SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS– Ford unveiled the all-new 2006 Ford LCF commercial truck in San Antonio to Ford’s top commercial truck dealers June 9. The new Ford LCF model is designed to strengthen Ford’s position in commercial trucks – a key growth segment in the U.S. last year.

“The low cab forward segment in particular is one of the fastest-growing niches in the commercial truck industry. Sales are up almost 50 percent over the past decade,” says Joe Castelli, Ford Division Commercial Truck director.

Low cab-forward trucks, also known as “tilt cabs,” provide a roomy cab in which drivers sit above the engine. Various “second-unit” bodies are attached for specialized applications – from landscaping needs, to towing, to construction. The current Class 3-5 cab-forward segment comprises annual sales of approximately 24,000 units – with projections showing growth to 40,000 units by 2010.

In addition, research shows that tilt-cab customers are extremely loyal and that 76 percent of tilt-cab customers’ second choice is another tilt cab. It also indicates that 42 percent of tilt-cab owners today already have a Ford truck in their fleet.

Ford is today a dominant player in the highly profitable commercial truck business, selling nearly 325,000 trucks a year. Led by the Ford F-350 though F-550 conventional cab models, Ford holds more than 40 percent of the total commercial truck business. The full lineup includes Ford F-250 and F-350 pickups; F-250 through F-750 Chassis Cabs; E-Series Van, Wagon, and Cutaway models, and now, the 2006 Ford LCF.

Full features include:

  • Best-in-class maneuverability with the segment’s tightest turning diameters – even with the shortest Ford LCF wheelbase being 4 inches longer than the leading competitor’s.
  • A segment-exclusive V-6 diesel engine with more power than the current segment leader in Classes 4 and 5. With 200 horsepower and 440 lb.-ft. of torque, the Power Stroke 4.5L V-6 diesel is paired with Ford’s TorqShift five-speed electronic automatic transmission.
  • The standard powertrain also features the Tow-Haul mode to help when drivers tow loads up and down steep grades. Going uphill, the powertrain controller automatically adjusts the shift points to keep the engine in its maximum power zone with no gear hunting. Downhill, a tap on the brakes automatically downshifts the transmission to help slow the vehicle. An optional power take-off provision also is available to run specialized equipment.
  • The Ford LCF frame is the segment’s strongest standard frame, with cross-members joined by segment-exclusive Huck bolts for the highest assembly integrity and longevity.
  • Axle-to-Frame (AF) choices compatible with the industry-leading chassis cab – the Ford F-350 to F-550 Super Duty. With four AF choices, five cab-to-axle (CA) options and five wheelbase lengths, the range of Ford LCF configurations fits many vocational second-unit bodies, including multi-length van and dump truck units, along with stake trucks, tow trucks and utility vehicles.
  • For reduced downtime, available fuel capacities are the largest in the segment – including the standard 40-gallon tank located rear of the axle and between the frame rails, an optional 35-gallon side-mounted tank or dual side tanks with a capacity of 70 gallons.

    Production and deliveries of the new trucks begin this month for Class 4 and 5 configurations, which have gross vehicle weight ratings of 15,000, 16,000, 17,999 and 19,500 lbs.