Fuel Management

Half of Ford's Class 3-5 Chassis Cab Buyers Choose Gasoline

November 04, 2014, by Paul Clinton

Photo courtesy of Ford.
Photo courtesy of Ford.

Commercial buyers of Ford Super Duty trucks now opt for a gasoline-powered Class 3-5 truck as often as they choose a diesel-powered model to avoid higher up-front costs and increased maintenance work, Ford told WorkTruckOnline.com.

The increase in gasoline engines is due to the closely aligned price point between gasoline and diesel fuel, higher up-front cost for a diesel engine, and additional maintenance intervals brought on by diesel particulate filters (DPF), according to our earlier report.

Ford is seeing increases in gasoline-engine buying across its lineup of Class 3-7 vehicles, according to Mark Lowrey, Ford's marketing manager for F-Series trucks.

"Where appropriate, we are seeing a migration to gasoline powertrains due to perceived higher costs for diesel powertrains such as initial cost, maintenance, diesel emission fluid and fuel costs," Lowrey said.

Among its F-350, F-450, and F-550 Chassis Cabs, Ford sold 48 percent of these trucks in 2013 with either the 6.2L V-8 or 6.8L V-10 gasoline engine. Ford sold 9-percent more gasoline trucks in this segment compared to 2012. Ford pairs its V-8 with a 6-speed transmission and its V-10 with a 5-speed transmission. The V-8 is standard with the F-350, while F-450 and F-550 offer the V-10 as standard equipment. The non-gasoline buyers opted for the 6.7L Power Stroke V-8 turbo diesel.

For its entire Super Duty Chassis Cab lineup, including the F-650 and F-750, Ford increased its gasoline mix to 44 percent in 2013, which reached its highest level in more than a decade, Lowrey said. So far in 2014, sales of gasoline F-650s and F-750s account for 20 percent of total volume. The 2016-MY F-750 will be offered with a 6.8L V-10 gasoline engine for the first time.

Diesel medium-duty trucks now serve applications that require PTO, consistent idling, towing, or heavy payloads, said Mike Wenberg, fleet truck manager for Piemonte National Fleet, a Chicago-area truck dealer. Gasoline engines appeal to fleets that send the truck less than 30 miles from headquarters, he added.

A diesel medium-duty truck is "not a long trip vehicle," Wenberg said. "There's a small fuel economy difference. It's negated for short trips."

Alternative-fuel engines available as a gaseous prep option from the factory make up a smaller slice of Ford's medium-duty pie, Lowrey said.

By Paul Clinton

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