Archive for Ford Super Duty

Ford F550 Hybrid Chassis Cab Coming

Ford announced this week that they have teemed up with Azure Dynamics to produce the 2013 Hybrid F-550 chassis cab.  It will be available in all engine and chassis length combinations.  They have also agreed to provide the technology for the F-350 and F-450 chassis’. 

Azure Dynamics already provides the power systems on the Transit Connect Electric (available now at Sanderson), and the E-450 Hybrid electric step van and shuttle bus. 

The hybrid chassis will be built as a “ship-thru” option allowing the Ford transportation system to move the vehicles thereby saving on the cost and time of additional transportation logistics. 

It is expected that the chassis cab market could grow by 50% in the next few years as fleet oerators start replacing equipment that was delayed due to the economy.  This gives them a great option to help manage unpredictable fuel costs and clean energy goals. 

Info provided by Ford and Azure Dynamics.

Ford’s Quality Ranks High Among Automakers

Strategic Vision, Inc has released their latest Total Quality Index, and Ford was revealed to have one of the highest quality rankings among automakers.  Every year, the survey asks consumers to rank how satisfied they are with several aspects of their car, from vehicle design to the car buying experience.

This year, the company surveyed over 37,000 customers who had purchased 2011 model year vehicles between September and December 2010.  The customers were asked to list their satisfaction on numerous aspects, including vehicle performance, reliability, and dealership treatment.  The ratings for each automaker are then combined to create the Total Quality Index.

In all, Ford ranked second among automakers, thanks to their strong designs, brand equity, and innovative technology.  Specifically, the F-Series trucks, Flex, and Mustang were all quality leaders among their categories.

Ford SYNC Adds Live Operators

  • Ford is beta testing an Operator Assist feature for the cloud-based network of SYNC Services, giving all registered Services users complimentary access to a live operator for help with business searches and address entry for turn-by-turn directions.  About 70 percent of calls to SYNC Services are for business searches and/or directions
  • SYNC Services provides access to more than 14 million business listings.  
  • Getting directions or finding a business using SYNC Services has become even easier thanks to a new feature called Operator Assist that allows users to instantly connect with a live person. 
  • Operator Assist is only a voice command away, making it part of the growing list of cloud-based driver aids offered by Ford Motor Company. The new feature provides customers with the ability to safely connect with a live person who can quickly access information databases to help drivers get where they’re going.  

Operator Assist is currently in a beta test trial phase and being offered as a complimentary feature for registered users of SYNC Services. No additional software or hardware is needed.   

“Ford is committed to continuously improving the ownership experience and delivering the level of connectivity that customers want,” said Doug VanDagens, director, Ford Connected Services Solutions Organization. “By leveraging what’s available in the cloud, we continue to innovate and improve our customers’ experience without having to touch the vehicle or inconvenience the owner.”
 
How it works
Cloud-based, on-demand, voice-activated SYNC Services provides access to information about traffic, news, sports, weather, horoscopes, stock quotes, and movie listings along with business searches and turn-by-turn directions.
 
Operator Assist is available for the directions and business search functions of SYNC Services. Seventy percent of all SYNC Services calls are for business search and directions, said David Gersabeck, product manager, SYNC Services.
 
Using advanced vehicle sensors, integrated GPS technology and comprehensive map and traffic data, the SYNC Services automated system delivers turn-by-turn directions to the user. Further, with access to more than 14 million business listings, SYNC Services’ automated system directs users to the businesses they seek.
 
Now, with Operator Assist, at any time during a business search or directions interaction between the user and the SYNC Services automated system, the user can say, “Operator,” confirm his or her request to speak with an operator, and connect to a live operator. This system gives Ford customers the choice of interfacing with a live operator or utilizing the interactive voice recognition system.
 
“Our customers asked for additional assistance in situations where their voice request was not understood,” said Gersabeck. “If you want the most reliable user experience, enabling alternative methods for customers to access information will increase success, which is where Operator Assist factors into the equation.”
 
In the event a user says an address or business that the automated system can’t identify, the user will be prompted with the option to connect to a live operator. If the user confirms he or she would like to speak with an operator for further assistance, the system automatically connects the user to the live operator.
 
When a live operator assists with a business search, the user can choose to receive turn-by-turn directions to the business, receive a text message with name, address and phone number information about the business (applies to certain phone carrier networks), or be directly connected to the phone number of the business.
 
When a live operator assists with address entry, the user can have the directions sent directly to the vehicle.
 
“We want Ford SYNC Services customers to have the peace of mind that comes with knowing they can get where they’re going or want to go,” said Gersabeck. “Being able to connect with a live person at any time contributes to that peace of mind.”
 
The live operator services are provided by MyAssist, a leading live assistance and telematics service company for individuals and businesses based in Stevens Point, Wis.
 
Provided by Ford Media

Ford Transit Connect Available Locally with CNG Fuel

  • Rising price of traditional gas coupled with significant government incentives and an increasing number of fuel stations is pumping up demand for compressed natural gas-powered (CNG) vehicles by commercial customers.
  • 

  • Ford meets demand by offering CNG as an option for Transit Connect, E-Series vans and F-Series Super Duty trucks.
  • An extremely clean-burning fuel, CNG usage can result in 30 to 40 percent less greenhouse gas emissions, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

 

 Higher fuel prices, increasing government incentives and more fueling stations are spurring interest in compressed natural gas-powered commercial vehicles offered by Ford Motor Company.

Consider Metro Taxi of West Haven, Conn., which soon will take delivery of 20 Transit Connect Taxis powered by CNG. Owner Bill Scalzi said he bought the CNG-powered Transit Connect Taxis because of rising gas prices, government funding and the fact that there will soon be more CNG fueling stations in Connecticut, including one he is adding to his facilities.

Scalzi is not alone in wanting to own natural gas fueled vehicles as orders for CNG Transit Connect Taxis are coming from companies in places like Las Vegas, St. Louis, Boston, Chicago and Hartford, Conn.

“Fleet managers are adding all the reasons up and concluding that it makes sense to switch to CNG now more than ever,” said Rod Phillips, Ford Commercial Business Manager of the New England area.

CNG is made by compressing natural gas, which is mainly composed of methane. It is stored and distributed in hard containers at a pressure of 2,900 to 3,600 psi. About 85 percent of the CNG used in the United States is produced domestically.

CNG is used in traditional gasoline internal combustion engines that have been modified to operate on CNG. In addition to Transit Connect Taxi, CNG is an option for Ford E-Series vans and F-Series Super Duty trucks.

The benefits are numerous.  First, CNG is a nontoxic, extremely clean-burning fuel and significantly reduces CO, CO2 and NOx compared with gasoline. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, use of CNG can result in 30 to 40 percent less greenhouse gas emissions.

“The ability to convert the Transit Connect to CNG is a big driving force for us,” said J.J. Bell, vice president of Las Vegas-based Whittlesea Blue Cab, which has ordered Transit Connect Taxis powered by CNG. “We are converting more and more of our fleet to this alternative fuel.”

Another benefit is cost. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, between September 2005 and January, the price per gallon equivalent of CNG peaked at $2.34 in the summer of 2008. The national average was $1.93 in January 2011, the same as it was in October 2010. That’s important at a time when the price of gas is flirting with $4 per gallon.

“Every time fuel costs start climbing, the level of interest in alternative fuels increases,” said Carla York, CEO of Reston, Va.-based Innovation Drive Inc., a company that manages alternative fuel-related projects.

She said her organization receives 12 to 20 percent more calls with every 50-cent increase at the pump.

Government incentive support
An additional benefit is the amount of funding available. Government incentives such as rebates or tax credits are prompting fleet owners such as Scalzi to buy or convert their vehicles to run on CNG at reduced rates.

For example, the federally funded Clean Cities Petroleum Reductions Program is providing $300 million in funding to regional projects across the United States. One project is the Connecticut Clean Cities Future Fuels Project, which partially covers the costs of converting a vehicle to CNG. That project alone plans to provide funding for a total of 264 alternative-fuel vehicles.

“Without the help of the government program I wouldn’t have been able to purchase so many CNG-powered Transit Connect Taxis at one time,” Scalzi said. “I like the Transit Connect Taxi for its spacious passenger area and cargo capacity, so the government assistance was timely.”

The incentives also are helping fund construction of CNG fueling stations. Nearly 1,000 CNG fueling stations are now spread across the United States.

As a result, cities such as Tampa, Fla., and St. Louis soon will have their first public CNG stations.

Gerald Koss, marketing manager for Ford fleet operations, said Ford anticipated the infrastructure to support CNG vehicles would evolve and remained committed to its plans to bring CNG-powered commercial vehicles to market – even during economically challenged times.

“We took the chance that infrastructure would expand when we introduced our Transit Connect Taxi CNG capability in advance of any incentives for infrastructure or CNG conversions,” said Koss. “It turns out our timing couldn’t have been better.”

Ford has invested billions in researching and developing new fuel-efficient engines, transmissions and electrified vehicles, even during the depths of the economic downturn when competitors dialed back product spending. Today Ford has 12 vehicles with best-in-class fuel economy and four models with at least 40 mpg – claims no other full-line automaker can match.

Call the Commercial Sales Department at Sanderson Ford for more information on CNG, Propane, Hybrid, and Electric powered Ford vehicles.  (623) 842-8787

Ford F350 Passes Million Mile Mark

From the UPI website-

A Michigan man has seen the USA, not in a Chevrolet but in a Ford truck on which he’s put more than a million miles doing what he said he didn’t intend.

Gary Mueller of Ridgeway Township socked away money to travel when he worked for Ford Motor Co., but he said about 90 percent of it vanished when the stock market “dot-com” bubble burst in April 2000.  “That kind of quenched my travel plans for my savings,” he said.

He still wanted to travel, and taking a cue from a friend, Mueller bought a truck and went to work for Quality Drive-Away Inc., of Goshen, Ind., in September 2001 hauling recreational vehicles to all parts of the country, The Daily Telegram of Adrian, Mich., reported Sunday.

“I found out right away when you’re driving, it’s not as much of a sightseeing experience as watching out for the other guy,” Mueller said.  He had an accident three months after starting the job but then bought a 2002 Ford F-350 Super Duty diesel truck with manual transmission and dual rear wheels and proceeded to put more than a million miles worth of traveling the country on it, hauling trailers that can weigh more than 16,000 pounds.

“This truck really feels kind of like an extension of me,” Mueller said.  His truck ticked 1 million miles Feb. 17, the newspaper said.

Mueller said the company he works for keeps sending him work, and if he keeps on maintaining his truck as diligently as he does, he doesn’t see any reason why he can’t keep on truckin’.

“I don’t think there’s a limit,” he said.

Read more: http://www.upi.com/Odd_News/2011/06/12/Man-hits-million-miles-in-truck/UPI-18731307908681/#ixzz1PB7Q7dlG

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