Driving the 2017 Super Duty with Ford’s “Insiders” and Talking About Owning Work
In preparation for the launch of the 2017 Ford Super Duty, the company wanted to do something special to get people interested in the product, along with receiving honest feedback from people who use Ford trucks every single day. They created their “Insiders” program for that very reason, and we’ve followed their progress right here on this very site. Ford brought three of them out for the launch of the Super Duty in Denver, and I had a chance to talk with them and get their impressions on both the program and the new truck.
Nate Berges, Josh Morris, and Tim Pope work in various industries where Super Duty dominates. Nate works in construction, Josh does electrical, and Tim is in forestry. All three of them were selected for the program in a similar way — responding to an email from the Ford Social team and filling out an application. It was more than that, of course, because a producer had to make sure they were the right talent for the project.
After being selected, they were whisked away to various parts of the company to see the new Super Duty before anyone else. They evaluated the performance and durability of the truck long before we even knew what was going to be in the final truck, and provided valuable feedback to the team.
I rode with both Nate and Josh on one of the legs of the drive program and asked them about the feedback they provided. I was curious if they were expected to hold back their feedback and only remain positive. Both of them, when asked, responded with a “No” quickly. Both said that the engineers and the rest of the Ford team were genuinely interested in honest feedback to help make the truck better.
As I highlighted in an earlier post, Nate already has a new F-350 on order as his personal vehicle, and plans on replacing his older work Super Dutys with the new truck when the time comes. Josh said he’d also order one right now if his wife wouldn’t kill him. I wouldn’t be surprised if he doesn’t order one sooner than later, considering how excited he was about the new truck.
Tim also plans on ordering the new Super Duty. His forestry business seems him ordering around 15 trucks a year, and he’s really looking forward to adding the new trucks to his fleet. I had a chance to ask him what impresses him most about the new Super Duty, and he gave me a one-word reply of “safety.” Not only is the truck safer than the previous version, but the technology integration with adaptive cruise control — that works with a max-load trailer — and other systems is something he wants his people to have. Inoperable trucks due to accidents and time off due to injuries cost businesses money. Tim wants to reduce his risk with both, and I can’t blame him.
For me the coolest thing about the program was how authentic it is. These guys — and gal — aren’t part of the Ford marketing team. Sure, they were fans to being with — you’d have to be to fill out the application and want to go behind-the-scenes — but they weren’t coached in any way as to what to say. If you ever get a chance like this in the future and wonder if it’s worth it, I’m sure all of the current insiders would agree that it absolutely is.
What do you think? Let us know in the comments below or over in the forums!