Governor’s Energy Conference in 2011. Since then, she has worked with other Oklahoma officials and governors from other states, met with Ford and other automobile manufacturers, and received bids to add more CNG vehicles to the state’s fleets.

“I am excited about Oklahoma’s partnership with Ford Motor Company as we work to support energy efficiency, cost savings and the use of clean-burning American-made energy,” Fallin said. “Ultimately, converting our state fleets to CNG will save millions in taxpayer dollars.”

CNG prices in Oklahoma vary from $1.07 to $2.49 per gallon of gasoline equivalent. The average statewide price for a gallon of regular gas is $3.43. Fuel bills could be reduced as much as 67 percent with CNG vehicles, Coleman said.

Arkansas, Colorado, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas have expressed interest in Ford CNG-capable vehicles, Coleman said.

The specially equipped bi-fuel F-150 model purchased by Oklahoma features two storage tanks – the regular factory gasoline reservoir and a supplementary CNG tank. Combined, this gives the light-duty truck a range of up to 750 miles, depending on the size of the tanks. The most common configuration allows fleet operators to go 450 miles on CNG alone and another 300 miles on regular gas.

Most CNG options
By this summer, Ford will offer eight commercial vehicles with a gaseous-prep option, more than any other full-line manufacturer:
  •     2015 Transit Connect van and wagon
  •     2015 Transit van, wagon, cutaway and chassis cab
  •     2014 E-Series van, wagon, cutaway and stripped chassis
  •     2015 F-Series Super Duty pickup
  •     2015 F-Series Super Duty chassis cab
  •     2015 F-650 medium-duty truck
  •     2015 F53 and F59 stripped chassis
  •     2014 F-150 light-duty pickup
Power of Choice
CNG/LPG prepped vehicles are part of Ford’s commitment to offering a wide range of alternative fuel options to customers to help meet their mileage and driving needs, including EcoBoost, hybrid, plug-in hybrid, battery electric, Flex Fuel and B20 biodiesel.
About Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 183,000 employees and 65 plants worldwide, the company’s automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford and its products worldwide, please visit corporate.ford.com.



Wednesday, May 14, 2014

2015 Ford F350 in Portland OR



At Northside Ford - Truck Headquarters , our long-standing customers know us a dependable source of new vehicles, like this Ford F350 XL 4x44 Door , conveniently located in Portland, Oregon . For the absolute best in service, selection, and value, please visit our website at http://www.northsidetrucks.com/ to learn more about this exceptional 2015 Ford F350

Northside Ford - Truck Headquarters
6221 NE Columbia Blvd
Portland, OR 97218
We are open
Mon-Fri: 9:00am - 6:00pm
Saturday: 9:00am - 4:30pm
Sunday: Closed

Here at Northside Trucks in Portland Oregon we take pride in offering the best prices on Ford Commercial Trucks as well as New and Used cars, trucks, SUVs, and vans in Portland Oregon and the Pacific Northwest. We offer special prices on our website every day. We give our customers exactly what they are looking for - low prices, and a great experience on our lot.

We serve customers all over the greater Portland area including Tigard, Beaverton, Lake Oswego and other surrounding areas.

Northside Trucks has been selling Ford Commercial Trucks such as the Ford F-150, F-250, F-350, F-450, F-550, E Series and the Transit Connect for many years. We know how to get our customers that best price for their hard earned money. Our professional mechanics inspect each of our used cars and trucks for any issues and we perform preventative maintenance on our vehicles.

Northside Trucks is here for all of our Portland Oregon customers. Whether you have good credit bad credit or no credit at all, we will find a way to get you financed for that Work Truck Car Van or SUV that you have had your eye on. Call Northside Trucks in Portland Oregon today and experience the difference with the Portland areas premiere Ford Commercial Truck dealership.

2015 Ford 4 Door XL 4x44 Door


Engine: V8, 6.7L
Fuel: Diesel
Transmission: Automatic
Exterior Color: White
Stock #: 52338
VIN: 1FT8W3BT8FEA23337

Tow Package, Turbo Diesel, Foldaway Mirrors, Power Brakes, Power Locks, Power Mirrors, Power Steering, Power Windows, Cruise Control, Heated Mirrors, Tachometer, Dual Air Bags, Pass Depowered Air, Side Impact Airbags, 4 Wheel Disc Brakes, Anti-Lock Brakes, Tow/Haul Mode, Traction Control, Electric Trailer Brake, Remote Keyless Entry, Outside Temp Gauge, Digital Compass, Bluetooth/Handsfree, AM/FM/CD, Steering Wheel Radio, iPod Capable, Air Conditioning, Microsoft Sync, Bucket Seats, Cloth Seats, Tilt Steering, Vinyl Flooring

Subject to prior sale




Monday, May 12, 2014

Westport Debuts California's Only CARB Certified CNG Ford F-150 at ACT

Westport WiNG™ On Display at ACT Expo


LONG BEACH, CA, May 5, 2014 /CNW/ - Westport Innovations Inc. (TSX:WPT) (NASDAQ:WPRT), engineering the world's most advanced natural gas engines and vehicles, announces that the only California Air Resources Board and EPA certified Ford F-150, featuring the Westport WiNG™ Power System, was debuted during the Alternative Clean Transportation Expo (ACT) in Long Beach, May 6 to 8.




Dedicated CNG Ford F-150 with the Westport WiNG™ Power System

Unveiling the new model at this year's ACT Expo was a natural decision, says Paul Shaffer, Westport's Vice President and Managing Director of North American Ford business.


"California is one of the most promising states for the adoption of natural gas vehicles, thanks to the wide network of natural gas stations and the attractive incentives available to drivers and fleet owners," says Paul. "California is arguably one of the most significant natural gas vehicle markets in the US. The F-150 is a significant fleet vehicle, as some fleets prefer its smaller size."


While natural gas vehicles have grown in popularity for applications such as shipping and transit - in fact, some of the first Westport technology ever deployed was in California for buses at Berkeley University - few people are aware of their widespread use, economic and environmental benefits, and the growing number of options for passenger vehicles.


California represents an important market for natural gas vehicles, and according to the California Natural Gas Vehicle Coalition, the state's natural gas fueling infrastructure is the most extensive in the United States—with nearly 600 public and private natural gas stations at the beginning of 2012.


With gasoline averaging $3.71 a gallon in the United States (US Energy Administration Information), and compressed natural gas averaging $2.11 per gasoline gallon equivalent (CNGnow), there's a clear price advantage to operating on natural gas, particularly for high-mileage drivers.


And mileage is key with the Westport WiNG powered Ford F-150, offering equivalent fuel economy, fuel capacity and mileage to a traditional gasoline-powered model.


Westport received certification from CARB for its 2014 model year Westport WiNG™ Ford F-150 3.7 L pickup truck with the dedicated compressed natural gas (CNG) system in April. CARB certified vehicles meet all applicable California emission regulations.


The Ford F-150 pickup truck, which is also certified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), runs on CNG and is available with a 17 gasoline gallon equivalent (GGE), 23 GGE tank, or an industry leading 27 GGE. The existing Ford OEM warranty remains intact, and is matched by the Westport warranty for all like components. All Westport operated trucks undergo the same safety testing required for all Ford original equipment manufacturer (OEM) products.


Westport has also received certification in April from the EPA for its 2015 model year Ford F-250 and F-350, 6.2 L super duty trucks with the Westport WiNG™ bi-fuel CNG system. EPA certified vehicles meet the EPA's emission standards.


The Westport WiNG operated Ford F-250 and F-350 trucks run on both gasoline and CNG and are available with a 17 GGE or 23 GGE tank, or a variety of combinations using underbody tanks. The existing Ford warranty remains intact, and is matched by the Westport warranty for all like components. All trucks with the Westport WiNG Power System undergo the same safety testing required for all Ford OEM products.


Westport, as the leading partner that is in Ford's Qualified Vehicle Modifier (QVM) program, provides OEM quality parts and production environment.


Visit Westport's website for more information about our bi-fuel and dedicated CNG Ford vehicles.

About Westport

Westport engineers the world's most advanced natural gas engines and vehicles. More than that, we are fundamentally changing the way the world travels the roads, rails and seas. We work with original equipment manufacturers worldwide from design through to production, creating products to meet the growing demand for vehicle technology that will reduce both emissions and fuel costs. To learn more about our business, visit westport.com, subscribe to our RSS feed, or follow us on Twitter @WestportDotCom.

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward Looking Statements


Note: This document contains forward-looking statements about Westport's business, operations, technology development or the environment in which it operates, which are based on Westport's estimates, forecasts and projections. These statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve risks and uncertainties that are difficult to predict, or are beyond Westport's control. Consequently, readers should not place any undue reliance on such forward-looking statements. In addition, these forward-looking statements relate to the date on which they are made. Westport disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

All-New 2015 Ford Transit Joins the Cast of History's Hit Series 'American Pickers'

  • 2015 Ford Transit joins the cast of “American Pickers” on the episode airing April 30 at 9 p.m. EDT/PDT on History
  • The durability and cargo hauling capability of Transit fit the needs of “American Pickers” as the cast crosses the country in search of forgotten relics and antiques
  • 487 cubic feet of cargo volume offers ample space to transport big finds
  • Ford is celebrating by launching a scavenger hunt across the U.S., giving 10 lucky winners the use of a 2015 Transit for two weeks
Ford Transit is joining History’s “American Pickers” as stars Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz travel around the United States, searching remote and rustic locations for classic gems that can be restored and resold.







Wolfe and Fritz will drive a 2015 Transit, a full-size van designed for commercial use, in their mission to find these relics.



“The biggest thing is, when the van is full, then we’ve got to come home. I’m interested in real estate on wheels,” Wolfe says during the episode airing April 30. “There were four or five different vehicles I was looking at, and I just keep coming back to the Ford as the better choice.”



All-New 2015 Ford Transit Joins Cast of American Pickers
“American Pickers” will use the largest Transit model – with a long wheelbase, extended body and high roof – featuring the available Ford 3.2-liter Power Stroke five-cylinder diesel engine.

The show is just one example of how Ford Transit serves the needs of small businesses and commercial fleets.



To celebrate the debut of Transit on “American Pickers,” Ford is hosting a scavenger hunt that challenges contestants to find one of 10 scale-model Transit vehicles on display in antique shops across the United States. The 10 winners get the use of a 2015 Transit for two weeks. (No purchase necessary. Promotion ends 7/1/14. Click here for details: social.ford.com/winTransit)



“We are thrilled to expand the great multi-year relationship we have with Ford,” said Peter Olsen, executive vice president of national ad sales for History. “We look forward to the Transit being part of Pickers for many years to come.”



The 2015 model year Transit – built at Ford’s Kansas City Assembly Plant – will be available in three body lengths, two wheelbases and three roof heights; in van, wagon, chassis cab and cutaway body styles; and in XL and XLT trim levels, offering more choices than ever from a Ford commercial van.



The high-roof Transit – with best-in-class 81.5 inches of interior height – provides enough headroom for a person 6 feet 8 inches tall to stand upright in the cargo area. In some configurations, Transit offers as much as 75 percent more cargo volume than the largest E-Series, saving customers the fuel costs and time associated with having to make a second trip.



“Transit has been tested to rigorous Built Ford Tough standards, and comes equipped with great technology features like SYNC® and MyFord Touch®, and Lane-Keeping System with Driver Alert,” said Minyang Jiang, Ford brand manager for Transit, Transit Connect and E-Series.



“‘American Pickers’ fits in with the spirit of the Transit family as vehicles people can rely on to get the job done.”



The van used on “American Pickers” will feature an available rear-view camera and available Reverse Sensing System.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

National Ford Truck Club BOLT Lock Interview





The National Ford Truck Club interviews BOLT Locks National Sales Manager Erika Garcia at the 2014 NTEA Work Truck Show about upcoming new products for BOLT Locks

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

The new 2014 Ford Transit Connect. Service is selling.


Economist Yoram Bauman heads to the beach to illustrate how giving a van load of customers a ride can help you move merchandise.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

2015 Ford F150: Engineers Create a New Frame



When Pete Reyes, chief engineer for the 2015 Ford F-150, talks about the all-new pickup truck he can't help but smile. That's because he knows what kind of punishment this new truck has endured and how long his team has been working on it.

From the outset of the project, which started the day after the 2009 models were shipped to dealerships, Reyes said, Ford knew this truck was going to have to be something special in order to meet changing buyer needs as well as governmental regulations.

"We knew this would have to be special in order to meet all the targets we wanted to hit. We could have played it safe but we decided to go for it, starting with the frame and working through the entire truck," Reyes said. "Where we've done multimillion-mile testing on F-150 in the past, we knew we'd have to go way beyond that, into Super Duty territory, to prove this new truck was tough."

Ford engineers said they put the new F-150s through thousands of hours and 10 million lab miles of testing to make sure they would be tough enough to survive their likely punishment. Ford also wanted to provide some solace for skeptics who would want to believe that moving to a new alloy material for body panels and bed structure would make the truck weak and vulnerable. "That's just not the case," Reyes said.

During a recent media event in Dearborn, Mich., we found out that Ford has looked at every detail of this new truck. Engineers tried to make the designing and engineering of the parts better and the assembly simpler. They also tried to make the pickup more durable than the one it's replacing. From badging to fasteners to abrasion testing, we saw what Ford did and got a chance to talk to the engineers in charge of those systems. We have to admit that sometimes the level of detail they're working with seems insanely inconsequential, but in talking to the people behind these projects we discovered they are most certainly passionate.                                                       


Our favorite deep-dive station focused on the new fully boxed frame. Although the changes are difficult to see at first glance, they are significant and impressive. We're told they will pay huge dividends once we see the results play out from behind the wheel.

To begin, Ford engineers used much more high-strength, cold-rolled steel in the frame, precisely pinpointing how thick the frame needs to be at any given section or bend point.

Current-gen F-150s use 23 percent high-strength, 70,000-pounds-per-square-inch steel, while the 2015 model will use almost 80 percent (more similar to three-quarter- and one-ton frame construction than most light-duty pickups). Also, by using supercomputer software to calculate the exact thicknesses and strengths needed, Ford engineers were able to eliminate about 60 pounds from the frame construction alone.


Much of that frame-weight savings is a result of using many different gauge thicknesses all over the frame. The new frame has essentially the same overall shape, with a slightly deeper center section (it was 9 inches tall and is now 10 inches), but the rear and front sections of the frame (both of which are very important because they support the payload bed and powertrains, respectively) are where some more drastic changes occurred.

The rear section of the fully boxed frame is slightly widened and lowered, looking like a 5-inch-square tube foundation, in order to provide a stronger platform for towing. Eight cross-members (one more than the current pickup) use both aluminum and high-strength steel to be stronger and lighter.

The front section of the boxed frame has been modified and slightly widened to provide better support for the new engines and deliver better ride and handling. The newly tuned shocks and springs will help too. The front frame tubes have a corrugated design in the rails in order to allow for more strength and better crush support and energy dispersal. Finally, the "front horns" have been completely fine-tuned incorporating a 12-corner strategy that gives the tube ends more strength and a more predictable reaction in an accident.

The new backbone ladder frame is completely hydroformed and rolled with compression to newly designated thicknesses to make the structure lighter and stronger. As much as people are straining to understand how the body of the new pickup can be made out of aluminum and still be durable, the bigger news could be how well this new frame will improve the ride, capabilities and safety ratings. But we'll have to wait a little longer to report on those details. More to come.

To download the most up-to-date specs for the 2015 Ford F-150, click here.

To read the Ford press release regarding materials usage, click here.

Cars.com photos by Mark Williams






    NEW FRONT HORN                         OLD FRONT HORN


REDESIGNED LOWERED/WIDENED BOX FRAME UNDER BED


NEW MULTI-THICKNESS CROSS-SECTION OF 2015 FRAME

OLD CROSS-SECTION AND CROSSMEMBER FROM 2014 FRAME

From.pickuptrucks.com: 

Friday, May 2, 2014

Ford Transit Connect - Light Van of the Year 2014




More stylish than its predecessor, but sharing its sturdy demeanour, the recently-launched new version of Ford's Transit Connect is a deserving winner of our 2014 Light Van award.

One reason is the impressive frugality of some of the derivatives on offer. The ECOnetic version of Connect's 95hp 1.6-litre Duratorq TDCi diesel can achieve an official combined-cycle fuel consumption figure of 70.6mpg. That is a 34 per cent improvement over what the nearest equivalent model in the departing Connect range was able to boast.

Ford has gone for a speed-limiter fixed at 62mph and optimised gearing with a longer final drive ratio to help reach this creditable economy figure. Also fitted is a package that includes Auto-Start-Stop, Smart Regenerative Charging and Active Grille Shutter.


The self-same package can be specified as an option on the standard 95hp 1.6-litre and its 75hp alternative. It is, however, standard on the sole petrol powerplant offered, and here we are talking about the already much-celebrated 1.0-litre 100hp EcoBoost. Making its debut in a Ford van in Connect, it has won the International Engine of the Year award twice. A 115hp 1.6-litre diesel is fitted as well.

All Connects are equipped with ABS, Electronic Brake Distribution and Electronic Stability Control, and come with either a five- or a six-speed manual gearbox. Two wheelbases are up for grabs which gives customers the choice of either a 2.9m³ or 3.6m³ cargo box with gross payload capacities extending from 625kg to 1,000kg depending on the model variant.

New Connect has brought sophistication and refinement to its market segment and we don’t think there is a more car-like van to drive out there. - See more at: http://www.vansa2z.com/Van-of-the-Year-Awards-2014-Light-Van#sthash.ChznE7mJ.dpuf

From: http://www.vansa2z.com/