In an unprecedented customer field work evaluation program, Ford gave commercial businesses around the country preproduction models of the all-new 2011 Ford Super Duty months before the truck goes on sale. The initial results will be posted this week on www.fordvehicles.com/2011superduty under “Field Work.”
To test the trucks in extreme real-world conditions, select customers put the new 2011 Super Duty F-250, F-350, F-450 and F-550 to work immediately in the humid swamps of Florida, in the subzero wintry conditions of Wyoming and in the dusty, dry areas of Texas construction sites and ranches.
“As soon as we got this truck, we slapped a 22,000-pound trailer on it and headed for the field,” says a Wyoming-based Well Cementing supervisor in one of the webisodes. “Ford asked us to work this truck hard, and we’re working this truck hard.”
The evaluation trucks are all equipped with the new 6.7-liter Power Stroke V-8 turbocharged diesel engine and the 6R140 heavy-duty TorqShift six-speed automatic transmission.
Ford engineers are using advanced telematics technology to retrieve daily performance data from each truck for further analysis. These data are being posted and continually updated online, allowing the public unprecedented access to the performance of the next generation of the best-selling truck in America for 33 years.
Here’s a sample of what the customers had to say:
“The truck sat in negative weather for several hours, then started right up with no issues.”
“A group of us were standing around the truck, maybe 10 feet away. A guy told me I left my lights on, and I said the truck is still running. He couldn’t believe how quiet it was.”
“I was towing a trailer 311 miles and had to keep checking in the mirror to see if the trailer was still there.”
Chris Brewer, chief engineer of the 2011 Super Duty, said early feedback from these extreme customers confirms the importance of the testing regimen his team has been conducting.
“We’ve tested this truck in every situation imaginable throughout the development process, but nothing can replace these real-world scenarios,” said Brewer. “The initial feedback we’re getting is very encouraging – especially on fuel economy.”
“We’ve never undertaken something this ambitious in the testing of one of our trucks. Sharing preproduction units with customers that do the toughest jobs and showing their unfiltered results underscores the confidence we have in this truck,” said Doug Scott, Ford Truck marketing manager. “We want everyone to see what goes into the development of the 2011 Ford Super Duty.”
The 2011 Super Duty goes on sale this spring. Meanwhile, the 2010 Super Duty – the segment leader in towing with over 24,000-pound capability – continues to dominate the heavy-duty pickup market with 45 percent of the segment in 2009, up more than 2 percentage points over the previous year.
Tags: Diesel, Engine, Ford