Friday, October 31, 2014

Transfer Flow 40 Gallon Refueling Assembly





Ben from Transfer Flow goes over their new 40 gallon refueling tank at
the latest Nor Cal Ford Truck Club event in Woodridge CA.  

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Exploring the Texas King Ranch in a Ford King Ranch


Ford developed its first special-edition King Ranch pickup for the 2001 model year, and today, more than a decade later, its offspring include three luxury versions: an F-150 pickup, an F-Series Super Duty truck, and an Expedition SUV.

The King Ranch brand has been appealing to Ford buyers, and its heritage is similar to the actual family-run King Ranch, which is located in Kingsville, Texas, and which is known as the birthplace of the American ranching industry. The ranch is one of the oldest family corporations in the U.S., and is nearly the size of Rhode Island, a massive 825,000 acres of land that sprawls across six Texas counties. It comprises nearly 1,300 square miles in south Texas, several turf grass farms there, and has significant agriculture holdings in Florida.
The History

The Ranch dates to the middle of the 19th century, when Captain King was captivated by a region known as the Wild Horse Desert. King and his wife Henrietta developed the Ranch, regarded by many as the birthplace of some of the finest quarter horses in America.

Because Ford's design team used the King Ranch to "reinvigorate" and authenticate the update to the 2015 Ford F-Series Super Duty King Ranch edition, we drove the 2015 Ford F-350 King Ranch with the PowerStroke diesel engine to take a look at how the Ranch uses a fleet of more than 250 Ford pickups every day.

What drew Ford designers to the ranch for inspiration? "What really stood out is how prominent the 'Running W' is, and how it defines and unifies the ranch," said Barb Whalen, Ford color and material design manager. "Similarly, we wanted that brand to define the new Super Duty King Ranch." The Running W is actually the brand burned into cattle on the ranch.

On the new Super Duty King Ranch, that Running W is the focal point for the interior. It has been cut and stitched to make the seat backs and center console appear branded. What's new is a lighter, richer shade of Mesa leather that trims the seats, center console lid, armrests and steering wheel. The exterior has darker Caribou paint for the wheel lip moldings, bumpers and lower body, while the bed rail caps, bumper caps and running boards are trimmed in black, with Running W wheel caps.

Texas is a focal point for Ford, because more pickups are sold in Texas than any other state; in fact, it's the top truck market in the world. Not surprisingly, Texas is the top-selling market for Ford's F-Series trucks and its Expedition SUV, and the King Ranch is one of the top trims on the F-150, Super Duty trucks and the Expedition. Ford frequently conducts market research in Texas that helps shape future products.
The Ranch

Arriving at the ranch for our two-day visit, we learned that all the trucks and buses used by the Ranch are Ford King Ranch vehicles. "We depend very heavily on the durability and reliability of Ford vehicles," explained Dave DeLaney, the current VP and GM of the South Texas ranches. "This is very rugged country and we need trucks that can last."

King Ranch Chairman Jamey Clement agreed. "To us, there are so many similarities with Ford. We have the same value: taking care of people," explained the King family descendant. "What it's about is relationships and the more we understand each other, the more we get in a truck and it feels like 'us.' It's a way of life, and people want to be part of the winning team and want to experience it," he said. "What is the King Ranch 'family brand'? It's all interrelated; if you listen to our people talk, they say 'my truck, my cattle.'"

Finding the right partner is difficult, said Doug Scott, Ford Truck Group Marketing Manager. "We have a very select group of partners and the King Ranch is one of the few," Scott said. "It has to work right for us … with the idea of retailing and how it works for Ford dealers on the show room floor. One of the key tenets for us is brand authenticity and picking the right partners."
The Ride

How did the second-generation turbo-diesel 6.7-liter Powerstroke V8 Super Duty F-350 drive? We clocked from 14 to nearly 18 mpg on our highway drives, but we faced strong headwinds as we motored from Austin to the ranch, which borders the Gulf Coast. As we returned, we encountered heavy downpours, both of which took a nip out of the truck's fuel economy. Our luxury-laden Crew Cab model is a true boulevard-cruiser, with Clydesdale-like horsepower (440) and torque (860 pound-feet) and a host of electronic features like Bluetooth, navigation and the newly included MyFord Touch and Sync systems.

What did we like best? The quietness of the interior, which has a plentiful array of nooks and cubbies for stowage, and the pickup's ergonomics. My driving partner and I are both height-challenged drivers and used the running boards to aid with getting in and out, we liked the adjustable pedals and height-adjustable seatbelts, as well as the overall ergonomics that provided good visibility and comfort in the leather-appointed Captain's Chairs. We came to the conclusion, after our time behind the wheel, that Captain King would have approved.

For more information about the 2015 Super Duty F-350 King Ranch Crew Cab, you can read about our first experience with the truck earlier this year.




(Editor's note: Official Texas State Photographer, Wyman Meinzer, captured the spirit of Ford's long-standing partnership with the King Ranch in a series of photos of trucks at the Ranch. Those images can be found at: www.wymanmeinzer.com.)

www pickuptrucks.com













Monday, October 27, 2014

SpaceKap WILD Water Test




Watch the SpaceKap WILD undergo the Ultimate Water Test and pass with flying colours. Not a single drop got in!!!!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

F-150 BoxLink



BoxLink™ cargo management system includes lockable, die-cast aluminum tie-down cleats, and provides a unique interface to the box for improved flexibility and organization, as well as additional locations for tie-downs. Available segment-first cargo ramps can be stowed on the sides of the pickup box via the BoxLink system and mounted quickly on the tailgate to enable easy loading of ATVs, motorcycles or mowers

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Quick Tow Comparison: 2015 Ford F-150 versus Chevrolet Colorado



The recent Texas Auto Writers Association's Truck Rodeo provided our first chance to do some comparison towing with a couple new 2015 pickup trucks. We hauled loads with a 2015 Ford F-150 equipped with the all-new 2.7-liter V-6 EcoBoost as well as an all-new 2015 Chevrolet Colorado with the 3.6-liter V-6. We didn't get to do any instrumented testing, but we thought you might be interested in our observations.

To its credit, TAWA allows its members to do some towing with select manufacturers' vehicles that are part of the rodeo. We can't think of any other automotive writers' association that does this. This year TAWA provided four identically equipped 500-gallon water-tank trailers — outfitted with a conventional surge-brake hitch — to put behind each of the designated vehicles. Although we didn't see an exact weight for the trailer, we calculated the total weight of water and double-axle reinforced supports to be just more than 5,200 pounds. Based on our best guess, the total weight of the trailer was nearly the same as the F-150 and probably several hundred pounds heavier than the Colorado. All trailers and hitches were well balanced and height adjusted, so there was no excessive tongue weight.

The Ram for this tow event was a well-equipped EcoDiesel; the Toyota Tundra was a fully loaded 1794 Edition; the Ford was a midlevel XLT FX4 package; and Chevrolet, interestingly, offered its Silverado 2500 Heavy-Duty Duramax and Colorado crew-cab V-6. As you might expect, the big and small diesels (the Ram EcoDiesel and the Chevy Duramax) made short work of the stubby trailer, with the Duramax significantly under-stressed during the drive loop. Likewise, the Tundra's V-8 had no trouble moving the load around comfortably and feeling quite stable (but we can't believe Toyota doesn't offer an integrated trailer brake controller yet).



The big news was getting the chance to tow with the all-new, high-tech 2.7-liter EcoBoost engine, something we weren't able to do at the 2015 F-150's recent introduction. The bottom line is that the engine seems powerful enough to pull a 5,000-pound load wherever needed, but maybe more importantly is how calm and settled the chassis feels when pulling and hauling the weight. From hill stops and takeoffs on a fairly good grade, the truck handled smoothly and settled any road irregularities pretty quickly. In comparison, the Colorado, since it's a smaller and lighter vehicle with a naturally aspirated gas engine, struggled a little bit more. Still, the engine and midsize platform did have the grunt and pulling power to move the load on our drive route. We did find ourselves more aware of the weight and how the trailer could push us around if we weren't careful when going off-throttle into and out of curves and corners.

Our drive route was pretty short, but we did manage to collect some unscientific numbers. While driving the F-150 we averaged just more than 11 mpg, while the same route in the Colorado got us just less than 9 mpg. We're fairly certain the F-150 was equipped with 3.55:1 gears, while the Colorado only comes with 3.42:1 gears. There's not doubt the Chevy would have handled the load better with a 3.73:1 gear, as would the Ford — yet it wasn't necessary.

The F-150's new EcoBoost engine automatically turns off the auto stop-start feature and does a great job in Tow/Haul mode, slowing down the truck and trailer with an aggressive software program that makes quick downshifts when slowing or braking. The Colorado, dealing with a higher percentage of its maximum towing capacity (about 61 percent for the F-150 and about 74 percent for the Colorado), seemed to accelerate slower but had the very comforting ability to quickly downshift with just a tap of the brake pedal or manual thumb shift (the Ford also had this grade-braking feature, but it didn't seem to react as quickly and tended to rev the engine at a higher rpm).

Based on these preliminary quick drives, both pickups seem able to do plenty of hard pulling, but the Ford (with the smaller engine) seemed to handle the load with a touch more confidence. The Chevy V-6 was only down 20 horsepower when comparing the two engines, but when towing, the torque numbers always tell the tale. The Ford EcoBoost produces 375 pounds-feet while the GM V-6 gets 269, almost a 40 percent difference. Still, for a downsized player, a 5,000-plus trailer is likely to be a 99th percentile activity for this truck; even so, it's nice to know it will do it with control.




www.pickuptrucks.com
Texas Auto Writers Association images

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Rack-it Aluminum Truck Rack Features Lighter Weight Construction




Gary Kank, Sales Manager of Rack-it Truck Racks gives an impromptu presentation of the Rack-it Aluminum Truck Rack to Terry Minion of Commercial Truck Success.

Aluminum racks are gaining in popularity to save weight and increase payloads and also for their
corrosion resistance. The Aluminum version is the same design as the famous Rack-it Steel Truck Racks.

Contact Rack-it at 800-445-7666 and visit their website at www.rackitinc.com

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Tricked-Out All-New F-150 Pickups Seek 'Hottest Truck' Award at SEMA Show

  •     Ford F-Series trucks – specifically, the all-new 2015 F-150 – will vie for a fifth consecutive “Hottest Truck” award this November at the Specialty Equipment Market Association Show
  •     Ford collaborated with SEMA builders to help produce the radical F-150 trucks that will be displayed at the annual Las Vegas tradeshow
  •     Shedding up to 700 pounds from the 2014 model, the 2015 F-150 is the smartest, toughest, most capable F-150 ever
DEARBORN, Mich., Oct. 17, 2014 – From off-road prowess to street performance, custom versions of the all-new 2015 Ford F-150 – the smartest, toughest, most capable F-150 ever – will vie this November for the “Hottest Truck” award at the Specialty Equipment Market Association tradeshow in Las Vegas.

The SEMA award, won by Ford F-Series trucks for four years running, recognizes the most popular vehicles the organization’s members feature in their displays at the weeklong event.

Custom versions of the all-new F-150 will be displayed on the SEMA floor. They include:


The Deegan 38 project built a personal connection between Ford Racing’s Brian Deegan and the all-new F-150 with the 3.5-liter, twin-turbo EcoBoost® engine. Industry leaders including Addictive Desert Designs, Mickey Thompson Performance Tires & Wheels, FOX Racing Shox, KC Hilites, Mastercraft Safety, Rockford Fosgate, Full-Race Motorsports, Leading Edge Tuning, ProEFI and SCT Performance joined forces to provide extreme motorsport enthusiasts with the ultimate example of the world’s most capable truck.

“This F-150 should inspire the vast off-road, extreme-lifestyle-loving fan base to push the possibilities of the kick-ass new 2015 F-150 and the awesome 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine,” said


Boasting 12 inches of King shock-controlled travel via a Kibbetech custom suspension, this 2015 F-150 purpose-built by Formula DRIFT superstar Vaughn Gittin Jr. is designed to take full advantage of the weight savings and serious torque offered by the all-new F-150. With its unique, aggressive looks and Air Lift Performance air ride, this street truck aims to turn heads and elicit huge smiles, while providing massive amounts of fun and adrenaline for up to five passengers who strap into its Recaro seats.

“I love trucks, and to build one that has daily on- and off-road capabilities, as well as drifting and jumping capabilities is something I have always wanted to do,” said Gittin. “I am really pumped to get crazy in this F-150 at SEMA this year.”

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 186,000 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.

Friday, October 17, 2014

All-New Ford F-150 BoxLink, LED Box Lights and Remote Tailgate Release Revolutionize Truck Bed Cargo Management


  • Debuting in the all-new 2015 Ford F-150, class-exclusive BoxLink™ cargo management system includes lockable, die-cast zinc tie-down cleats, and provides a unique interface to the pickup bed for improved flexibility and organization, as well as additional locations for tie-downs
  •  All-new F-150 offers first LED box lights on a Ford truck, plus the availability of two segment-first features – power locking remote tailgate release and cargo ramps
  •  Ramps can be stowed on the sides of the pickup box via the BoxLink system and mounted quickly on the tailgate to enable easy loading of ATVs, motorcycles and mowers

From the days of horse-drawn carts, humans have used square-shaped boxes to move cargo.

Now, Ford is revolutionizing the management and stowage of cargo inside the pickup truck box with its patented BoxLink™ system debuting on the all-new Ford F-150. Along with LED box lights, a power locking and remote tailgate release, and segment-first cargo ramps, the 2015 F-150 is better equipped to help manage loads more efficiently.

BoxLink includes four lockable, die-cast zinc tie-down cleats, and provides a unique interface to the box for improved flexibility and organization, as well as additional locations for tie-downs.

“Rooted in the shape of the horse-drawn cart, the pickup truck box has been a standard, relatively unchanged fixture for nearly a century,” said Alana Strager, Ford program management analyst and co-inventor of the BoxLink system. “The industry’s acceptance of this shape meant the innovations we developed couldn’t alter the box, but rather needed to enhance and evolve its flexibility and modularity to create infinitely customizable solutions for hauling cargo.”

Perfecting the box

The BoxLink cargo management system allows for the customization of the pickup truck bed. A customer can attach to the BoxLink cleats in four locations, or hook directly to the BoxLink Interface plate with a bungee cord, S-hook or E-track fitting.

“Customers told us not to touch the box,” said Adrian Aguirre, Ford engineer and co-inventor of BoxLink. “They want to tailor it to their unique needs, and this system allows for easy adaptation to a variety of applications.”

BoxLink adds four additional tie-down locations in the box to complement the four fixed tie-down hooks carried over from the previous model, for a total of eight. Additionally, BoxLink is located on a reinforced area of the box at mid-level – accommodating the majority of cargo loads. Reinforcement of the cleats allows them to accommodate a horizontal (cross-box) load of 275 pounds and a diagonal load of 600 pounds.

Available segment-first cargo ramps can be stowed on the sides of the pickup box via the BoxLink system and mounted quickly on the tailgate to enable easy loading of ATVs, motorcycles and mowers. The length of telescoping ramps can be extended or shortened to accommodate multiple loading positions.

An altogether better box

The all-new F-150’s cargo box features many other significant upgrades to make it more versatile and driver-friendly.

LED cargo box interior lighting allows for excellent visibility in the truck bed at night or when a bed cover or cap is used. A bed-mounted button, as well as one inside the cab, turns the lights on or off. Lariat Mid or Luxury, King Ranch and Platinum models feature a remote tailgate release that includes an LED spotlight integrated into the release handle that illuminates the trailer hitch – a much appreciated convenience when hooking up after dark.

An available power locking and remote tailgate can be released with the push of a button on the key fob to help customers when their hands are full – a first for a pickup. The tailgate is damped and drops down, hands-free, to a flat position when opened.

2015 F-150 XLT models and higher benefit from a power locking tailgate for improved security. The feature is available for XL series trucks as well.

Ford’s pioneering tailgate step has been redesigned to be fully integrated into the tailgate and virtually invisible when not in use – restoring the open tailgate as a flat work surface. Using the step is simple: Customers drop the tailgate into the down position, grab the bottom step, pull it straight out from the tailgate and drop it down into the step position – all in one easy motion. The grab handle is now housed inside the tailgate, keeping the inner surface of the tailgate uniformly flat.

BoxLink designed for endless customization

Ford is allowing aftermarket manufacturers to leverage its BoxLink system to develop even more customized solutions for the pickup truck bed.

“This is an open system,” explained Strager. “We have facilitated the aftermarket in a way that has never been done before by an automaker. The possibilities are endless.”
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 186,000 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, October 15, 2014

All-New Ford F-150 Earns Truck of Texas Title at TAWA Texas Truck Rodeo; Ford Honored with Five Additional Awards


  •     The 2015 Ford F-150, the toughest, smartest, most capable F-150 ever, is named Truck of Texas, the most prestigious award presented by the Texas Auto Writers Association at its annual Truck Rodeo
  •     All-new 2015 Ford Transit awarded Commercial Vehicle of Texas
  •     In the heart of the country’s largest truck market, Ford Motor Company also ropes in Truck Line of Texas, in recognition of the breadth, features, capability and durability of America’s best-selling truck lineup
SAN ANTONIO, Oct. 13, 2014 – Ford trucks earned top honors at the 2014 Texas Auto Writers Association Truck Rodeo, with the all-new 2015 Ford F-150 being named Truck of Texas – the most prestigious award.

“TAWA members represent the voice of truck buyers in Texas, America’s largest truck market,” said Mike Marrs, president of TAWA. “After exhaustively testing 75 vehicles from 18 brands, the all-new Ford F-150 is our clear choice for Truck of Texas.”

Including this win, 9 of the last twelve Truck of Texas honorees have been Ford F-Series Trucks.

In designing the backbone of the all-new F-150, the toughest, smartest, most capable F-150 ever, Ford engineers improved its signature, fully boxed ladder frame. The frame is all-new, with more high-strength steel than ever – making it stronger and lighter. High-strength, military-grade, aluminum alloy – already in use in aerospace, commercial transportation, energy and other rugged industries – is used throughout the F-150 body for the first time, improving dent and ding resistance while saving up to 700 pounds of weight.

The new F-150 is the most fuel-efficient F-150 ever, thanks to the dramatic improvements in weight and advanced engine technology. Every model, every engine and every customer benefits from this weight savings. This means the 2015 F-150 can tow up to 1,100 more pounds, haul up to 530 more pounds and will have better fuel economy ratings than the current F-150 lineup, projected to be in the range of at least 5 percent and as much as 20 percent higher than current models, depending on the model. (EPA-estimated fuel economy ratings are not yet available and will likely be announced in November.)

“TAWA members are among the first to experience the all-new F-150’s breakthrough innovations and best-in-class capabilities, features that will help our hardworking customers improve their productivity,” said Joe Hinrichs, Ford president, The Americas. “It is an honor to again be named Truck of Texas. We are committed to continuously improving America’s favorite trucks.”

Evaluations at TAWA Truck Rodeo are just the latest testing the all-new F-150 has undergone. When it arrives in showrooms later this year, the 2015 F-150 will have endured the equivalent of more than 10 million miles of torture testing to ensure it meets or exceeds Built Ford Tough standards.

In addition to an all-new 2.7-liter EcoBoost® engine, the new F-150 offers customers a complete lineup of powertrains to allow them to tailor the truck to best meet their needs. The 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine returns, an all-new normally aspirated 3.5-liter V6 debuts and there is an improved 5.0-liter V8.

F-150 is part of the Ford F-Series lineup. Now in its 66th year, F-Series has been the best-selling truck in America for 37 consecutive years and the best-selling vehicle in America for 32 consecutive years.

Also taking home TAWA honors is the 2015 Ford Transit, named Commercial Vehicle of Texas.

The all-new Transit replaces America’s best-selling van for 35 years, Ford E-Series. Transit offers a maximum cargo capacity of up to 487 cubic feet – 75 percent more than the largest E-Series. When equipped with the 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine, the van delivers as much as 46 percent better fuel efficiency than E-Series with the 6.8-liter V10 premium engine, along with more payload. Transit equipped with the standard 3.7-liter V6 has up to 19 percent better fuel efficiency than E-Series with its standard 4.6-liter V8 engine.

“Transit delivers it all – better fuel economy, more capability, the largest number of technology choices, and the most innovative and diversified offering of configurations in a full-size van,” said Hinrichs. “We’re honored TAWA members also have recognized Transit as a game changer for our hardworking commercial vehicle customers.”

Here’s the full list of Ford vehicles winning top honors in their categories at TAWA Truck Rodeo:
  •     Truck of Texas: 2015 Ford F-150
  •     Truck Line of Texas: Ford Motor Company
  •     Luxury Pickup Truck of Texas: 2015 Ford F-150 Platinum
  •     Full-Size Pickup Truck of Texas: 2015 Ford F-150 King Ranch
  •     Commercial Vehicle of Texas: 2015 Ford Transit
  •     Best Technology Feature: 2015 Ford F-150 high-strength, military-grade, aluminum alloy

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 186,000 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.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Knapheide KUV Product Training Video



A complete overview of standard features and benefits found on a KUV from The Knapheide Manufacturing Company. See more at www.Knapheide.com

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Ford's 2015 F-150 Embarks on a 38-City Test Drive Tour


At the first media drive for the all-new 2015 Ford F-150, Ford took over a huge parking lot and set up a four-station educational and experiential event in which auto journalists could learn about the frame and understructure of the new truck, do some comparison test drives on an eighth-mile track and autocross, find out about the new bed tech and, finally, get into the truck and be led through all the new information screens and technology controls.

Each of the stations gave us a pretty clear idea that there is a lot to learn about this new truck; the stations also allowed us to see how it competes with other pickup trucks in the segment. From the inception of the 2015 F-150, Ford knew it was going to have to invest in a significant educational program to convince and show people — media and customers alike — what the pickup's revolutionary materials and powertrains could do. That's when the idea of a 38-city traveling tour was born, pretty much duplicating the program the media experienced at the first-drive event.

With dates starting Oct. 11 and running through Dec. 17, the tour will educate potential buyers and current Ford customers about the truck and let them get behind the wheel to experience it all. To participate, people must sign up in advance at F150drive.com and answer a few questions. All participants will be eligible to win a new F-150. We've been told that competitive trucks will be available (Ram 1500 Hemi, Chevrolet Silverado 1500 5.3-liter, Toyota Tundra 5.7-liter and a few V-6s as well). Check out the chart below to find the tour stop nearest you and sign up today.



Manufacturer image
pickuptrucks.com

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Ford Eyes Return to Small Pickup Segmant

At the recent launch of the all-important 2015 Ford F-150, longtime Ford marketing leader Dave Scott told James Healey of USA Today that Ford was giving serious consideration to the idea that the U.S. market could support a smaller entry-level pickup. But it would have to meet some specific criteria.
 

According to USA Today, Scott noted that it would likely have to be a compact pickup, smaller in size than the recently debuted full-frame Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon midsize pickups, and may even be better served on a unibody platform. In order to succeed, the truck would also have to offer as much as 25 percent better fuel economy than the full-size pickups and cost $5,000 to $6,000 less than a base-model half-ton.

According to USA Today, Scott did note that Ford has many vehicles that could potentially work but did not name them, although he did say that the global Ford Ranger — a popular midsize pickup around the world — would not be a good choice because it sits too close in size and capability to the current half-ton product.

From our standpoint, and from the description Scott provided, it looks like Ford is considering a modified version based off the current Transit Connect or Transit, or possibly both. Either could provide a solid, capable unibody platform for a new-style Ranchero or F-100 pickup truck. And it wouldn't surprise us if we saw something (maybe a concept at one of next year's auto shows?) not long after dealerships have gotten comfortable with the all-new 2015 F-150. We have no doubt that if the response to the GM midsize pickups and the redesigned 2014 Toyota Tacoma (as well as the new Honda Ridgeline coming in 2016) brings more people into the smaller truck segment, Ford will be ready to pull the trigger on a new type of downsized pickup.

by Mark Williams
pickuptrucks.com
Illustration by Mark Stehrenberger

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Sunday, October 5, 2014

All-New Ford F-150: Toughest, Smartest, Most Capable F-150 Ever Delivers Industry-Leading Towing, Payload Performance


  •     Dealers and consumers across the United States start testing the all-new 2015 Ford F-150 ahead of its arrival in dealerships later this year
  •     All-new F-150 delivers industry’s best towing and payload capability among full-size pickups; F-150 can tow 12,200 pounds and haul 3,300 pounds
  •     Regardless of model configuration or engine choice, every truck customer benefits from up to 700 pounds of weight savings with the 2015 F-150; F-150 can tow up to 1,100 more pounds, haul up to 530 more pounds and is projected to deliver fuel economy ratings in the range of at least 5 percent and as much as 20 percent higher gas mileage than today’s truck, depending on the model
The 2015 Ford F-150 – the reinvention of America’s favorite pickup – is winning early praise as it sets the standard for the future of tough, thanks to the all-new vehicle’s impressive combination of power, capability and efficiency.

This month, the first of 10,000 dealer sales consultants began test driving the new truck in 26 cities nationwide. Performance driving and competitive towing exercises are underscoring the industry’s best towing and payload capability among full-size pickups – the all-new F-150 can tow 12,200 pounds and haul 3,300 pounds.

Overall, the 2015 F-150 is the toughest, smartest, most capable F-150 ever. Regardless of model configuration or engine choice, every truck customer benefits from up to 700 pounds of weight savings the new truck delivers. The all-new F-150 can tow up to 1,100 more pounds, haul up to 530 more pounds and is projected to have fuel economy ratings in the range of at least 5 percent and as much as 20 percent better gas mileage than today’s truck, depending on the model. (Specific gas mileage numbers for the entire lineup will be certified by the U.S. EPA, likely in November, and announced at that time.)

“Once again, Ford F-150 establishes new standards in durability, capability, technology and efficiency,” said Joe Hinrichs, Ford president of The Americas. “We keep raising the bar on America’s favorite truck to help F-150 owners be more productive 24/7 – whether for work or weekend fun.”

Early test drives offered

Through December, dealer sales consultants will put the all-new F-150 through its paces in 26 cities, testing the truck’s speed and towing capability while experiencing its smart new features.

These early drives are meant to help sales professionals understand the truck’s strengths from the best perspective – the driver’s seat.

Consumers also can test drive the all-new F-150 ahead of the truck’s arrival in dealer showrooms. From Oct. 11 to Dec. 21, consumers in 38 U.S. cities can participate in up to 20,000 test drives of the new truck nationwide, with product experts along for the ride explaining smart new innovations and answering questions.

Consumers can preregister for events at F150drive.com. If no stops are yet planned near a customer’s location, he or she will be notified of future tour visits. Walk-up participation is encouraged.

Punishing testing proves toughest F-150 ever

The new truck’s improved performance is enabled by reducing up to 700 pounds of weight through the use of high-strength steel in the frame and high-strength, military-grade, aluminum alloy in the body.

Before the new F-150 goes on sale, it will have been torture-tested for more than 10 million miles in a range of temperatures and terrain – in labs, at Ford proving grounds, in the hands of some of the most demanding truck customers and even in the grueling Baja 1000 off-road race.

New technologies mean smartest F-150 ever

Several groundbreaking features debut in the all-new F-150, including 11 available class-exclusives:
  •     360-degree camera view uses exterior cameras to create a bird’s-eye view of the truck to help drivers park, maneuver in tight spots, and navigate narrow roads and trails
  •     Integrated loading ramps enable easy loading of ATVs, motorcycles and mowers
  •     BoxLink combines metal brackets and custom cleats to secure a variety of accessories in the cargo box – from ramps to storage bins to bed dividers
  •     LED headlamps; LED taillamps provide excellent nighttime visibility
  •     Trailer hitch assist adds a new rearview camera feature that incorporates a dynamic line based on steering wheel angle in the display to help customers line up their truck and trailer with no spotter or need to exit the vehicle
  •     Remote tailgate allows for tailgate to be locked, unlocked and released with the key fob
Four engine choices ensure most capable F-150 ever

The all-new F-150 lineup includes four engine options for more power, and to meet most any customer need:
  •     2.7-liter EcoBoost® V6 with standard Auto Start-Stop: New engine design produces 325 horsepower and 375 lb.-ft. of torque. The 2.7-liter EcoBoost 4x2 has a maximum payload rating of 2,250 pounds and maximum tow rating of 8,500 pounds – ideal for meeting mid-range capability requirements and the needs of more than 90 percent of light-duty truck customers
  •     3.5-liter EcoBoost: This twin-turbo EcoBoost engine delivers V8-like 420 lb.-ft. of torque and 365 horsepower to enable towing of up to 12,200 pounds – more than enough to handle a fully loaded, three-horse trailer or large boat. It has earned an industry-leading maximum payload rating of 3,180 pounds
  •     5.0-liter V8 with twin independent variable camshaft timing: Improved power and efficiency, delivering 385 horsepower and 387 lb.-ft. of torque. Smart engineering enhancements such as a new long-runner intake manifold, revised intake cam duration and new pulse-separated exhaust manifolds help raise towing capability by 1,100 pounds to a maximum 11,100 pounds, and payload to 3,300 pounds
  •     3.5-liter V6 with twin independent variable camshaft timing: This engine produces 283 horsepower and 255 lb.-ft. of torque. It has a maximum payload of 1,910 pounds and maximum tow rating of 7,600 pounds – unsurpassed for standard V6 light-duty pickup trucks
New F-150 goes on sale later this year

When it arrives in showrooms late this year, the all-new Ford F-150 will continue offering the broadest selection of trim levels in the full-size pickup segment. Five primary trims are available, and include XL, XLT, Lariat, Platinum and King Ranch. Chrome appearance packages are available with XL, XLT, Lariat and King Ranch. Monochromatic sport appearance packages are available with XL, XLT and Lariat.

The FX4 off-road package can be added to most four-wheel-drive models, improving trail capability with an electronic locking rear axle, skid plates and off-road-tuned shocks.

F-150 is part of the Ford F-Series truck lineup, America’s best-selling truck for 37 consecutive years and best-selling vehicle for 32 years.

F-150 continues to be manufactured at Dearborn Truck Plant in Dearborn, Michigan, and Kansas City Assembly Plant in Claycomo, Missouri.

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 186,000 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

Friday, October 3, 2014

Consumer Test Drives of All-New Ford F-150 About to Begin in 38 Markets Across the United States

  •     Soon, consumers can test drive the all-new 2015 Ford F-150 ahead of the truck’s availability in dealer showrooms
  •     Tour visits 38 markets across the United States, Oct. 13 through Dec. 21
  •     Consumers can register and schedule their test drive at F150drive.com
Consumers wanting to drive the future of trucks can get behind the wheel of the 2015 Ford F-150 – the toughest, smartest, most capable F-150 ever – in 38 markets across the United States beginning Oct. 13.


The tour will make stops in 38 major markets and run through Dec. 21. Truck customers can drive the all-new model on a short route with product experts along for the ride to explain the new innovations and answer questions.


Consumers can register and schedule their test drive at F150drive.com. Walk-up participation is encouraged.


“The new F-150 is a game changer,” said Doug Scott, Ford Truck group marketing manager. “Truck customers are going to learn about and experience the F-150’s new features and improved performance from the best place possible – the driver’s seat.”


Tour vehicles will feature the all-new 2.7-liter EcoBoost® V6 that produces 325 horsepower and 375 lb.-ft. of torque and includes Auto Start-Stop designed to enhance fuel economy in stop-and-go driving. The 3.5-liter EcoBoost that produces 365 horsepower and 420 lb.-ft. of torque will be available to test drive as well.


Participants registered online or in attendance at the event can enter for a chance to win an all-new 2015 Ford F-150.*


The tour also will feature interactive displays to help consumers gain a better understanding of the technical aspects of the all-new F-150, including its high-strength steel frame construction and high-strength, military-grade, aluminum-alloy body panels.



Drive events will take place in the parking lots of large retailers and office parks. Details can be found on F150drive.com.


“This is the most anticipated truck in Ford history,” said Scott. “Consumers will see for themselves how Ford reinvented the pickup, and experience how the all-new F-150 is a more capable and efficient tool that can make their daily lives easier and more productive.”


Consumers can visit F150drive.com to find the tour stop nearest them. Here is a list of tour stops by route:


Week  of  West West  Central  East Central  East
Oct 20 Seattle Minneapolis          Buffalo, NY      Boston
Oct. 20 Portland,
Ore.
Chicago Cleveland New
York
Oct. 27 Sacramento,
Calif.
St.
Louis
Pittsburgh Philadelphia
Nov. 3 San Francisco Kansas City, Kan. Columbus,
Ohio
Washington, D.C.
Indianapolis
Nov. 10 Salt
Lake City
Tulsa,
Okla.
Nashville,
Tenn.
Raleigh,
N.C.
Nov. 17 Denver Oklahoma
City, Okla.
Little
Rock, Ark.
Atlanta
Dec. 1 Phoenix Dallas Baton
Rouge, La.
Orlando,
Fla.
Dec. 8 Riverside,
Calif.
Austin,
Texas
New
Orleans
Tampa,
Fla.
Dec. 15 Los
Angeles
San
Antonio
Houston Miami


*No purchase necessary. Open to licensed drivers 18 and over. Ends Dec. 31, 2014. Complete rules available at F150drive.com.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

How To Train a Snow & Ice Removal Rookie


 
With such a relentless, record breaking winter we experienced last season, you may have added or are considering adding a few new members to your snow removal team. Some may be experienced, snow and ice removal professionals, with many winters under their belt. However, if you’ve hired someone new to the industry, you will want to train your new team member on snow plowing best practices. This will not only help them when the first storm hits but will also help to establish your performance expectations levels and safety standards.

The Accredited Snow Contractors Association’s 2014 American National Standard highlights snow plowing basics that could be beneficial for your new hire to know*. Share these tips and help them put the best plow forward.

Safety Considerations During Operation

- Always adhere to local vehicular operational laws and ordinances;

- Adhere to safe plowing speeds to maintain control of the vehicle’s operation;

- Avoid pedestrians and give them the “right of way” at all times;

- Do not pile the snow in a manner that impedes the view down any street.


Plowing Practices

- Endeavor to always be aware of surroundings;

- Endeavor not to hit obstructions (light poles, parking bumpers, etc.);

- In many cases, pushing snow across streets is against local laws. It is advised to avoid this when possible;

- When plowing past a vehicle(s), endeavor to angle the plow blade away from the vehicle(s);

- When clearing snow away from curbs where sidewalks abut said curbs, the snow plow blade should angle away from curbs;

- When clearing sidewalks, if possible, push snow onto grass areas and not into paved areas, unless using a secondary support truck to clear snow pushed from the sidewalk into the designated area immediately;

- Do not leave a ridge of snow where the sidewalk meets the parking area/aisle;

- Endeavor not to plow snow into loading docks, only out from the dock area itself;

- When plowing onto grass areas, raise the plow slightly to avoid potential grass damage;

- Know that parking decks require special attention depending upon deck coating material and weight restrictions.

You may also want to consider training your new snow plow operator on different blade positions and their best uses, preseason procedures, identifying hazardous conditions and safety preparedness. Whether you’re training a new employee or refreshing your team on plowing best practices, you can use this guide to remind and inform your crews about the best snow removal practices.

*This information was republished with the permission of the ASCA.

The Accredited Snow Contractors Association, ASCA, is a trade association with the purpose of advancing the snow and ice management industry. ANSI/ASCA A1000-2014: System Requirements for Snow and Ice Management Services, is intended to be implemented and applied (on a voluntary basis) in conjunction with ISO 9001 with respect to the processes of providing snow and ice management services.  For information on purchasing a copy of the ANSI/ASCA A1000-2014 standards visit:  http://www.ascaonline.org/ansi-standards.aspx