By -

CHICAGO, Feb. 6, 2008 “” Ford is further expanding its “˜smart’
features for truck customers, announcing today a collection of
industry-exclusive technologies for F-Series trucks and commercial
E-Series vans that will help make business owners more productive and

Ford Work Solutions delivers four innovative features:

  • An
    in-dash computer developed with Magneti Marelli and powered by
    Microsoft Auto that provides full high-speed Internet access via the
    Sprint Mobile Broadband Network and navigation by Garmin. It’s the
    first broadband-capable in-dash computer in production. This system
    allows customers to print invoices, check inventories and access
    documents stored on their home or office computer networks ““ right on
    the job site.
  • Tool Link, a Radio-Frequency Identification
    (RFID) asset tracking system developed in partnership with DEWALT, the
    industry leader in professional power tools, and ThingMagic, the
    industry expert on embedded RFID technology. This enables customers to
    maintain a detailed real-time inventory of the tools or equipment
    stored in the pickup box.
  • Crew Chief, a fleet telematics
    and diagnostics system, which allows small fleet owners to efficiently
    manage their vehicles, quickly dispatch workers to job sites and keep
    detailed vehicle maintenance records.
  • Cable Lock security
    system developed in partnership with Master Lock®, the industry-leading
    lock manufacturer, to discourage theft of expensive tools too large to
    fit in the cab.

“Our truck customers are smart ““ and
they work hard,” said Mark Fields, Ford’s president of The Americas.
“Ford Work Solutions provides truck customers new technologies and
tools to help them work even smarter and further boost their

F-Series has been the best-selling truck in
America for 31 years. Two out of every five commercial trucks sold in
the U.S. wears a Ford oval.

For years, truck capability has
been measured in maximum towing and payload ratings. The new 2009 Ford
F-150 builds on that kind of industry-leading capability, offering the
most “˜smart’ features that make towing and hauling more flexible,
easier and safer. Ford Work Solutions adds still another dimension of
capability for commercial truck owners.

“Ford Work Solutions
takes productivity to a new level by bringing the office to the job
site in an integrated, seamless way that only Ford could deliver ““ with
a strong network of industry-leading partners like DEWALT, Microsoft,
Garmin, Master Lock®, Magneti Marelli and Sprint,” said John Felice,
general marketing manager, Ford Division.

Ford Work Solutions
features were developed through hands-on research with contractors and
skilled tradespeople in multiple markets around the U.S.

four Ford Work Solutions will be available this fall on the new 2009
Ford F-150 XL, STX, XLT and FX4 trucks; F-Series Super Duty XL, XLT and
FX4 trucks; and all 2009 E-Series vans. Transit Connect vans join the
lineup in mid-2009. In time, several of the features will be available
for dealer installation to upgrade Ford Trucks already in service.







Online On the Job Site

Ford is delivering fully integrated mobile office functionality into F-Series trucks on the job site ““ an industry first.

in-dash computer, developed with Magneti Marelli, transforms the new
2009 F-150 or F-Series Super Duty into true mobile offices, capable of
linking into the business owner’s main office computer network or a
home computer via a cellular broadband connection.

Users can
access existing files on an office computer miles from the job site,
open a word processing document, a spread sheet or their business
accounting program, make updates and print them in the truck on an
available Ford-certified, on-board, Bluetooth-enabled, battery-powered
inkjet printer.

Powered by Microsoft Auto, the system
provides high-speed Internet access via the Sprint Mobile Broadband
Network. It works with Bluetooth-enabled mobile phones, offering
hands-free calling with push-to-talk voice recognition, access to user
phonebooks and the ability to receive text messages.

in-dash computer also includes navigation by Garmin, which comes
standard with features like re-routing due to construction or traffic
congestion and points of interest including local gas stations and
their fuel prices, restaurants, Ford dealerships and Quick Lane Tire
& Auto Centers.

The computer is integrated into the
vehicle’s center stack, filling the same space normally occupied by the
standard radio. It is equipped with a 6.5-inch, high-resolution touch
screen, two gigabytes of memory, a secure digital slot for additional
memory, a USB port and includes a wireless keyboard and mouse. A
stylus, stored next to the CD slot, is included for use on the touch

The computer is “˜Built Ford Tough’ ““ designed and tested to the same stringent standards as the other parts on the truck.

Tracking Tools

F-Series trucks offer customers the most flexible, most accessible
pickup boxes in the industry, thanks to class-leading hauling
capability, industry-exclusive features like tailgate

and box side steps ““ as well as a unique technology like Ford Work Solutions Tool Link.

with DEWALT and ThingMagic, Tool Link offers owners the capability to
mark and scan high-value tools, safety equipment, material inventories
and other important assets using RFID tags. When the vehicle is
running, a pair of RFID antennas, mounted in corrosion- and
impact-resistant housings on the inside of the pickup box, scan the box
for the items on a pre-programmed inventory list.

The data is
transmitted to a reader mounted inside the cab and displayed on the
in-dash computer screen, alerting the driver if any inventoried tools
are not loaded on the truck.

“Tool Link increases
productivity and saves money,” said William Frykman, Ford Work
Solutions product and business development manager. “It helps
contractors and tradespeople guarantee they show up at the job site
with the right tools for each job”“ and that they don’t leave equipment

Tool Link comes pre-loaded with several standard tool
lists that are easily edited to reflect specific types of jobs. The
system uses industry standard second-generation RFID tags that can be
fastened to tools or other items and can read and catalogue hundreds of
tools or assets in just seconds.







Manage the Crew

owners and managers often need to dispatch vehicles quickly for service
calls. Ford Work Solutions Crew Chief provides them a telematics and
diagnostics system that delivers real-time vehicle location and
maintenance tracking, allowing them to quickly respond to calls and
optimally deploy their fleets.

The data is linked to a
web-based application, which can be used by a fleet administrator in an
office or anywhere there is Internet access ““ including a Ford Work
Solutions in-dash computer.

As an added benefit, Crew Chief
interfaces with the vehicle’s electrical architecture and can monitor
numerous diagnostic functions, including tire pressure or check engine
light codes.

It also can be programmed to identify user-set alerts, such as unauthorized use of a vehicle or excessive idling.

system will also provide fuel calculations and fuel tax reporting,
helping fleet managers and business owners manage costs more

Master Lock Keeps Cargo Secure

lockable storage is important for all customers,” said Frykman. “That’s
why we worked with Master Lock to deliver the Cable Lock, a convenient
way to secure items such as toolboxes, air compressors, generators or
large power tools that may need to be in the pickup box when the
vehicle is parked.”

The strong, eight-foot, 10 millimeter steel
cable is wrapped in a protective plastic sheathing and is easily woven
around toolbox handles or through and around items and then locked to
the truck with a cuff-style clasp.

The clasp can be attached
to any of the items in the box, any of the tie-down cleats, or simply
clamped back onto the cable itself. The self-retractable cable is
stored in a corrosion- and impact-resistant housing mounted to the
inside wall at the rear of the pickup box. The unit is spring-loaded
and uses a friction mechanism that will gently retract the cable when
not in use. Cable Lock is easily installed on virtually any Ford pickup

About Ford Motor Company

Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn,
Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles in 200 markets across
six continents. With about 245,000 employees and about 100 plants
worldwide, the company’s core and affiliated automotive brands include
Ford, Jaguar, Land Rover, Lincoln, Mercury, Volvo and Mazda. The
company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company.
For more information regarding Ford’s products, please visit

Comments ()