2018 Ford F-150 Diesel Takes on TFLT‘s Ike Gauntlet
Is the new Power Stroke F-150 tough enough for the grueling test?
Many people use the Ford F-150 just to carry them and their families around. Sometimes they might haul a few building supplies in the bed or go so far as towing a small boat or camper behind it. Depending on the weight of those outdoor toys, almost any engine available in the 2018 F-150 lineup can handle the job. The new 3.0-liter Power Stroke diesel V6 was designed not only for outstanding fuel economy, but for substantial towing. In the above video, that’s exactly what the guys at TFL Truck make the 2018 F-150 do.
TFL Truck hooks an F-150 SuperCrew FX4 with a long bed and 3.55 gears to an 8’X20′, 8,700-pound trailer – well below the truck’s max tow rating of 11,000 pounds. To make sure they’re hauling the load safely, they use a load-distributing hitch, putting the truck and trailer on the same level. The catch is that the truck then has to complete the Ike Gauntlet: Eight miles of towing on a seven-percent grade with a max elevation of 11,158 feet.
On the downhill section, the truck is stable, but consistently revving at 4,500 rpm. The F-150 soon cancels its tow/haul mode and drops rpms to 1,000. The guys eventually make it down to flat roads. The F-150 goes into a “limp home” mode and caps its speed at seven mph. After letting the truck rest for 10 minutes, the TFL Truck crew starts it again. To ensure their experience wasn’t a fluke, they try the downhill portion of the gauntlet again…and get the same outcome.
For the uphill segment of the test, the fellows keep the throttle wide open in an attempt to maintain a steady 60-mph pace up the steep road. Even with the right pedal pinned to the floor, the F-150 is not able to stay at that lofty speed, although it does get 5.4 mpg – a figure superior to that generated by the F-150’s other engine options.
The guys at TFL Truck have their ideas about what might have caused the downhill issue, but are awaiting Ford’s official explanation. Once they get everything sorted out, they’ll try to get the F-150 diesel to officially complete the Ike Gauntlet.