Bryan Furnace, host of The Dirt, test drove Ford’s new 2023 F250 Super Duty with the off-road Tremor package recently to see if the pickup would be a good option for contractors on the jobsite.
After some heavy off-road action – including an intense rock crawl course – Bryan reached the conclusion: “It 100% delivers.”
“This baby is sweet,” he says.
Along with showing its off-road prowess, this episode of The Dirt demonstrates some of the cool new technology on the Super Duty, including automated towing hitch assist, surround camera system and turn assist for a tight turning radius. You can also get a view of the spacious cab, which can serve as an office on wheels for contractors.
Bryan approached his test drive and review from a contractor’s perspective, as in how well would it perform on the job and how helpful would it be for contractors. He also runs through the various packages of Ford’s new F-250 Super Duty to let you know the options available and just who would benefit most from them. As can be seen by the footage on this episode, Bryan didn’t take it easy on the pickup, pushing it on an uphill climb over rocks.
So if you’ve been curious about Ford’s 2023 Super Duty, you don’t want to miss this episode of The Dirt.
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Bryan Furnace (00:00):
Today we're here to talk about trucks, more specifically the new F-250 with the Tremor package. This baby is sweet. We were recently invited to Ford's proving grounds to take the 250 out for a nice cruise on their off-road course, and this thing, my God, what a cool truck.
So normally when you go to these things, they set up the off-road course and it's kind of putting the truck through its paces, but they also baby it to make sure that the truck shines and performs. Let me tell you, this course was not set up that way at all. This was a true off-road course, complete with an actual rock crawl section that was on about a 40 degree pitch. They did not coddle these trucks. They wanted us to work them and put them through their paces, and by God, did we. I'm going to treat this review the way I do all of my equipment reviews. As you guys know, I don't care about stats, I don't care about specs, I don't care about horsepower and torque numbers. What I care about is, practically, can I use this and will it help my business? Can it materially add something of value that my current truck doesn't give me?
I'm going to tell you, this F-250 with the Tremor package 100% delivers. One of the things I've always loved about Ford is the interior of their cab. The biggest thing by far and away is the amount of room that you have in the back seat. So many trucks, when you get the bigger cab on them, really, really start to skimp on room in the backseat. I'm sorry, but if I decide to take my crew of guys out for lunch, I don't want the guys in the backseat folded in half because they needed to get their knees around my seat. Ford has done a great job where you always have a phenomenal amount of legroom even in the backseat, and no one feels like they're riding in each other's lap. That's great.
The other thing I've always loved about Ford trucks is the actual interface. Just the console, the gauges, the HVAC, all of the controls that you have at your fingertips in my opinion, have just been laid out very intuitively. You can access everything within a button click, maybe two, and you don't have to go digging through menus to change things. Everything's just right there, and it's just aesthetically pleasing.
Then you get to the outside. My God, this is a good-looking truck. These Tremor packages are phenomenal. What you're getting in the Tremor package, if you're not familiar, you have your base F-250 and then you step up to the 4X4 model, and then if you want to get a little more aggressive with your off-road stuff, you step up to the FX4. If you want to go all out on the off-road stuff, that's when you get the Tremor package.
You've got an upgraded suspension, you've got skid plates, you've got a ton of awesome features actually built into the controls of the truck. But then you've also got a bigger set of wheels and tires on this thing so that you can do some serious off-roading. This truck was built as a work truck that you can take on the trails on the weekends, and it excels at this.
Let's get into some of those features I was talking about. One of the coolest features that we noticed right off the bat that Ford drew our attention to is trail turn assist. When you're in off-road mode and you turn on trail turn assist, as you start to crank the wheel over, the truck is going to detect once you get past a certain point and you're really going into a sharp turn. Automatically the truck is going to lock your inside tire so that you're physically dragging it on the ground. This is really rough sounding on the truck, but again, Ford built it to do this, and it's awesome to watch. When that wheel locks in, it takes this F-250, and you can now pivot in about a 12-foot diameter circle. That's not an exaggeration. This truck will turn on a dime because you're dragging your rear inside wheel.
As soon as you start to come out of the turn, the truck is automatically going to release that wheel, and if you crank her over the other way, guess what? Now your other inside wheel is going to lock in, and you can turn off to the left side or the right side, whichever side you need. The truck is going to respond accordingly. Really awesome feature. Now, while I don't see us using that all the time, I absolutely have been in some situations on a job site where we're working in really tight conditions and doing a 15 point turn to get my 250 turned around isn't really the best option. This is a really, really nice feature outside of the whole taking your truck on the trails on the weekend situation. Just having this on the job site, I could see myself using this a handful of times a year just to navigate some sharper turns on some jobs.
Now, I'm going to put the caveat in here. This is in off-road mode with the truck. You do not want to do this on-road because of the fact that you are going to physically lock a tire, and it's really rough on the rear end of the truck as you can imagine. Now, another really cool feature that this truck has in off-road mode is the ability to maintain speed while descending slopes. It's almost a creep speed for your truck. When you throw the truck into the correct mode as you start to approach your slope, you're going to use your cruise control buttons to control whether you want to speed up or slow down in half-mile increments. Now, what that allows you to do is go right up to the edge of that steep slope, and you can take your feet completely away from the pedals. You don't have to use the gas, you don't have to use the brake. The truck does all of that for you, which means you get to focus 100% of your attention on avoiding any of the obstacles.
Now, when it comes to avoiding obstacles, all of the new trucks, as we know, are coming with cameras all the way around them. You can now access all of those cameras on your screen, including one of the most handy ones is a front view camera. How many times have you been either on a job site or off-road and you come to the edge of a slope and you can't see anything, and so you just do that silent, "I hope this goes well," as you crest the hill? You don't have to do that anymore because now you have a camera that's facing down in front of the truck. Every time we would come up to one of these ledges, we would easily know what was over the ledge by just flipping over to that camera view on our screen. We could see exactly where we needed to be.
Now they've got to step further. With the Tremor package, you actually have cameras that are facing your wheels as well. So if you're trying to avoid a stump on a trail or you're trying to do something along those lines, you have camera views all the way around the truck to help you navigate some of those obstacles without having your passenger get out of the truck to spot for you. It's really, really convenient if you're a trail guy. It's really convenient if you're on a job site trying to navigate around all of the stuff that we know is laying around job sites.
Now, where this truck really shined and also really shocked me at its capabilities was the rock crawl course. This was not a baby course. This was set up to really push the limits of the vehicle, and I got to hand it to the Ford people. They encouraged us to push the limits of the vehicle. Now, my friend Rick and I were both out on this review, and he's a little more aggressive than I am, so I went into the rock crawl first. I took it nice and easy, made sure that I was kind of technical with the course, wasn't getting crazy. Rick, on the other hand, stick it in gear and go.
Going. There you go.
Bryan Furnace (08:30):
The truck in both scenarios performed spectacularly. We're bottoming out the suspension, we're hitting the skid plates on the bottom. We are pushing this truck. We were not babying this truck at all. I loved it because our Ford official was sitting there encouraging us and prodding us the whole time, confident that his truck would not break, and it didn't. We really pushed this truck, and it did not break.
I got out after we did the rock crawl course, took a look at the skid plates, some scratched paint. There were no dents, there were no dings, there was nothing leaking. We had done nothing to damage the truck even though we abused the snot out of it on this rock crawl course, and it took it like a champ. It was incredible.
Now, let's kind of back up and take a 30,000-foot view. Look at this truck. I kind of see this truck meeting one of three categories for people. The first one is you got that new 19-year-old, 20-year-old kid that sees his first paycheck, and by God, he's going to go get himself a truck. Man, the F-250 Tremor, if you want to turn some eyes and some heads on the job site, the Tremor package will 100% do this. This is a very aggressive looking truck. While it's not quite as aggressive as the Raptor, it still has that kind of just aggressive stance. It's got the bigger tires on it. This truck is going to absolutely turn some heads.
Now, the second category of people that I see using this truck are people like myself, where if I'm going to go spend this kind of money on a work truck, I'm not going to go take it off-roading, I'm not going to go take it on trails and abuse the snot out of it. But at the same time, I do know that we have a handful of jobs every year where conditions are dicey, and I'm not quite sure if I want to take our current truck down in there with the possibility getting stuck.
With the Tremor package, I have significantly more confidence that I can get down in there, and if I mow over a stump, it's no big deal. I might get a flat tire, but I'm not going to break the truck. I'm not going to get stuck nearly as frequently because of a lot of the options that Ford has included, including that kind of ability to creep out of areas as opposed to just letting the truck peel out in the mud. This is a very, very capable truck when it comes to a job site standpoint, and it's capable of towing 18,000 pounds on a gooseneck. You now have a work truck that you can take trailing and off-roading that's still capable of pulling 18,000 pounds with all of these features.
It's a very capable work truck, but it's also a play truck, and that hits my third category. For you animals out there that just love to go to town, the F-250 Tremor is the truck for you. This is a capable truck that you can tow all of your equipment around during the week, whatever your cargo trailer is, it doesn't matter. This thing's got the towing capability. Then on Friday afternoon, you drop that trailer off and you take it out on the trails, and you are confident that you're not going to go out there and break your brand new expensive work truck. This thing is made to take the abuse. So that's the third and final category that I can see this truck really fitting well into are the guys who love to go get rowdy on the weekends. This truck is going to be there for you, and it's going to stand up to the punishment you're willing to dole out.
With that being said, I hope this has been helpful. I hope it gives you at least a little bit of insight into the new F-250 with the Tremor package. As always, thanks for watching. We'll catch you on the next episode of The Dirt.