Ford Implements Program Revisions

NEWLY modified vehicle engineering (MVE) bulletins from Ford will have an important and positive effect on manufacturers of snowplows, secondary unit bodies, and upfitters that need broader pickup box removal policies.

Ford has recently released new MVE bulletins revising its snowplow weight and usage limits, front axle loading limits, and pickup box removal guidelines. These new guidelines affect all 1999 and newer, F-series Super-Duty products. The new guidelines offer industry requested changes for component manufacturers and body installers.

Snowplow manufacturers and installers, in combination with the National Truck Equipment Association (NTEA), requested that Ford review its recommendations on permissible plow weight.

Under previous Ford guidelines, all belted seats were considered as occupied, with a driver/passenger weighing 150 pounds in each seat. A regular cab would have three people in the cab, an extended cab would contain 5 people, and a crew cab would contain 6 people in the assumptions held by Ford.

In the case of a regular cab containing three people, the recommended allowable plow weight was somewhat restrictive to manufacturers and installers of snowplows.

Ford's new assumption for calculating weight distribution is that only the driver and one passenger will be in the vehicle during snow removal operations. The new assumption is held for all Ford cab configurations.

Outlined in Ford's MVE-4 bulletin and the NTEA T99-4 bulletin, new hardware and removable snowplow weight tables have been provided for plow manufacturers and installers to review. In certain cases, the allowable hardware and/or removable plow weight will have increased due to the new weight calculations.

Ford has reclassified twenty F-series Super-Duty trucks by giving them upgraded plow recommendations, along with the approval of seven models that were not previously recommended for snowplow usage.

Contained in the Ford bulletin is a list of the minimum required equipment (option code: M86), along with a listing of standard and recommended equipment.

Unloading the Front Axle Ford has issued bulletin MVE-3 (NTEA bulletin T99-3) that reviews previous recommended Ford policy concerning front curb-axle-loading. This policy revision affects truck body and equipment manufacturers and installers that work with the F350, F450, and F550 Super-Duty product. Front curb-axle-loading generally is part of the "ground reaction" equation as it applies under the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS), and its Canadian counterpart (CMVSS), Standard 105.

Under the FMVSS and CMVSS 105 compliance statements by Ford for the 1999 F-series Super-Duty chassis cabs between 8,000- and 19,000-lb gross vehicle weight rating, Ford originally stated that the curb front-axle-load after body installation could not be reduced from the calculated amount as shipped by Ford.

Industry manufacturers and installers, along with the National Truck Equipment Association, requested that Ford review its conservative compliance statement. Ford subsequently reviewed and revised the compliance statement to allow for more rearward bias concerning the second unit body's horizontal center of gravity.

Under the new Ford compliance statement, the requirement now upholds that front curb-axle-loading must not be reduced by more than ten percent on single rear-wheeled vehicles and twenty percent on dual rear-wheeled vehicles. Additionally, the requirement that the center of gravity of the installed body be forward of the rear axle has been deleted by Ford.

Ford has also expanded the pickup box removal program. Under Ford bulletin MVE-5 (NTEA bulletin T99-5), 1999 F250 and F350 Super-Duty trucks equipped with the 6 _-foot box will now be eligible for approved box removal under the revised Ford guidelines. Ford's expanded removal option for the 6 _-foot box is effective immediately.

The recommended fuel filler pipe and filler assembly bracket modification information is diagramed in the Ford bulletin.

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