World's Longest and Heaviest Float Powered by Ford

Rose Parade Float 2011 photo by John Boylan
Photo by John Boylan

How do you power “The World’s Longest and Heaviest Parade Float,” according to the Guinness Book of Records? With 6.8-liter 10-cylinder gas engine from Ford.

Natural Balance Pet Foods turned to Ford to propel the company's massive 116-foot, 50-ton Surf’s Up! float that will debut on national television in the famous Rose Parade in Pasadena, Calif., on Jan. 2. Starring on the float will be Tillman the surfing bulldog and his athletic canine friends.

The heavy float is driven by the same 6.8-liter V-10 gasoline engine that powers Ford’s Super Duty chassis cab work trucks, E-Series vans and the new 2012 Ford F-650 medium-duty truck.

The parade route is just over five miles long and typically takes two or two-and-a-half hours to complete. At speeds this slow, the key will be keeping the engine and transmission from overheating, with so little airflow coming through the vehicle. Ford NASCAR driver Greg Biffle will also be on the float as one of the founders of the Greg Biffle Foundation supporting the ethical treatment of animals. 

For more, read Ford's full press release

Ford RoseBowlFloatF650_IG_2_FINAL[1]


Thank gosh this has nothing to do with the Wisconsin football Badgers!

Good god, the V10, really??? Why not the 6.7 Powerstroke?

Wow imagine if they use a dmax

This is news?

why did ford discontinue this engine for the super duty trucks? up until '08 or '09, it was an option, and now its gone. Its give similiarly capabailties of diesel with the benefits of gas. It must've been a turkey.

Yeah, why use 6cyl diesel when you can use a v10 gas engine?
They could have even powered it with biodiesel, probably from waste oil from their factory. Then boasted about that but nah...

Yea, I always thought Fords were FAT HEAVY AND SLOW! I wonder if this ford float will come with fords infamous "man step"???

Ford stands for

1. found on road dead
2. fix or repair daily,
3. fourth on race day
4. fudged over rebuilt dodge

Ford spelled backwards stands for

Driver returns on foot....

Now on a serious note, While stationed at Twenty Nine Palms CA. in the Marine Corps I did have the great pleasure of attending the Jan 2nd, 1989 Rose Bowl parade and then the Rose Bowl game that Michigan defeated USC 22-14. The 89 Rose Bowl was the 75th Rose Bowl game and I still have the program and ticket stubs for that game.

I am from Michigan and I love the Michigan Wolverines, the winningist team in the history of College football. Michigan played in the very first Rose Bowl in 1902 and they defeated Stanford 49-0. The game was so lopsided that the organizers decided to hold chariot races instead of a football game. Michigan's next Rose Bowl appearance was in 1948 and they defeated USC 49-0. The assocaited press took a unprecedented post bowl game vote and voted Michigan the 1947 National Champions. Notre Dame was voted National Champion before the Bowl game and both schools claim the 1947 National Championship still today.

I love history and am a avid Michigan fan. The University of Midhigan has won 894 games with 310 losses and 36 ties for a all time winning percentage of .735. Michigan has the most wins of all time and the best winning percentage in all of college football. Michigan's fight song "Hail to the Victors" is the only college football song to be inducted into the college football hall of fame. Pretty cool huh?

Ford V10 is a powerhouse, reliable, efficient engine. I love my V10!


I'm still trying to figure out how this made it to the News section...

Well latwoods, I can clearly see you don't know what your (Donkey) from a hole in the ground. First of all, GM'S frame is much stronger and fully boxed than fords frame is. Ever see the twist frame video? cutting corers you say??? Please enlighten the board here at what corners GM cut to make additional profit. Your post reaks of innuendo's and with out any facts to back up your idiotic post.

I can see my post clearly has affected your brain. The next time you post something about GM, please have independent evidence to back up your statements, otherwise your post is just a bunch of b.s.

Now, what truck won the 2010 and 2011 Heavy Duty Shootout???? Answer, GM's Heavy Duty trucks of course. So who has the better HD? It's not ford.

I see the Troll is out of it's box.

"Now, what truck won the 2010 and 2011 Heavy Duty Shootout???? Answer, GM's....."

Wrong. Ford won gas trucks. This is a gas truck.

and I see Frank has nothing intelligent to say, so he resorts to name calling every time he doesn't like one of my posts.

that's what feeble minded people do Frank, they resort to name calling when they have nothing intelligent to say.

Frank, what manufacture won the 2010 and 2011 Heavy Duty shootout? Say it with me Frank, GM won the Heavy Duty shootout and ford finished #2. Hmmmm, ford does remind me of #2. bahahahahaha

Why did GM get out of the 650 business?

OH, so now you want to single out a particular engine huh nate??? Just for the record nate, GM'S 2011 Heavy Duty Chevrolet Silverado won the Motor Trend Truck of the year award. fords 6.2 liter engine makes more power and should have won the gas engine performance catagory.

Chevy's Duramax won "Rumble in the Rockies" and the Eisenhower pass and the 2010 and 2011 shootout and ford finished in the first loser catagory.

So now what nate? what excuse will you come up with next???

GM doesn't make a 6500
GM doesn't make a HD commercial gasser engine
GM doesn't make a CNG HD commercial engine
Why are you comparing a 3500 diesel to a f650 commercial truck chassis with a gasser?
GM doesn't have a say at this point, they don't even compete in this market anymore.

At Narrow-Minded BoB posted about F150 WINNING THE 2012 AWARD :@Frank, How dare you use my name in Vain! I don't have to hide behind someone else's name and never have. I go by Michigan Bob because I am a huge Michigan Wolverine fan.

So ford wins the (half ton) and half man truck award for 2012. I say half man truck because we all know the HD'S are the real work trucks and GM currently owns Motor Trends truck of the year award for the 2011 Silverado HD.

Well, atleast Motor Trend didn't give Toyota or Nissan the award. GM and Chevy, the brand more champions trust.
I heard ford won the Motor Trend Truck of the Year award because of the innovative ford girly man step. Wow!

BoB nobody CARES about GM Junk .... NoBody Cares about your STATE or the Wolverines. your the Most BIAS AHOLE THERE IS ON HERE ..... Awards are STUPID to give for an Vehicle .. THEY all fall apart sooner or later .....

Hey Tom, with the Rump ranger ford, I wasn't comparing GM'S HD'S to a 6500. Show me where I compared them???

Your ford girly little men get your panties all in a bind over my what ford stands for posts. What's a matter little ford girly boys, can't you handle a little banter?

Now, I say again, what truck won the Heavy duty shootout in 2010 and 2011??? Answer, GM.

No matter how much spin the ford girly boy's want to put on it, these are facts and nothing but the facts. I know that must really hurt the ford girly boy's but it's true. I take great pleasure in knowing GM is #1 and ford is #2 (smelly)

Nobody cares AHOLE Bob about your GM JUNK !!!!!!!! ITS OVERRATED .... always has been always will BE !!!!!!!

@ Michigan Bob ,

MOPAR is number 1 !!! I couldnt care less who is in second !!Could be Kia for all I care !! Mopar Rules !!

For the parade float they should have used a Chrysler 426 HEMI,over 7,000 horsepower,worlds most powerful vehicle engine,so reliable,powerful GM,Ford and Toyota use the Chrysler Hemi in Top Fuel racing today !!

By the way,at the drags a classic GM car never has a weak GM rear end,either a Chrysler 8 3/4 or a Ford 9 inch !!

Ford fans your eco-boost is a dud ! A RAM HEMI out runs it,and gets better gas mileage !! Ford fans a 6.2 Ford is quicker !! Eco trucks were lighter than the 6.2's in testing !

Anywho,Merry Christmas & Happy New Year !!

Awesome engine! 362 ponies and 455 ft lbs at a fairly low rpm are still awesome numbers today. not bad for a 15 yr old engine. Of course it doesnt match the diesel, but who cares when ur cruising 2mph.

@bob This is an article about an f650, you got major butthurt and said 'hurr duramax wins duramax wins bestast evar it gus up muntanz fast and has teh bestest ecktshaast brack!"
Yes your duramax won the 2010 and 2011 hd shootouts good for you. What is the relevance to this article?

butthurt over ford winning more motortrend truck of the year awards?
butthurt over ford outselling chevy+gmc combined?
butthurt over ranger outselling colorado+canyon combined?
butthurt over GM 1500's getting their butts kicked in 1500 shoot outs?
butthurt over ford making news more often?
butthurt over ford e-series being the best selling 32 years in a row?
butthurt in ford f150 being best selling 34 years in a row?
butthurt in narrowly winning hd shootouts on putc?
butthurt in GM going bankrupt and being bought out and bailed out by the US government?

I guess it goes to show what years of frustration will do...

Hey Tommy rump ranger, have you read your own post? I can tell your just a young punk playing on the computer because no adult talks the way you do.

I see you like ford and I for one am glad because you represent ford fans at their best. How many times did you use the word butthurt??? Only a child would use that term.

You are nothing but a immature little boy who has his own butt hurt. Are you trying to tell everyone here something about your butt hurting???

You like ford, good for you, ford is just the first loser and keeps getting beat by GM. You know it and I know it.

No diesel because this V10 gas truck is thousands cheaper, costs less to operate and fuel is cheaper. Commerical truck users love this.

I wonder how many spark plugs the "mighty" Triton will spit before the end of the parade route? Start placing your bets!!

I've gotta ask why? At parade speeds it's all about gearing. They could have done the same thing with a far smaller engine.

I'mmmmmmm Gaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyyyyy!!!


no adult does what you do

be massively butthurt and cry over GM on PUTC daily on every Ford post

stay mad

Michigan Bob

Ford = F series O out R run D duramax

Ford spelled backwards = D duramax R returned On Flatbed

As for you Michigan teams, you may be great in football, in College basketball Us UNC Tarheels are Built Ford Tough...know what I mean??????

@Tom with a Ranger- "Have you seen the BS chevy is putting in there commercials? Fkn A. I guess it goes to show what all those years of frustration will do." Awesome video.

Frank and Charles are my boyfriends....hehehe

so is benchimus

@Tom with a Ranger- "Have you seen the BS chevy is putting in there commercials? Fkn A. I guess it goes to show what all those years of frustration will do." Awesome video.

Posted by: Benchimus | Dec 23, 2011 5:35:40 PM

Evidentally you haven't see any of Ford's commercials lately! They have been and always will be the KING OF BULLSH*T as far as commercials go. Their fake press conference style commercials are so friggen phony it makes me want to puke. It is sad to see Mike Rowe lower his standards by doing their stupid commercials. He is nothing more than an overpaid spokesman, just like Howie Long on the Chevy commercials. I don't like those either.

Remember when Chevy made trucks in the 4500 and up classes.
Chevy fails again, Ford wins again, so let it be said so let it be written.
kind of convenient Chevy rhymes with sh@#ty.

chevy does not rhyme with sh*tty....go back to school dimwhit!!!!!

Dimwit doesn't have a "H" in it. Go back to school Kansas Bob.
hahaha you pointed out that guys grammatical errors, yet never said Chevy's aren't sh*tty. You're slipping Bob

please excuse my spelling error. i am surprised that Frank didn't catch it first. and Chevys are definitely NOT sh*tty.

and by the way, Chevy's should not have an apostrophe in might outta go back to school as well!!!

@Dodge Ram racer: I don't think a top fuel Hemi would be a good powerplant for a heavy float. I like Rams, but those TF Hemis also get torn down between rounds, and the fuel bill would be unreal. They prob got a heck of a deal on this V-10. It'll work fine. My 2010 Ram is pretty nice. But Ram needs to get with it on the 6 and 8 speeds. The 6 speed in the 2012 2500s is a step in the right direction, more low speed gear and lower ratio in fith then the 545. Still, ratios COULD be better. The eight speed will be a game changer, if the ratios are sorted out properly. At the cost of weight, space, and cash initially spent and expensive rebuilds. But it'll make a world of differance. They will sell ALOT of trucks then. They can work at getting yet more low speed power out of the Hemi. TORQUE TORQUE TORQUE! At lower speeds! As for the GM rear ends, it's a C-Clip eliminator they use, not great but helps. They don't much care for them on the circle track either, but some classes have to have them. I would like to see a Hemi race oval track again, they would be great, too bad the rule makers keep out-lawing them, must be a reason!!! Oh, you said Ford nine inch and 8 3/4 but you forgot the Dana 60!! An 8 3/4 is lighter then 9" but gear choices aint there. But I do know 5.7 Hemis have proved reliable, we are still waiting to see in the REAL WORLD how the Ecoboost will last. They have come along way now with direct injection, that's alot of cylinder pressure, we will see. And theres the people that have no clue that you shouldn't just spin a turbo real hard and immediatly shut it down, and the need some good oil.

*I meant the 2500 6 speed in 6th has a lower (numericaly) ratio then the 545 5/6 speed.*

@Michigan Bob: Go Virginia Tech! @Oxi: Badgers? We don't need no stink'n Badgers! Go Ducks! @ Kansas Bob: GO HOGS!!!!

Hey Kansas Bob, I was just following by example from Michigan Bob since he spells "Chevy's" with an apostrophe. If you read his post about Chevy's winning the rumble in the Rockies farther up, like the 15th or 16th post down. But wait..............aren't you two the same guy?

Not to interrupt all the pigs in mud commenting here, but I'm not exactly sure a parade float needs 2 overdrive gears.

Christmas Time is Killing Us!

not even sure why all the Ford advertising is here for an engine they don't evem make either...

I apologize to Mark Williams and the rest of the PUTC team who work very hard to bring us awesome truck related news, but I don't really think this is something you should be wasting your time on. While I do appreciate you bringing us every bit of truck related news you can scrounge up, it's not really very groundbreaking or interesting. That's my opinion at least.

Also because I find it funny: "Exactly how heavy is 100,000 pounds?" Well gosh Ford, let me ponder on that one for a little while. That is a conundrum if I ever did hear one.

A story about a parade float turns into a bashfest.

Why doesn't PUTC list the engines in all of the other floats?

@Michigan Bob - you must be real proud of yourself?
2 days to Christmas and you cause all of this trouble!

What ever happened to "Peace on Earth and Good Will to Men"?

IIRC - you own a 1993 Chevy Silverado with a 5.3.
You don't even own a diesel truck. Your company vehicle is a car - an Impala.
Keep bragging.

1. GMC has won shoutouts with the Duramax/Allison combo.
2. Anyone who read the HD shootout knows that GM finished 3rd in the gasser portion on the shootout.
3. GM won the Rumble in the Rockies with the Duramaxx/Allison combo.
4. You brag about the 5.3 alleged mpg advantage based on government testing which no one in their right mind believes are remotely accurate.
Since MPG keeps being mentioned, here are the results of PUTC under 30,000 dollar shootout. Please note, these are 4x2 trucks.
1. F150 5.0 V8 21.2 mpg
2. Ram 5.7 V8 19.0 mpg
3. Nissan 5.6 V8 18.8 mpg
4. Chevy 5.3 V8 18.7 mpg
5. Tundra 5.7 V8 18.0 mpg

In the real world, the 5.3 Chevy was in 4th place in fuel economy.

Lets look at performance:
1/4 mile time/speed
1. F150 15.48 sec/93.31 mph
2. Tundra 15.7 sec/91.94 mph
3. Ram 15.76 sec/89.64
4. Titan 0.2 seconds faster than last place Chevy
5. Chevy

7% grade
1. Tundra 17.55 sec/78.14 mph
2. F150 17.96 sec/77.25 mph
3. Ram 18.29 sec/77.99 mph
4. Nissan 19.24 sec/73.99 mph
5. Chevy 19.35 sec/ 70.92 mph

In the real world, the Chevy 5.3 was dead last in performance.

6. The last PUTC 1/2 ton shootout put the Ford F150 in first place. That was done with the 5.4 which in comparison to the other trucks in that shootout is grossly underpowered.

7. The Ram 1500 won the "Under 30,000" Best value shootout.
8. You ever wonder why GMC never sent a 5.3 to do battle in any of the truck shootouts ?
That is because they (GM) knows it will loose badly!

9. I don't see GM winning that many tests. Sure, it has won with the Duramax, but have you ever wondered why Ford HD outsells it 2 to 1? or why Ram Cummins HD outsells it in Canada?

10. This is the best post I've ever read as to why SFA is king.

Quote "Clearly you are not an Engineer. OR if you are, you are a GM Engineer, in which case you know who I am.
Clearly you have never taken a vehicle into a "serious Off-Road" situation.
Clearly you are a GM fan and will not look outside your own favorites.

"Anyone who actually thinks you need a straight axle instead of a independent axle for a heavy duty truck is a complete idiot and don't know what the heck they are talking about."

Okay. You start with a personal attack, generally a sign that you have no facts and that the discussion is emotional, not rational. Can you provide some facts to support your claim?
Let's talk physics:
CV joint half-shafts have the greatest torque capacity and life-span when operated at a neutral angle. As the input/output angle increases, there is a decrease in torque capacity and longevity.
IFS systems must use a CV joint and because of the design as torque is transferred through the half-shafts there is a natural tenancy for the half shaft to try and twist. On IFS systems this generally results in the front wheels twisting turning towards one another, resulting in bent tie-rods. The resulting bent tie-rods WERE common in off-road use of GMT-400s and GMT-800s. The tie-rod size was slightly increased for the GMT-900s.
We can discuss the dynamics of an IFS system in actual use vs. theory and the trade-offs against a SFA suspension, but I suspect that might be too advanced.

"Someone actually posted video's of GM trucks that had tie rod failures while pulling a heavy sled. What the He double L does the weak tie rod have to do with the independent suspension??? "

Why don't you ask the Engineering Development team about the GMT-900s? Especially the HD redesign.

First, the tie-rod failures are common, not just on sled pullers, but on H2s and in general off-road use.
Second, have you ever seen a drag-link failure on a SFA truck in a similar situation?
You won't. SFA support the individual wheel shafts out to the end, nearest the join so there is very little torque steer. IFS and FWD vehicles have 2 joints in the half-shafts and the torque input into the shaft always results in torque-steer. It is a design issue that will always be present.

Tie-Rod design is directly linked to the fundamentals of IFS because the Tie-Rod is the ONLY item that prevents unwanted steering deflection.

"And some people suggest that GM will never sell more HD'S because of their independent front suspension??? Excuse me? Yea, GM they don't want to sell more trucks now do they. Nope, because some moron suggested otherwise."

Ford and Dodge, both sell SFA 4x4 trucks (we can disregard the 2wd trucks because they are all IFS) and they have 70% of the market. Ford has 50% alone. So, let's consider that GM (Chevy and GMC) has the majority of the 1/2 ton market. Why then does GM not dominate the HD market? Does GM not have a better engine and transmission? Does GM not have competitive interiors, payload, towing and fuel economy?
Compare and contrast Ford trucks and the years of lousy gas engines, 6.0 and 6.4 Powerstrokes. Ford has many negatives, yet they STILL sell more.

"Serious off road vehicles do NOT have a straight axle. They have a independent front suspension that is built to take the beating of off road driving."

Are you talking about RACE TRUCKS? Purpose built, with massive amounts of wheel travel and HD components that are NOT O/E? If you are, your point is?

If you are implying that the best O/E trucks for off-road use are IFS, then you're under the influence and have ZERO reference to reality.
I could then take your same model of analysis and say:
How come all the serious race vehicles are RWD? and use that as a reason to explain why FWD is worthless.

"Gee, how did all the mags miss this fatal flaw that GM's HD's have on their trucks??? Why are the mags not saying this is wrong??? or that a straight front axle is the best??? Because it's not even a issue that's why. "

What Mags are you talking about? Are you talking about mags that target the casual truck user, the typical 1/2 ton buyer, those that NEVER go off-road or into tough situations? First, advertising is huge in the magazine world. Second, off-road magazines have been pointing out the GM IFS flaws for a very long time. Clearly you only read certain mags and base all your opinions on the thoughts of others.
GM spends a very large amount of money advertising and the same parent company owns two magazines that had completely different reviews of the GM HDs.

SFA, as we have it in the current market place, is the most durable front suspension design. It IS an issue and even GM knows it. GM redesigned the front suspension for the 2011 HDs because of the flaws in the prior IFS. They designed their new IFS to be great on pavement, good in snow, sand and on graded roads. The new IFS is not nearly as strong as the SFA competition. GM rolled the dice based on money and time. They beefed their IFS to be more competitive but didn't go to SFA because of the major frame changes that would be required. GM kept the IFS because of costs, PERIOD. Ford and Dodge have vids all over with their trucks off-road and GM avoids posting any of their trucks in tough situations.

I am a HUGE GM fan and I'd much rather have a GM truck, but I won't buy a truck that requires an alignment every time I take it off-road. I won't buy a truck that fails off-road and bends or breaks components. So, true to my own word (to GM Engineers) I rented a 2011 HD and took it off-road, where I take my trucks (a Dodge and a GM leaf-spring SFA truck). The new GM HD bent a tie rod. Yes this is anecdotal, but it is indicative of the GM IFS experience. People that never take them off-road have no idea of the GM IFS flaws.

So, Michigan Bob, take it from someone that actually uses their truck, the new GM HDs are great in many ways, but they are still sub-par off-road when compared to Ford and Dodge. Think I'm wrong, why don't you log off and actually TRY all three? Don't like it? Why don't you point out how great the IFS is to Ford and Dodge?"


Merry Christmas to everyone.
Even Bob.

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