Plant Tour Special: Ford's Kentucky Truck Plant

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Our friends at TruckCamperMagazine.com were lucky enough to get a private look inside of Ford's Super Duty Kentucky Truck Plant.

Gordon White, the lead person at TCM, got a special invitation (by someone pretty high up at Ford Truck; any guesses?) to do something very few people are ever allowed to do: tour the facilty. The Kentucky plant is a traditional production plant that usually doesn't allow the public in for tours, unlike the tour-friendly F-150 Rouge Factory Plant

TCM was most interested in all things relating to how the Super Duty has become such a popular choice for the serious truck camper. If you've ever wondered what it's like on a heavy-duty truck production line, this is just about the best story we've seen on the subject. Check out TCM and the enormous photo gallery.

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Comments

Very interesting article. I have toured the Rouge myself and loved it. Touring KPT would be icing on the cake!

Woe, I thought this was the new gmc. Thank GOD its a SuperDuty!

Big whoooptee frickin dooo....looks like a 13 year old truck with an uglier than sin front clip. It looks like Fido's a## to me.

Hey BOB here is a quote from you on one of the NAIAS articles

"If you don't like it I have the perfect solution for you, buy something else. Just stop complaining about it. "

So there you go, maybe you could follow your own advice?

Hey Chevy Sucks, you are confusing my statements with someone who pretends to be me. I go by Michigan Bob and this Bobby McMichigan guy is just someone out to pretend to be me and get you ford girly men all upset at me the real Michigan Bob.

Maybe I will have to change my name altogether just so you don't confuse me with someone else pretending to be me. There are way to many childish posters that will just post under another name to stir the pot. Sad but it's true.

TCM should warn anyone buying a new Super Duty to haul a truck camper off road. The Ford did not do well in the flex test with 3000 pounds in the bed. I could just see someone with a new truck camper tearing the bed completely off the frame if they went off road with it.

They have nine different engines from which three are for the domestic market, wonder what kind of engines the other six are?

Define "serious truck camper"
I've got a rooftop tent and I go camping in places that behemoth can't even dream of getting to.

I'd say that's pretty serious.

But someone dragging a 4 star hotel room along with them in their $50-60k pickup truck....

I call those amateurs.

@ChevySucks,

FYI, I am not Michigan Bob, so please do not confuse me with him. I am not worthy to loosen the thongs on his sandals. We are two different people. BTW, the Super Dooty is still an ugly, outdated truck.


TCM should warn anyone buying a new Super Duty to haul a truck camper off road. The Ford did not do well in the flex test with 3000 pounds in the bed. I could just see someone with a new truck camper tearing the bed completely off the frame if they went off road with it.


Posted by: Greg | Jan 16, 2012 5:10:27 PM

I agree with you, Greg. The frame on the Super Dooty is as rigid as a wet dish rag, just like it's little brother...THE CRAPTOR. FORD LOSES AGAIN!!!! *evil laugh*

I don't see why the old, Clinton era doorskins would be a deal breaker. They looked good in '98 and look good now. The others should adapt their plunging beltline although it's kind of trademarked by Ford. That drops the mirrors low enough where myself or anyone can see over them even with severe road crown. The huge chin spoiler would have to go though. That and the 16" wheels infavor of 19.5 Alcoas.

The truck all the others wish they were. gm will copy it and wish it was they're idea to start with but they missed the boat! FORD WINS AND gm LOSES AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Careful bobby, I heard "chevy sucks" is actually a dirty transvestite looking for its next victim.

Great article. Would love to tour this plant and the Rogue F-150 plant. In 1993 I toured the Louisville Assembly plant, which produced the Ranger and Explorer at the time, and enjoyed every minute.

you no what would make this site alot better... if they didnt allow any outside comments.

I hate to get in the C-channel vs Fully Boxed Frame debate but you GM guys are right the box frame in the Silverado HD is stronger but what GM guy doesnt realize is those commercials and test only mean something to you guys as along as Ford makes the money they do in fleet sells due to upfitters Super Duty will stay with the open c while F-150 will stay fully boxed http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d8M7VHLaBcM.

On a personal note I just want you GM guys to know I appreciate the video's you guys made showing the Super Duty frame flex problem http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v_UTc3uQEVc and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HuqESiO_MFM&feature=relmfu.

I found a few facts interesting :
65% are diesel, and there are twenty-seven different truck frames.

Cool story.

The 2 faced trolls are hillarious.

They had to go to a Ford thread because they got tired of all the disgruntled Chevy owners bashing GMC.

How do trolls wreck a thread?

Everyone starts to talk at the level of the troll(s). Examples:Bob,Michigan Bob, Bobby McMichigan, Greg.

One rule of effective communication is to speak at the level of the receiver. Translation - speak at their level of intelect and/or language skills. Throwing in some vulgar common language is such an attempt. That is why threads deteriorate.

That also explains why intelligent bloggers can make logical posts that counter all the "Chevy are gifts from pharaoh (Let it be written. Let it be done) arguments , but never get through to the intended receiver. We are unable to drop our IQ's to that level, commmunication breaks down, learning stops, and idiocy prevails.

@Lou,

But then again, you're just a leech sucking the life out of everyone on this thread.

I pitty your parents for bringing you into this world and waste the air that I breathe.

Have a nice day, buddy.

@ bob - thank you for providing an example for my post. This is also a perfect example of deflection or baiting. Use insults to deflect the truth is a way of ignoring or turning away either an internal or external emotional trigger in order to prevent full recognition or awareness of associated material...e.g. the truth in what I said.
One could be trying to "bait" me into engaging in a battle of insults. That would pull me DOWN to the level of the baiter. In the case of the "bob continuum", I doubt that anyone could hold a conversation at such a low level without entering a persistent vegetative state.

@Lou, Stay on topic. We want to hear your opinions and thoughts, but please only comment about the specified topic in the blog post.

I live in canada and have a 2002 Ford F-250 with the 5.4L it has the sticker in the window Kentucky Truck Plant home of the SuperDuty/Excursion its got almost 240k Built Ford Tough for life and its hauled alot for me!!

"TCM should warn anyone buying a new Super Duty to haul a truck camper off road. The Ford did not do well in the flex test with 3000 pounds in the bed."

I have a 1991 F250 that I use to haul 19'6" (12ft bed lenght) long slide-in weighing over 4,000lbs loaded. I have taken it to some very remote places and frame flex has never been a problem other than needing some flex in my tie-downs. The new frames are 2 or 3 times as stiff as mine so I think that I could live with that.

I will agree that I don't do serious rock crawling with the camper on but for a rig that is 11' high, 8' wide, has an extra 4'6" of rear overhand, raises the center of gravity 3 feet and is loaded with all of the junk a family needs for an extended weekend I do pretty well.

The largest auto plant in Kentucky is???

Toyota's Georgetown at over 8 million square feet and employs just under 8,000 and produces just about 500,000 vehicles a year...

When are this web sites mod's going to step in and filter the comments in these articles? Two useful posts in the entire comments section. MODS: DO YOUR FREAKING JOB.

Where is the GM Plant Tour? I have linked to it in the last Ford Nuithugger article, yet www.pickuptrucks.com when you do a DNS lookup comes up ford.com!

Where is the Tacoma plant tour?

Hmmm...

It appears that this site is now in bed with Ford judging by all of the Ford ads plastered all over. You used to see a fair amount of GM ads on here not all that long ago. I wonder if they decided to pull their ads due to all of the Ford bias that is running rampant on PUTC? One can't help but wonder.

@Lou, your a legend in your own mind Lou. You play on the computer all day and don't have a job. You are a leach on society and are a LOSER! And you continually confuse my posts with other posters. I am going to call you screwey Louie from now on. You continuously shoot your mouth off and wouldn't dare say the things you say to my face. Now shut the hell up.


Has anyone seen my b/f Frank? I suspect that he is cheating on me with someone in here. That had better not be the case!!!!!!!!!!!!

@oxi
Georgetown produces Camrys, Venzas, and Avalons, no pickups.

My opologies for the off topic posts but trolls wear everyone down.
It is interesting to see the manufacture of a truck and how complex the process is. It is a small wonder that there aren't more recalls. The complexity of these machines is truly amazing.

@Keith, GM will never copy it because they're too stupid.. I bought Only Chevy 25 & 3500's for years to use out on in our fields. That was until Chevy pulled their SFA's out and dropped their frame so damn low to the ground. We tried 1 new truck and traded it off for a Dodge Ram and then a Super Duty when they came out. That IFS was a pile of junk and we'd always get that stupid frame stuck in the mud. I'd have to take a tractor into the field to pull that pos out because the frame was hung up. Never Ever again. Nor am I the only one. Here in Iowa darn near every farmer I know used to drive Chevy Trucks. Not anymore. If it's a 2500 or up it's a Ford. Their frames sit nice and high off the ground and they have straight axles so we can run a little larger tire in the fields. Chevy loyalty has all but died off.. Even the 1500's are mostly Ford's now.

@RodW. You are exactly right. That's the reason we quite using them in our snowplow and construction companies. Those low frames would drag across curbs and we had more trucks caught up in deep snow on the frames than I care to remember. We're supposed to be the snow removal company so folks don't get stuck yet We are the ones needing to be towed out. We also ran Chevy trucks for several years until they did that design. None of those fairy GMC's either. I've read through some of the other comments here on those in the new GM trucks thread and I agree with most of them. Chevy pretty much forced us into Ford's. It's not like we even had a choice.

It's the same way with my daily truck. It's an F-150 King Ranch. Heck, I would have at least bought one Chevy but they are so outclassed interior and exterior wise by Ford I didn't even have a good choice. Very sad for Chevrolet indeed.

That was a great read! Fantastic pictures as well. It really is the truck among trucks.

@Rod and John. Those are the exact 2 reasons the Super Duty is the go to HD truck in the midwest. The looks and high dollar interior options are the other 2. Most farmers I've visited in our operations run SD's in their fields and nearly every one I've ever seen is a King Ranch. Those guys sure do make money these days. I too remember the days when everone used Chevrolet trucks. Chevy has even ruined their 1500's.. Very sad indeed.

@ Anyone. Do you guys know why the heck Chevy frames are slung so low? I noticed it too over the recent years. I don't buy HD's anyway as I just use my pick up for light work. My 1500 Chevy is fine framewise for that stuff but the HD's almost look downright ugly with that frame hanging out from underneath them. I can see why it's the worst seller among HD's. Looking through these Ford factory pics you can clearly see why their frames are tucked up high in the body. They're almost straight without that big downward dip like Chevy has. I'm thinking I much prefer the Ford's and Dodge's here in that respect.

@Jim. It's for the IFS. They have to drop the frames down real low to the ground like that so the torsion bars can go from the lower control arms straight into the frame. It's a piss poor design for a HD if you ask me. I've rode in a 2011 Chevy with the stronger bars and they ride like crap compared to the swing arm coils on the SD. In attempt to keep up with the payload of Ford, GM ruined anything remotely good about the IFS (IE:softer ride).

They should have never ever gotten away from the straight frame SFA set up. Now they're stuck with what they have and all the marketing in the world won't save their sales or trucking reputation until they go back to doing it the proper way. At least go to a portal set up and straighten out those frames if you can't get a SFA deal inked with a supplier. That would be far better than what Chevy has now. Even look at the tanks for the diesel motors up front. Just awful engineering.. What they've done to the 1500's (looks and interiors) - (I blame GMC as well by the way) and HD's (looks, interiors, suspensions) is almost unforgivable. I've never seen a company ruin a truck line like GM has done with Chevrolet trucks. I too was a Chevy truck man forever. Not anymore. I'm in a King Ranch F-150 now.

Why do idiots like bob troll the Ford news then complain about Ford dudes trolling Chevy? Bob STFU. What comes out of your mouth is what most of us flush down the toilet.
Always cool to see how our rigs ae made. Ford HD's are my second choice. Dodge Cummins will always be my first choice.

@Sasha,

Says the Skank that I've never seen before..... LOL!

Oxi: What is the biggest junkyard in Kentucky? Correct, the Georgetown Toyota plant. Lougirl: Why does ford produce an inferior truck than GM? Answer: Why would anyone ask someone like you who doesn't know anything about pick ups? But I will give you credit Lou, everyone one of your comments show consistent stupidity Found On the Road Dead, Fix -Overhaul-Repair-Daily, Full Of Rusty Dents, Fluids On Roads Dumped. Floors Open Rotted Doors, Fool Owned Retard Driven. Just a few of the true things heard from former ford owners who went on to finish high school and divorce their sister

Here is the GM Tour that Pickuptrucks.com aka Ford.com forgot to include, from the same website...


http://www.truckcampermagazine.com/factory-tour:-gm-flint-truck-assembly-plant/

One thing that strikes me in both plants is the lack of safety gear. Neither plants workers are wearing safety rate (steel-toe) shoes, they are waring thin athletic shoes. At the GM plant workers are wearing shorts! Ill give them the benefit of the doubt ad say it was during the summer and that the only reason the Ford workers are in pants is because it is during a colder part of the year.

This seems crazy to me, i worked light construction and we were required to wear Steel-toe boots and long plant every day... and there was far fewer things that could have killed or maimed me where I worked.

This is in response to the Chevy HD/LD truck bashing. I went from a Ford SD truck to a Chevy HD and will never look back. Having a "durable" diesel truck that sat in the shop half of the time with engine issues got old really fast. This was on an '04 6.0 F-250 4x4. In addition to that I got tired of the sloppy death wobble front ends in these trucks. I have a couple of buddies with Dodge HD's with the same issues. This is a piss poor design on both Ford and Chrysler's part. My old 99 SD 7.3 with leaf springs never had this issue. I'll keep my GM HD diesel...so far so good. I guess I will probably get a good flaming from Ford and Dodge fans for this. Oh well.

@RonnieL. You're right on the Navistar sourced Ford diesels. Absolute garbage. I had the same issues too hence the name 'powerJoke' for quite some time. These new ones are fantastic though! Already have 50k worth of trucking miles on our new SD diesel. On the deathwobble stuff. I've not once ever experienced it in my SD's. I have indeed heard a couple of Dodge guys complain about it. It's a supplier issue to be frank, not a design issue. Cheap parts are the cause which I agree ultimately rests in Ford or Dodge's hands. What about the flimsy tie rods on Chevy's HD trucks though? Take one off road and you're asking for a bent rod and realignment in the shop. There's a logical reason Chevy doesn't get any love from the off road crowd unless it's a pre 1988 model.

I'll be 100% honest in saying that low frame and no sfa is what kills the entire Chevy HD for me right from the get go. When I was having issues with my old SD diesel motors I was pretty ticked off and Willing to go buy a new Chevy with a Duramax. It literally was the frame and suspension that just made me stick with Ford.

Mr Obvious - this site carried a story about the GM assembly plant a while ago.
Here is a tour of a 1/2 ton Chevy being built:
http://news.pickuptrucks.com/2010/10/watching-gm-build-pickuptruckscoms-2011-gmc-sierra-1500-v-6.html
Here is the tour of GM's engineering center:
http://news.pickuptrucks.com/2011/05/inside-gms-state-of-the-art-powertrain-engineering-center-.html#more
A few faces behind GM trucks:
http://news.pickuptrucks.com/2010/10/a-few-faces-behind-the-trucks-at-general-motors.html#more

The Ram guys have more reason to complain. The only story remotely related to them is the Cummins assembly plant.
http://news.pickuptrucks.com/2011/07/a-tour-of-cummins-midrange-engine-plant.html

In the final analysis:
3 GM plant stories
1 Ford plant story
1 Cummins engine plant story

Lou wins, again.

hey i am going to steal your truck cuz how cool it is :)



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