The Car and Truck Fleet and Leasing Management Magazine

Customers Dream Up Custom 2017 Ford Super Duty

December 12, 2016

The trucks in Stacey Nelson’s fleet rarely get the luxury of driving on clean roads under sunny skies.

Black Hills Energy crews are tasked with keeping natural gas and electrical services running for 1.2 million customers across eight states. Their efforts are critical to keeping people warm in their homes in the most extreme weather conditions, and their requirements for a vehicle equipped to handle the rigors of 24/7 work are unique.

Senior fleet manager Nelson is one of five heavy-duty truck customers who got an all-access pass to see how the all-new 2017 Ford Super Duty – the toughest, smartest, most capable Super Duty ever – lives up to its Built Ford Tough promise.

Now, the Super Duty Insiders have configured their dream pickups and chassis cabs – designed with the right cab configurations, engines, towing and hauling options, plus smart technology features – creating a cheat sheet for other fleets in heavy-duty industries.

Dream up your own F-250, F-350 or F-450 Super Duty at http://shop.ford.com/build/superduty/#/select/.  

Oil & Gas Extraction:
Ford F-250 Super Duty 4x4 SuperCab XL

Oil and gas extraction: Ford F-250 Super Duty 4x4 SuperCab XL (Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Co.)
Oil and gas extraction: Ford F-250 Super Duty 4x4 SuperCab XL (Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Co.)

Nelson is responsible for a 3,200-truck fleet for Rapid City, South Dakota-based Black Hills Energy. Durability and value were critical in the design of her all-new Ford F-250 Super Duty dream build.

“The weight Ford saved and reinvested into strengthening the Super Duty frame should result in a truck that lasts longer and is more durable,” Nelson said. “A more durable truck translates into lower costs for us, which we can pass on to our customers.”

Beyond choosing the SuperCab model with 4x4, Nelson selected several features that make her dream F-250 Super Duty XL more capable and comfortable in extreme terrain and weather. These include a medium-duty battery, skid plates covering the transfer case and fuel tank, rear wheel well liner, front and rear mud flaps, and engine block heater.

Smart driver-assist technology was a must-have for Nelson. Super Duty’s optional seven cameras provide a 360-degree view around the truck, and Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) alerts crewmembers to vehicles in blind spots for both truck and trailer. Class-exclusive features like these help make Ford Super Duty the top choice for 50 percent of customers in the oil and gas extraction industry.

“The attention to safety is key in the new Super Duty line,” Nelson said. “I love all of the camera angles that help keep drivers more aware.”

Other key features of this F-250 Super Duty 4x4 SuperCab XL include:

  • 6.2L two-valve gas SOHC EFI flex-fuel V-8
  • TorqShift-G 6-speed SelectShift automatic
  • Single rear wheel
  • 3.73 electronic locking axle ratio
  • 6 3Ž4-foot bed
  • 10,000/9,000-pound GVWR package
  • Power equipment group
  • XL value package
  • Tailgate step
  • Bed mat
  • Remote start system
  • Exterior backup alarm
  • Platform running boards
  • Electronic shift-on-the-fly
  • 110-volt, 400-watt inverter outlet
  • Ultimate Trailer Tow camera system
  • Upfitter switches
  • SYNC3

Heavy Construction:
Ford F-350 Super Duty 4x4 Crew Cab XL

Heavy construction: Ford F-350 Super Duty 4x4 Crew Cab XL (Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Co.)
Heavy construction: Ford F-350 Super Duty 4x4 Crew Cab XL (Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Co.)

Jack Mills, owner of Plum Contracting, in Pittsburgh, needs capable work trucks that are still maneuverable. His team handles heavy-duty construction projects – including building bridges and culverts and rebuilding roads after landslides.

“My trucks are always loaded to capacity with the crew, their tools, and equipment for any situation that might develop at a job site that could be as far as 300 miles from home base,” Mills said. “Plus, they always are towing a trailer or piece of equipment.”

Mills designed his dream Super Duty to be an F-350 XL work truck with 4,340 pounds of payload capacity and 18,000 pounds of towing capacity.  

“My job sites are road construction projects that normally have single lane closures, and the single rear wheels keep the truck narrow enough that the barrels don’t need to be moved for them to pass through,” Mills said. “The tailgate-mounted rear camera is a nice safety feature to help prevent back-up accidents and the upfitter switches make it easy for my shop to add additional lights and powered accessories.” 

Other key features of this F-350 Super Duty 4x4 Crew Cab XL include:

  • 6.7L Power Stroke turbo diesel V-8
  • 6-speed SelectShift automatic
  • Single rear wheel
  • 3.55 electronic locking axle ratio
  • 8-foot bed
  • 11,400-pound GVWR package
  • Power equipment group
  • Heavy front suspension package
  • XL value package
  • BoxLink
  • Remote start system
  • Platform running boards
  • 18-inch Argent-painted steel wheels with painted hub cover and center ornament
  • 18-inch all-terrain tires
  • Heavy-duty vinyl seats
  • 10-minute engine idle shutdown
  • Trailer brake controller
  • Electronic shift-on-the-fly
  • 110-volt AC outlet
  • SYNC

Manufacturing:
Ford F-350 Super Duty Chassis Cab 4x2 SuperCab XL

Manufacturing: Ford F-350 Super Duty Chassis Cab 4x2 SuperCab XL (Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Co.)
Manufacturing: Ford F-350 Super Duty Chassis Cab 4x2 SuperCab XL (Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Co.)

At Berges Trenton Awning, based in Pleasantville, New Jersey, service crews drive chassis cabs outfitted with 9-foot and 11-foot utility bodies to haul tools, supplies, and samples. The company is revising its fleet to accommodate its growing workforce – moving from standard-cab to extended-cab trucks.

“We send out two or three guys for most work, and the 2017 Super Duty gives us 6 inches of additional space in the SuperCab compared to the outgoing model,” said Nate Berges, Berges Trenton Awning vice president. “That’s a serious improvement our guys will appreciate the moment they jump in. The dual-rear-wheel trucks are great because we actually gain room in our utility bodies because of the extra rear-end width. More width means more tools and supplies.”

Berges’ F-350 Super Duty dream build includes the 6.7L Power Stroke turbo diesel V8 engine, which reflects the fleet’s shift to diesel – based on quieter engine noise, greater horsepower, and torque. For Berges, it’s all about fuel economy, power, reliability, and longevity.  

“We buy XLs with the power equipment package,” said Berges. “It helps us stretch our dollars, and gives us power windows, locks, fobs and other convenience features that create an awesome truck for our crew members. No matter what truck we spec out, using Ford as the base, we know we are getting the best truck our hard-earned money can buy.”

Other key features of this F-350 Super Duty Chassis Cab 4x2 SuperCab XL include:

  • 6.7L Power Stroke turbo diesel V-8
  • 6-speed SelectShift automatic
  • Dual rear wheel
  • 3.73 non-limited-slip axle
  • XL value package
  • Privacy glass
  • Fixed-glass rear window
  • Dual extra-heavy-duty 332-amp alternators
  • Platform running boards
  • Trailer brake controller
  • Rapid-heat supplemental cab heater
  • 110-volt, 400-watt outlet

Forestry:
Ford F-350 Super Duty 4x4 Crew Cab XL

Electric, gas and sanitation: Ford F-350 Super Duty 4x4 Crew Cab XL (Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Co.)
Electric, gas and sanitation: Ford F-350 Super Duty 4x4 Crew Cab XL (Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Co.)

Tim Pope, CEO of Terry Tree Service in Rochester, New York, needs trucks that are just as capable off-road in forested acreage as they are on the highway. Pope configured a dream F-350 Super Duty with available factory-installed amber LED warning strobe lights for his fleet, which specializes in residential tree care, commercial land clearing, storm disaster reclamation and wood resource recovery.

“We need the 11,400-pound GVWR rating to transport tools and equipment for our job sites, and we chose the transfer case and fuel tank skid plates for our off-road, right-of-way work,” Pope said.  

In addition to the backup alarm and rear camera for safety, Pope added features that save money and time – including factory-installed upfitter switches.

“The 10-minute engine idle shutdown will help us save fuel,” he said. “We’ve found features like the trailer brake controller and upfitter switches work best when they’re installed at the factory.”

Other key features of this F-350 Super Duty 4x4 Crew Cab XL include:

  • 6.7L Power Stroketurbo diesel V-8
  • TorqShift 6-speed SelectShift automatic
  • Single rear wheel
  • 3.55 non-limited-slip axle ratio
  • 6 3Ž4-foot bed
  • 11,400-pound GVWR package
  • Heavy-service front suspension package
  • XL value package
  • Tough spray-in bed liner
  • Exterior backup alarm
  • 18-inch Argent-painted steel wheels with painted hub cover and center ornament
  • 110-volt, 400-watt AC inverter outlet

Electric, Gas & Sanitation:
Ford F-350 Super Duty 4x4 Crew Cab XL

Forestry: Ford F-350 Super Duty 4x4 Crew Cab XL (Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Co.)
Forestry: Ford F-350 Super Duty 4x4 Crew Cab XL (Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Co.)

Josh Morris, an independent power grid electrician based in Atlanta, is all about getting more work, value, and convenience out of his tools. That philosophy extends to the dream 2017 Ford F-350 Super Duty he configured that could replace one of the larger trucks in his fleet.

“We are looking to save money, but still get needed capability,” Morris explained. “A new Super Duty would be a crew work truck that could tow equipment, get hammered and pounded on a daily basis, and still go to lunch.”

Morris’ F-350 dual-rear-wheel configuration is built for serious towing and hauling with a fifth-wheel and gooseneck hitch prep package, BoxLink and LED box lighting.

“The integration Ford has done with the trailer brake controller and hitch means there’s no downtime to get that stuff installed, we just pick it up at the dealer and go,” Morris said. “And the operator-commanded regeneration is really important because it lets the operator clean the exhaust by pushing a button.”

Other key features of this F-350 Super Duty 4x4 Crew Cab XL include:

  • 6.7L Power Stroke turbo diesel V-8
  • TorqShift 6-speed SelectShift automatic
  • Dual rear wheel
  • 4.10 limited-slip axle ratio
  • 8-foot bed
  • Power equipment group
  • XL value package
  • Exterior backup alarm
  • Dual extra-heavy-duty alternator
  • Rearview camera
  • LED roof marker and clearance lamps
  • LED box lighting
  • 110-volt, 400-watt AC inverter outlet
  • Upfitter switches
  • Cloth 40/mini-console/40 seats
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