2005 Ford Super Duty Features & Options
SUPER DUTY CUSTOMERS DEMAND THE BEST - AND KNOW THEY'LL GET IT
Consider the vast array of vehicle options that Ford offers on the F-Series Super Duty and you'll get an idea of the truck's diverse customer base:
- F-250, F-350, F-450 and F-550 pickup and chassis cab models, representing increasing levels of towing and payload capability
- Each model available in four-wheel-drive and two-wheel-drive
- Each with a choice of cab styles and bed lengths
- With various optional axle ratios
- In three trim levels - XL, XLT and Lariat - and two feature vehicles, the King Ranch
and Ford Harley-Davidson' Super Duty
- Most of them offering dual or single-rear-wheel configuration
- With a choice of three engines and two transmissions.
Only a modular design and efficient production processes make this customized lineup possible. Most manufacturers wouldn't even
attempt it. But Ford recognized that Super Duty is not the typical vehicle - and the Super Duty customer really does need these options.
"We've introduced more refinement, luxury and creature comforts over the years, and Super Duty owners appreciate that, but the
bottom line is that they buy these trucks for their wide range of capability," said Doug Scott, Ford Truck Group marketing manager. "And that's the
area where we've made the greatest improvement for 2005. It's the most capable full-size pickup."
Connecting with Consumers
For a vehicle like the Super Duty, with such high customer expectations, it's important to constantly monitor the ways that truck
owners use their vehicles.
That's why Phil O'Connor, F-Series Super Duty marketing manager, spends so much time in the field, at events ranging from owner
rallies where the Super Duty is the star to American Quarter Horse Association shows, Professional Bull Riding competitions, NASCAR races and other events where the Super Duty hauls the stars.
Whether it's showing off or showing its best-in-class capabilities, the Super Duty has a strong bond with its customers, O'Connor
'They couldn't do the things they like to do without this truck," he said. "It enables them to live the lifestyle they want."
That kind of integration between the vehicle and the owner's lifestyle creates perhaps the most knowledgeable consumer base in the industry.
"We've been building F-Series trucks for 56 years and have accumulated a tremendous amount of customer knowledge," O'Connor said. "They know exactly what they want the truck to do, and can explain it to us in great detail.
"That's keen insight, and we evaluate every suggestion very seriously," he said. "These are the experts. Listening to their needs has led us to 27 consecutive years of truck leadership."
Work hard, play hard
More than 90 percent of Super Duty customers tow with their truck, and about 80 percent haul heavy loads, O'Connor said. And they want to be able to use every bit of the vehicle's capability, whether for personal or commercial use.
"They don't just need the ability to tow," O'Connor said. "They need the most towing available. They have large horse trailers, big boats and large recreational campers. That is why they come to the Super Duty."
While it's tempting to think of Super Duty as primarily a commercial or fleet vehicle - because of the visibility of Super Duty trucks upfitted as tow trucks, dump trucks or with cargo boxes - the majority actually go to retail buyers.
The line between commercial and retail customers blurs even further because the same owner who loads a Super Duty with a pallet of paving bricks for a landscaping job during the week
uses it to haul the family's RV to a campground on the weekend.
Power and Looks
The famed 6.0-liter Power Stroke diesel engine - installed in about two-thirds of Super Duty trucks - also leads a double life, Scott said.
"More and more retail customers want this engine - it's one of the reasons they move up to Super Duty," he said. "There is even a group of customers who treat this as the ‘muscle car'
of the truck world - customizing and accessorizing to build their version of the ultimate truck."
Scott said he wouldn't be surprised to see a similar trend among those who select the most powerful gasoline engine in the class - the new 6.8-liter, 3-valve Triton V-10, with
355 horsepower and 455 pound-feet of torque. The standard 5.4-liter, 3-valve Triton V-8
is also all-new, boasting 300 hp and 365 pound-feet of torque.
With a tougher, bolder front profile, the 2005 Super Duty is even more distinctive from its
Built Ford Tough sibling, the F-150. A smartly refined interior with new options including
the integrated electronic trailer brake controller and automatic temperature control adds to
the pleasure of ownership.
Built Ford Tough
Backing up those new powerplants is the legendary Super Duty toughness - an approach that insists on truck bed bolts that are strong enough to hold the entire vehicle weight, and installs
the same beefy suspension arm on every truck from F-250 through F-550.
"The fact that you can carry and tow greater loads than any other pickup is just the beginning," O'Connor said. "Our customers expect a truck that will stand up over the long haul. We have customers with over a million miles on their Super Duty trucks and they are still going strong."
If dealer reaction is any measure, Scott is confident that Ford has another hit on its hands.
"This truck has met with unanimous approval and enthusiasm from our dealers," he said. "They've already got the most successful heavy duty pickup. Now they're going to get a new one that's a quantum leap forward. They're just overwhelmed by the magnitude of improvement in the next Ford F-Series Super Duty."
In Touch with the Commercial Market
Bill Chew, supervisor of Ford Applications Engineering, is Super Duty's liaison to the aftermarket, dealing with the RV and commercial truck industries.
"We've worked hard to understand and anticipate their needs," Chew said. "The commercial aftermarket just exploded after we invented Super Duty. We provide the mobility; they provide the utility."
For example, customer insight helped to drive development of the industry-first integrated electric trailer brake controller. Another game-changer is going to be the quantum increase in gross vehicle weight ratings, he said.
"For example, very few trucks with this type of capacity have four-wheel-drive," Chew said. "This will allow more people to do more jobs, without having to move up to a medium truck, which can feel completely foreign to someone accustomed to driving a pickup. That comfort level is extremely important."
Because Chew works so closely with the commercial market, certain changes in the new
Super Duty leap out:
- 5.4-liter, 3-valve Triton V-8 with 300 horsepower. "The 5.4-liter Triton offers good economy to the fleet operator," he said. "They look at the total cost of operation - how much does it cost to run, how much maintenance is required, how hard is it to find parts … it's a value equation for them."
- Increased gross vehicle weight ratings. "This gives builders great flexibility in adding custom boxes on the back of the truck," Chew said. "We also use industry-standard measurements in building our frames, to assure it's as easy as possible for the aftermarket."
- Electronic throttle control, with adjustable fast-idle available on both V-10 gas
and V-8 diesel engines. "This will let our customers set the proper engine speed
to run the transmission powertrain operations, to power their accessories," he said.
"We were the first to market with a PTO option on automatic transmissions. This expands our capabilities even more."
- Snowplow prep package for two-wheel-drive F-450 and F-550 trucks. "Our snowplow manufacturers have told us this is something they need," he said. "People tend to think
of snow plows only on 4x4 trucks. But if you think about it, most highway plows don't have four-wheel-drive. With the right truck, like a dually F-450 or F-550, two-wheel-drive will get the job done."