2020 Ford F-550 4x4 Dump Truck
You Had Better Believe We Drove It!
It started innocently enough. As we arrived at the quarry where the off-road portion of the 2020 Ford Super Duty first drive program was to be held we noticed off in the corner a shiny new F-550 Super Duty fitted with a dump bed. Then a nice man approached and said the magical words "Feel free to drive the dump truck, if you'd like."
Before we even jumped in a Tremor, there was an entire fleet of those after all, we beelined straight for the F-550. It's not every day you get to drive a dump truck around an active quarry and we certainly weren't letting this opportunity slip by.
The truck in question was powered by Ford's new 7.3L gasoline V-8 and backed by the new 10-speed TorqShift transmission. Big news for folks using these trucks is the addition of Ford's new Live Drive power take off (PTO) system, which allows users to power auxiliary equipment whether the truck is stationary or in motion. The Live Drive system is standard on Power Stroke equipped trucks, and optional on trucks equipped with gasoline engines, such as the F-550 we drove.
These trucks are available with three engine options: a 6.2L V-8 (385hp, 430 lb-ft), a 7.3L V-8 (350hp, 468 lb-ft), or a 6.7L Power Stroke diesel (330hp, 825 lb-ft). They come in XL, XLT, and Lariat trims, and can be had with either two-wheel or four-wheel drive. The F-550 chassis cab is also available in either regular, Super Cab, or crew cab configurations. Capability is somewhat hard to nail down, as there are so many different configurations. For reference, an F-550 Super Duty like the one here has a payload rating of about 12,000 pounds and a maximum tow rating of about 31,000 pounds (20,000 for the 7.3L gas engine).
Setting off in this beautiful beast it was immediately apparent that it was carrying a nearly full load. Between the dump bed itself and the payload of rock we were told the truck was near maximum capacity. Driving down into the quarry the truck was solid and composed, as you would expect, and didn't try to run away from us even with a full load. Heading back up the hill we could really feel the weight as the 7.3L V-8 churned mightily to drag the load to the top. Though we could tell the engine was working hard, it never gave the slightest hesitation or inclination that it was under powered. The ride was stiff, as predicted, and having the truck equipped with four-wheel drive gave solid reassurance that wet dirt roads in the quarry wouldn't be an issue.
We poke a little fun because we're city folk that don't get to operate heavy equipment too often, but the fact is that if this were the truck we were assigned to us we could run it all day with ease. The cab is quiet and comfortable, it has a decent stereo, and it's as stylish as the F-250 sitting at home. Really, the only thing this one was missing was a rear-view camera.
All that is to say, please Ford, let us drive your medium-duty trucks more often!