This is the second in my series of reviewing the trucks we use to haul very large and expensive yachts up and down the East Coast.
We reviewed the GM Duramax last time; this time around it's the Ford Super Duty with the 6.7 Powerstroke engine. It's a gorgeous truck, but as you will read below, in my opinion it is not cut out to perform the heavy duty work at Palmetto Yacht Management.
Ford released its new 6.7 Powerstroke in 2011 and what an improvement it was from the previous catastrophes they called Powerstrokes!! This motor was finally designed like the Duramax where it uses fuel to make fuel pressure and not oil!!
The motor was the first motor for Ford in which International had no help in building. This motor provides more than enough Hp and plenty of torque! Just like the Duramax, this motor is a V8 so it "feels" fast!
When towing, this motor never built heat, unlike the Duramax. The transmission on these trucks needs to be heavier duty to be able to hold this power though. My experience proved to break multiple a/c compressors, an injector, and a couple other odd things! Seemed to me the rest of the truck was falling apart around the motor.
After some time, these powerful powerstrokes started blowing turbos; seemed to be the general consensus among several friends in the industry as well. The 2011-14 Powerstrokes have an under built turbo. The new 2nd gen 2015-up Powerstrokes have a completely upgraded turbo and fuel system; however the turbo issues still exist.
Meanwhile, the Gen1 6.7 never had an exhaust brake, and the Gen2 finally got it (five years later than the competition), and it's still no where near as powerful as the competition.
The suspension on the Ford F-350 is super soft and comfortable, and is great for riding around town without a load! However when you place a load on these trucks, they are immediately bottomed out! The spring pack just can't handle the weight.
They do however have a solid front axle with radius arm suspension, so only a 2" spring lift is needed to clear the Double Coin 255/70/22.5 tires with American Force wheels. Also the sway bars on the Ford looks like a twig compared to the Ram's!
The frame on these trucks is also 5 years behind the competitions, as it still isn't boxed, and won't happen until 2017! This causes a ton of flex when hauling heavy loads at highway speeds.
The braking on the Fords seems to be more responsive; however every three months I was changing another set of brake pads! This could be due to the lack of engine braking in comparison to the other trucks.
The Ford seats are super comfy and only got better in 2015; by far the best seats among the three trucks that we use (the other being a Ram which we will review next time).
The dash of the Ford is an iPhone 3 technology compared to the competitors. The back up assist resets every time the truck is restarted which is single handily the most annoying thing about this truck. The console is made up of six cup holders and a five gallon bucket! Anyone who drives a truck will notice this layout is very poor as there is no convenient place to put your Bluetooth ear piece, a pen . . . nothing other than big gulps! The cup holder liners always stick to your cup and become another nuisance!
The user interface of the Ford is okay at best! (The In-Dash screen and vehicle operation) The steering wheel has so many buttons so close together you must take your eyes off the road to make out which button you are about to hit. The GM and Ram are a far better layout.
The five gallon bucket of a console just swallows everything, so nothing can be organized. The AC temp and fan buttons are backwards, meaning the fan is set up on a button which should be a knob, and the temp is the knob. Think about this, when is the last time you wanted to change the temperature from 60-80 in a second? Almost never, however with the knob this is possible. Now when is the last time you wanted to turn the fan from low to high to either cool off or warm up . . . regularly. well on the Ford you will have to hit the button seven times to get the fan up to high! Poorly engineered!
The drivetrain on the Ford is under built! The carrier bearing on the 450 is still smaller than the Ram! Certainly not built "Ford Tough."
In my opinion these trucks are beautiful and powerful, but not much more than that! I will most likely never own another one until drastic changes are made! These trucks are clearly not built for commercial use or REAL work in my opinion!
To end on an unrelated positive note, I want to give a shout out to Double Coin Tires on their RLB450 drive tire meeting the requirements for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) SmartWay® Technology Program on fuel efficiency.
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