Enhanced Telematics Available on Ford F-650 and F-750 Trucks

By Tom Berg, Truck Editor | March 4, 2015

Ford says advancements in its PowerStroke V-8 diesel have lowered noise levels in the upcoming F-650 and F-750 trucks by 25 to 45 percent.

The F-650/750 series, due for production soon, will also be among the vehicles on which an enhanced telematics system is available.

The new data acquisition feature will be called Ford Telematics powered by Telogis, and will help fleets run more efficient operations and better serve their customers, executives said.

Ford Telematics is the next generation of the fleet management platform previously known as Crew Chief powered by Telogis, which was available in the United States and Canada. The new version will be available globally and adds new features and analytics.

“Ford, in coordination with Telogis, is leading the development of smart solutions for hardworking fleets so they can maximize their operations to better serve their customers,” said Raj Nair, chief technical officer and group vice president, Global Product Development

Ford Telematics is a group of cloud-based applications that gives Ford customers visibility into the workday of every driver in the field, he said. The technology is designed to provide exclusive metrics and insights for any size commercial fleet.

Ford Telematics is available from the factory and as a dealer-installed aftermarket option, giving fleets access to actionable analytics even after they place their vehicle orders. It can be financed with the purchase of a Ford vehicle and is covered under a three-year/36,000-mile limited warranty.

The system is serviceable at Ford dealerships. It is available today in North America for 2009 or newer models of F-150 and Super Duty pickups; E-Series and Transit vans; and Police Interceptor cars and SUVs. Later this year, the telematics system will be available on F-650/750 trucks and tractors.

Diesel decibel declines

“Lowering in-cab and exterior noise levels improves driver comfort and minimizes disturbances while idling at work sites,” said John Ruppert, general manager of sales and marketing for Ford Commercial Truck.

The 2016 Ford F-650/750 is 25 percent quieter inside the cabin at 60 mph than the previous model, with noise levels dropping to 68 decibels from 74 decibels. At idle, noise levels are improved as much as 45 percent, dropping to 48 decibels from 63 decibels.

Decibels measure the intensity and power of sound, with each 10-unit increase representing a 10-fold increase in sound power perceived by the human ear. Put another way, a 10-decibel sound is 10 times more powerful than a zero decibel sound, and 20 decibels is 100 times stronger than zero decibels. 

The PowerStroke V-8 is the only diesel to be used in the new Ford Class 6 and 7 models. The 6.8-liter gasoline V-10, which is convertible to propane and natural gas, will also be available in the F-650. They will be mated to a 6-speed TorqShift automatic that has been beefed up to take the engines’ output in comparatively heavy service.

Enhancements to the Power Stroke combustion system, structural integrity of the compacted graphite iron block and single turbocharger mounted to the engine block account for many of the noise, vibration and harshness improvements over the previously offered diesel.

Specific design upgrades were made to the fuel injectors to optimize the combustion process, which features a two-stage combustion event instead of a single-injection event, further avoiding harsh, sudden and loud combustion, said John Davis, chief engineer.

A pilot fuel injection into cylinders begins the compression process before the main injection. The result is smoother fuel burning with less diesel clatter and a reduction of intrusive engine sound both inside and outside the truck.

At idle, two pilot injection events are used to make the firing process even smoother and to aid in quietness. The “ticking” of the high-speed injectors is masked by specially designed covers on the engine.

Mounting the engine’s turbocharger inside the engine block valley also brings improvements in overall noise, vibration and harshness.

As with current models, the new F-650/750 trucks will be suitable for many applications, and a new F-750 tractor will handle medium-heavy trailer towing.