In an impressive showcase of its exceptional capability, Ford's latest global compact pickup hauled a 160-tonne historic steam locomotive out of its shed in Victoria, Australia. The all-new Ranger was not modified at all for this challenge, relying on the 147 kW of power and 470 Nm of torque from its 3.2-litre, five-cylinder diesel engine. See it to believe it!
This is a presentation by Ken Karasinski of Nor-Cal Mobility of the Ford Full Size Nor-Cal Mobility Max Van.
From their website: "Nor-Cal Vans has engineered an innovative mobility conversion that takes full advantage of the room, the reliability and the strength that only a full-sized van can offer. Our Nor-Cal MAX and PLUS adaptive conversions provide the ultimate in interior headroom and visibility, entryway clearance and interior space, foot room and load-carrying capacity. Ford vans, the most extensively used full-sized vans in the industry, are ideal for a raised roof, raised doors and extensive lowered floor modifications."
This video was made by Terry Minion using a Flip camera at a Nor Cal Ford Truck Club event in October of 2010.
Shot just south of Paris, France in Linas at l'Autodrome de Linas --Montlhéry, this 1.58 mile oval track, built in 1924, features banks as steep as 51 degrees, which is more than double the standard incline of most NASCAR ovals. Chosen by Ken for this specific reason, the ramp-like banking proved to be a unique and exciting challenge. The driving physics for the stunts performed were totally unknown until Ken attempted the maneuvers during filming.
What an opportunity to get this deal - This is a 2008 Ford F550, with 19,000 GVWR and a 12' Royal Aluminum Van Body with a 2,000 lb capacity Tommy Railgate which serves as a huge platform, added security, and an awesome billboard!. This vehicle is really new, but we say it is used because it was registered to our dealership to collect incentives that were expiring. You just can't beat this bargain at only $32,995 plus taxes and fees. The truck has only 862 miles on it. You have a heavy load, this is the truck. Or, if this body won't work, but the truck will, let's change the body! We are ready to sell this puppy. VIN # 8EA79816, Stock # T43470. Call Paul Brown at 530-682-7693 today while it is still availaible!
Mike Soich of Knapheide Manufacturing shows us their partnership with the world leader in storage solutions in vechicles, Sortimo. Knapheide has designed special shelves prepunched to accomodate varied box sizes to allow for maximum storage and to match individual business needs and desires. It is a brilliant use of the space and helps people be more efficient and effective.
The Sortimo boxes are available in the Knapheide KUV body, and all of Knapheide's service body products.
This video was taken with a Flip camera at a Knapheide event in Livermore, CA in October, 2010.
See more about Knapheide products at www.knapheide.com and you can see the full range of products from Sortimo at www.sortimo.com.
Ford safety engineers in the U.S. and Germany crash tested the new 2012 Ford Focus more than 12,000 times in real and virtual worlds to prove out innovative new technologies designed to protect occupants in crashes.
Ford engineers expanded safety testing for the new 2012 Ford Focus, including more than 12,000 virtual and real-world crash tests globally, to prove out its new safety technologies
The new Focus features advanced restraint systems with innovative next-generation airbags that provide enhanced chest protection
Ford Focus also provides enhanced side crash protection through a specialized B-pillar reinforcement
DEARBORN, Mich., Dec. 13, 2010 – Ford safety engineers in the U.S. and Germany crash tested the new 2012 Ford Focus more than 12,000 times in real and virtual worlds to prove out innovative new technologies designed to protect occupants in crashes.
The new Focus, which debuts around the world starting early next year, underwent an exhaustive testing regimen of occupant and full-vehicle computer simulations. Those simulations have become so realistic that the number of physical vehicle crash tests has been significantly reduced.
“Developing the Focus to meet the global safety standards has resulted in improved crash performance to help protect occupants in crashes,” said Matt Niesluchowski, Focus safety manager. “Ford’s safety team had a head start in working together around the world, which helped tremendously in ensuring the new Focus meets or exceeds a complex web of global safety regulations.”
Crashed by Ford to take the heat
The thousands of computer aided engineering (CAE) crashes and simulations allowed engineers to test hundreds of designs. The physical crash tests, conducted after a battery of virtual simulations, verify and validate the computer simulations to ensure every internal and external requirement is met.
“We are using more computer simulations than ever to optimize the designs of all the components that make up a vehicle to help enhance safety,” Niesluchowski said. “The complexity of crash tests, with hundreds of parts and systems interacting, still requires physical testing to validate those simulation results.”
Improved interior safety features
The Focus offers a suite of new safety innovations, which includes Ford’s next-generation driver-front airbag with enhanced chest protection technology. The new airbag uses a reconfigured curve-shaped tether system that pulls in the lower section to create a “pocket” to help lessen the impact of the airbag on the driver’s chest and ribs in frontal crashes.
Ford’s innovative side airbags feature unique shoulder vents that stay open and reduce pressure for smaller occupants who typically benefit from reduced forces. Taller occupants whose shoulders block the vent could benefit from the higher pressures.
Focus also will be Ford’s first car ever to feature front passenger airbags with adaptive venting technology that diverts some of the gas from the air bag inflators through vents outside of the airbags. The restraints control module – the control center of Ford’s advanced safety systems – adjusts the level of venting based on seat position.
The new passenger airbag is designed to enhance head and neck protection by better matching deployment force with occupant size. This innovative system uses a small pyrotechnic device to force open the vent and can provide less pressure in the airbag when it’s sufficient to help protect the occupant.
Innovative “tailor-rolling” process
In addition to the new airbags, the new Focus’ vehicle structure provides enhanced crash protection with a B-pillar reinforcement, a key structural part made from ultra-high-strength steel produced using an innovative “tailor rolling” process. The process allows the thickness of the steel sheet to be varied along its length so the component has increased strength in the areas that are subjected to the greatest loads.
High-strength steels comprise 55 percent of the Focus’ body shell, and ultra-high-strength and boron steels make up more than 31 percent of its skeletal structure. These advanced materials help the structure meet crash regulations across world markets while minimizing the vehicle’s weight to help maximize fuel economy.
Comprehensive suite of active safety technologies
The Ford Focus also features a comprehensive suite of advanced active safety technologies, including:
AdvanceTrac® with Electronic Stability Control, Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) and Traction Control
LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren) System
Three-point, height-adjustable seat belts for each passenger; height-adjustable, Belt-Minder™ system and pretensioners in the front outboard seating positions
Michigan Assembly will be home to the
all-new global Ford Focus.
Ford Motor Company’s retooled Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Mich., becomes the world’s first plant to build not only fuel-efficient gas-powered vehicles, but three production versions of electrified vehicles – battery electric, hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles
Production of the all-new global Ford Focus, in four-door and five-door versions, is under way with sales to begin early next year. The Focus Electric battery electric vehicle goes into production late next year followed by a new hybrid and plug-in hybrid in late 2012
Michigan Assembly provides a new level of manufacturing flexibility, allowing it to build multiple models to quickly and efficiently meet changing consumer preferences
Ford, Detroit Edison and Xtreme Power teaming up to establish one of Michigan’s largest solar-powered generation systems and electric vehicle charging stations
Ford and the United Auto Workers developed a framework of new and leading-edge operating practices at Michigan Assembly to produce the new Focus and other vehicles with industry-leading quality and efficiency
WAYNE, Mich., Dec. 14, 2010 – Ford Motor Company’s Michigan Assembly Plant, which once churned out large SUVs, has completed a $550 million transformation that will make it the world’s first factory to build not only fuel-efficient gas-powered cars, but also three production versions of electrified vehicles including battery electric, hybrid and plug-in hybrid.
Michigan Assembly will be home to the all-new global Ford Focus, which has started production and goes on sale early next year. The Focus Electric zero-emission battery electric vehicle goes into production late next year followed by production of a new hybrid and a plug-in hybrid in 2012.
“We’ve modernized just about every square foot of this facility to establish a new standard for a high-tech, green, flexible and efficient auto factory,” said Jim Tetreault, Ford vice president of North America Manufacturing. “The transformation of Michigan Assembly Plant stands as a symbol for the transformation of Ford.”
On the outside, a new 500-kilowatt solar panel system will be installed to help generate renewal energy for production of Ford’s all-new Focus and Focus Electric cars. Ten new electric vehicle charging stations on the property will be used to recharge the electric trucks that transport parts between adjacent facilities.
Inside, new cars making the three-mile trip down the assembly line must pass dozens of rigorous quality inspections. A new three-wet paint booth utilizes 66 paint robots with seven axis of movement to precisely apply paint to the cars. In the body shop, 500 new robots capable of 4,000 welds per vehicle add to the plant’s flexibility. And a new internal communications system flashes updates and information to the plant’s 3,200 employees via 163 monitor screens distributed throughout the plant.
Flexible: Trends move fast
Bright, modern and green – like the car it is building – the refurbished Michigan Assembly Plant is the company’s new benchmark for flexible manufacturing. At 1.2 million square feet – about the size of 22 football fields – the plant becomes Ford’s most flexible, high-volume and modern manufacturing facility in its global operations. Ford will continue to evolve its manufacturing flexibility as the company’s facilities are rapidly being transformed into more nimble, flexible, and technologically advanced operations.
The changes at the plant will allow the company to run multiple models down the same production line without requiring considerable downtime for changeover of tooling. Two different models of the Focus can be adjusted between builds without restrictions.
“If the last few years have taught us anything, it is that customer wants and needs can change quickly – much more quickly than we have been equipped to efficiently respond to in the past,” said Tetreault. “At Michigan Assembly, we will achieve a level of flexibility we don’t have in any other plant around the world, which will allow us to meet shifting consumer preferences in real time.”
Renewable: Power from the sun
Michigan Assembly also will boast Michigan’s largest solar power generation system and several electric vehicle charging stations for greener, more sustainable manufacturing when installation is completed next year.
Ford is teaming with Detroit Edison and Xtreme Power to install the 500-kilowatt solar photovoltaic panel system. The system will be integrated with a 750-kilowatt energy storage facility that can store 2 million watt-hours of energy using batteries – enough to power 100 average Michigan homes for a year. A secondary, smaller solar energy system will be added at a later date to power lighting systems at Michigan Assembly. The combined systems are expected to result in projected energy cost savings of about $160,000 per year.
Quality: At every turn
To ensure best-in-class quality for the all-new Focus, vehicles on the line will endure rigorous examinations. Workers will perform hundreds of comprehensive quality tests and checks to ensure every bolt, seam and joint has been thoroughly inspected before continuing down the line.
“We are leveraging our people, processes and products to consistently build cars that will surpass the competition,” said Tetreault. “This plant embodies everything we as a company strive to become – modern, efficient, flexible, global and sustainable.”
Contributing to Focus’ best-in-class quality and Michigan Assembly’s transformation:
Virtual manufacturing technology to improve ergonomics for easier, safer work
Redesigned water soak testing booth to ensure zero water entry for long-term durability
Highly efficient and environmentally friendly painting process
Best-in-class squeak and rattle track that shakes and rolls vehicles for noises
New energy-efficient illumination lighting for better vehicle inspections
Moving platforms with real-time height adjustments for better operator ergonomics
Vision-guided automation for better installation, fit-and-finish of doors, decks and hoods
New robotic paint spray booths for more consistent and environmentally friendly application
Electric tools capable of precisely measuring torque and the number of rotations required to secure bolts, screws and other attachments
Adding to the physical transformation of the plant, Ford and the United Auto Workers have developed a framework to establish a strong, progressive culture that encourages joint problem solving and continuous improvement of the production process.
“This plant is an inspirational example of how a modern manufacturing facility should look and work,” said Tetreault. “It’s bright, high-tech and efficient, while also being environmentally and ergonomically friendly.”
The is the RackStar 750 Performance Lift and Load System Truck Rack. It is a new, unique product that is quite exciting. The presentation of this prototype is by Pat Owens of Clearline Mfg who makes this product. See more at http://www.therackstar.com/. Video shot at Nor Cal Ford Truck Club event in Woodbridge, CA
Its been a busy summer for Ford Racing. In addition to engineering turn-key race cars, we've been developing parts for the 2011 Mustang and the new Fiesta. The 624 horsepower supercharger kit for the new 5.0L engine puts more muscle in Ford's iconic muscle car. The video also captures a few minutes from the hundreds of hours Ford Racing engineers test our suspension components at the track.
From the floor of the 2010 LA Auto Show, Jonathan Szczupak of the North American Design Team, explained the rationale behind the design elements of the new Ford Focus Race Car Concept. To learn more about the new Ford Focus, visit: www.facebook.com/fordfocus
Ford Motor Company and Azure Dynamics have begun shipping the first Ford Transit Connect Electrics to early customers in North America and to the United Kingdom for a demonstration project.
Some initial units of the Transit Connect Electric commercial van are headed to the United Kingdom as part of the government’s Ultra-Low Carbon Vehicle Demonstrator program
The all-electric, zero-emission Transit Connect Electric has a targeted range of up to 80 miles per full charge, and is ideal for fleet owners with well-defined routes of predictable distances and a central location for daily recharging
The Transit Connect Electric is the first of five new electrified vehicles Ford will bring to market in the next two years including the Focus Electric, two next-generation hybrids and a plug-in hybrid
DEARBORN, Mich., Dec. 7, 2010 – Ford Motor Company and Azure Dynamics have begun shipping the first Ford Transit Connect Electrics to early customers in North America and to the United Kingdom for a demonstration project.
The all-electric commercial vans, built on the Ford Transit Connect vehicle body, equipped with Azure Dynamics’ patented Force Drive™ battery electric powertrain, and assembled by AM General at its facility in Livonia, Mich., are reaching the market 13 months after the collaboration to develop the zero-emission vehicle was first announced.
To date, all initial units have designated customers. Azure Dynamics’ LEAD customer program includes seven companies that are taking delivery of their first units in 2010, with the remainder of their orders to be filled in 2011. Customers that have been previously announced include AT&T, Southern California Edison, Xcel Energy, Johnson Controls Inc., New York Power Authority, Canada Post and Toronto Atmospheric Fund EV300. Additional LEAD customers will be identified by the end of the year.
Ford first announced the collaboration in October 2009, with an agreement for Azure Dynamics to upfit the Transit Connect van with Azure’s Force Drive battery electric drivetrain technology including Johnson Controls-Saft’s advanced lithium-ion battery, and a commitment to deliver the initial vehicles by the end of 2010 to the North American market. Initial production began in the fourth quarter of 2010 with full production of the Transit Connect Electric slated to ramp up in April 2011.
“Supplier collaboration is important on all Ford product programs, but it was especially key in this effort, which went from contract signing to vehicle production in 13 months,” said Sherif Marakby, Ford director, Electrification Programs and Engineering. “A strong teamwork environment established by Azure and Ford was critical to delivering this vehicle.”
“The Transit Connect Electric program is a great representation of our product development approach,” said Scott Harrison, CEO, Azure Dynamics. “We have been able to focus on integration of our Force Drive powertrain solution and benefit from Ford’s expertise in building ground-up global vehicle platforms. Meanwhile, capital costs are kept in check by contracting AM General for labor and assembly services – an area where the company excels. Transit Connect Electric is a revolutionary technology and achieving our aggressive time line is a testament to the professionalism and spirit of cooperation among all the project partners.”
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation provided incentive funding for Azure Dynamics to encourage selection of a Michigan-based partner for final assembly. Azure chose AM General LLC, to produce the Transit Connect Electric in its facility in Livonia, Mich.
AM General, a long-established contract vehicle assembler and services provider, is responsible for final upfit of the Transit Connect Electric.
Transit Connect Electric is the first product in Ford’s accelerated electrified vehicle plan, and will be followed by the Focus Electric passenger car in 2011, along with a plug-in hybrid electric and two next-generation lithium-ion battery-powered hybrid vehicles in 2012.
Ultra-Low Carbon Vehicle Demonstrator program
In addition to delivery of units to LEAD customers in North America, the Transit Connect Electric commercial van is headed to the United Kingdom, where 14 of the vehicles will take part in the government’s Ultra-Low Carbon Vehicle Demonstrator program. The program, supported by Scottish and Southern Energy, utilizes a fleet of zero-emissions vehicles for the energy company, with designated drivers to test vehicle and infrastructure technology.
The consortium of Ford, Scottish and Southern Energy and the University of Strathclyde will provide Transit Connect Electric vehicles and a charging infrastructure in and around the London suburb of Hillingdon during 2010 and 2011.
Ford and Azure Dynamics already have announced they will collaborate to produce the Transit Connect Electric for the European market with first units to be delivered in 2011.
Designed with fleet users in mind
The all-electric, zero-emissions Transit Connect Electric has a driving range of up to 80 miles per full charge and is ideal for fleet owners who have well-defined routes of predictable distances and a central location for daily recharging. Delivery fleet and utility vehicle operators have begun to show a preference for smaller, more efficient vehicles, which creates an ideal time for Transit Connect Electric to come to market.
“The Transit Connect provides a unique choice for the fleet owner who wants the convenience of a utility vehicle,” Marakby said. “The electric version takes that one step further, delivering a dependable, zero-tailpipe-emission vehicle that requires no petroleum.”
Owners will have the option of recharging Transit Connect Electric with either a standard 120-volt outlet, or preferably a 240-volt charge station, typically installed at the user’s base of operations for optimal recharging in six to eight hours. A transportable cord that works with both types of outlets will be available for convenient recharging at either voltage.
The vehicle’s charge port is located above the passenger-side rear wheel well. The onboard liquid-cooled 28-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack is charged by connecting the charge port to a power outlet. Inside the vehicle, an onboard charger converts AC power from the electric grid to DC power to charge the battery pack.
Transit Connect Electric is expected to offer lower cost of operation, because charging with electricity is generally less expensive than fueling with gasoline.
When the vehicle is operating, battery power is provided to the drive motor through the electric powertrain’s motor controller. The motor controller uses throttle input from the driver to convert DC power supplied by the battery into three precisely timed signals used to drive the motor. The onboard DC/DC converter allows the vehicle’s main battery pack to charge the onboard 12-volt battery, which powers the vehicle’s various accessories, such as headlights, power steering and coolant pumps.
In Transit Connect Electric, the battery pack has been efficiently integrated without compromising interior passenger room and cargo space. The Johnson Controls-Saft battery pack is expected to last the life of the vehicle.
First in Ford’s overall electrified vehicle strategy
The electrification strategy builds on Ford’s vision for bringing affordable technology to millions. It takes advantage of rapid advancements in electrified vehicle technology – particularly lithium-ion batteries – while leveraging the scale of global vehicle platforms to bring the cost of new technology down.
Enjoy the presentation of the new Knapheide Gooseneck Flatbed by Mike Soich of Knapheide Manufacturing. This was filmed with a Flip camera at a Knapheide event in October 2010. Call Paul Brown with any questions you may have on this body and any other Knapheide product at 530-682-7693.
I just got back from the Nor Cal Ford Truck Club Annual Luau Event in Northern California and there were about 18 vendors at the event. The shots above are from a brand new product that has just been announced and production is just beginning. I have to say that it got my attention immediately.
They call this the RackStar 750 and it is stated as "the world's only heavy duty, ergonomically sound, safety-minded, truck rack system capable of lifting and loading up to 750 pounds." They state that "they have thought of absolutely everything. . . and have left nothing on the drawing table."
I got to see this rack system in action and it is surely a sweet setup and appears to be so well made and darn fine looking to boot. I love the cab guard with the logo in the center. It is made mostly of aircraft aluminum construction and built to stringent military specifications. The upper bars are removable allowing the carrying of tall items such as a refrigerator or other such object. It moves out away from the end of the bed and back with sure safe speed allowing maximum control of the lifted object.
We wanted to waste no time in getting the word started on this exciting new product. It is designed to be able to fit Chevy, Ford or Dodge pickups. The company is Clearline Manufacturing. The website is barely started and will expand shortly, but there is a bit there at http://www.therackstar.com/. We anticipate having a demo unit for you to see at the dealership soon.
The 2011 Ford F-150 EcoBoost stands ready to challenge and conquer the harsh environment that makes the world-famous Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 an unparalleled test of man and machine -- and the world racing debut for Ford's EcoBoost engine.
Ford will enter a 2011 F-150 in November's prestigious long-distance desert endurance race, powered by a stock version of the new 3.5-liter EcoBoost truck engine that will be available in the 2011 F-150 early next year.
The engine was selected randomly off the line from Cleveland Engine Plant to prove out the rigid durability and reliability tests the engine endured during development. The Baja 1000 race is part of an extensive torture test program by Ford for customers to see for themselves the extreme durability testing and development of the class-leading EcoBoost truck engine.
Monster World Rally Team's Ken Block and Alex Gelsomino finished the final stage of Rally Turkey 6th fastest. The stage was a super fast, flat out run with a few massive jumps. Here's the in-car highlights.
Here's a great buy on a 2011 F250 with a Harbor Service Body w/HD Rack and Stainless Steel lids. You can buy this truck after a $5000 rebate for only $27,995 plus taxes and fees--AND get 3.94% too!! VIN #BEA09268, Stock #31928. Sale good through December 15th, 2010. Give Paul Brown a call at 530-682-7693 and he will get you all the details.