Ford’s Easy-To-Operate Medium Duty Trucks Key to Success
Last year, in addition to bringing production of the F-650 and F-750 medium duty trucks back to the United States, Ford also refreshed both models. This refresh consisted of a few changes, including using all Ford-made parts for the engine and transmission instead of acquiring them from another company. They also focused on ease of operation. The result is a new truck that is easier than ever to get into and use every day.
By dropping Cummins and Allison for the engine and transmission, Ford is able to offer an unprecedented 5 year / 250,000 mile warranty on diesel medium duty trucks. They also have a B10 life of 500,000 miles. Some of you might be upset that they brought those components in house — and that’s a fair concern — it seems that Ford is willing to better stand behind their product when they control everything.
What’s more important though is how easy the truck is to drive an operate. I drove a 26,000 pound GCWR F-650 dump truck without air brakes as part of a small media program in Cleveland, where the truck is built. After very little instruction, I was off driving down the road. In this configuration I didn’t need to possess a CDL to drive it, and since it didn’t have air brakes I didn’t need extra training in the operation of the brakes. If I wanted to, I could’ve literally gone and hauled mulch or sand easily and without stress.
Of course, you can spec up one of these medium duty trucks to handle much more than that, with higher GCWRs and air brakes and literally anything you want on it.
The ease of use with less stress is important. While many of you pride yourselves on your ability to operated complicated machinery, there is a commercial truck driver shortage currently going on. That’s why there’s such a strong push for trucks to become automated and self-driving, because there aren’t currently enough butts-in-seats to meet the demand currently out there.
While every driver should have training before taking to the streets, making the actual act of driving less stressful will make it easier to hire new drivers. Those new drivers will also be safer on the road, because they’ll be able to focus their attention on traffic and obstacles.
But it also means that more people who would like to upgrade to a bigger truck can do so. Maybe a Super Duty just isn’t enough for a landscaping business? The owner might have drivers who don’t have CDLs, but could use the extra capacity of a F-650 dump truck? Now, that owner can purchase the truck they want and not have to worry about their drivers not being able to drive it.
That ultimately means more sales for Ford, a happier customer, and safer drivers out on the streets. That is what we call in business a “Win/Win” situation.
What do you think? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below or over in the forums!